Rob's Williamsport Rock Bands
Other Williamsport Rock Bands
The Williamsport "Temptations" (circa 1960-1962) Left to Right - Bink Lusk, Chuck Campbell, Ed Perry, Chuck Flanders, Bobby Adams, Dick Whittington, Jimmy Hazel, Joe Harris, and Freddy Wright on drums.
The Williamsport "Temptations" adopted their name before the Motown "Temptations", and were popular at Williamsport venues like The Temple, Park Movie Theatre, Handy Haven, Temptations Lounge (or Ivan’s Inn as it was also called), fraternities (including Lycoming and Bucknell), and the local high schools. They played the graduation party for the Loyalsock Class of 62! They also made a couple of trips to Boston to perform. Members not pictured were Jim Frey and manager Ray Sye. "Bulldog" was the band's opening song with Chuck Campbell kicking it off on the bass.
Freddy Wright and The Ideals
Freddy Wright and The Ideals (circa 1965) (Left to Right - back row) Chad Fenstermacher (guitar), William Peterson, Bill Matlack (drums), Tom Afalanti (bass), Freddie Wright (at keyboard), (front row) Orn, and Joe Harvey.
The Conductors (circa 1966) (Left to Right - First Photo) Larry Borgess (lead vocals), Chad Fenstemaker (lead guitar), Skip Kreitz (rhythm guitar), Regan Myer (bass), Barry Hirsh (organ), Danny Brungard (drums). [Chad's mom, "Big Red", was the band's business manager who staged the photo]. The Conductors were the first Williamsport rock band to release a "45" with their single of "Whatever's In Your Smile" and "She Said So" on Dater Records in 1966. They debuted the songs from the single live on "Night Train" (WMPT Radio Show) in front of the HUB clothing store in Market Square. The record was a regional hit, and the B side "She Said So" remains a highly sought after "garage band" favorite yet today. When Barry Hirsh and Lary Borgess went off to join Price Charles & the Royaltones, Mike Ranck joined The Conductors as their lead singer until their break up later that year. In the last photo, members are (left to right) Regan, Skip, Chad, Mike Ranck & Danny Brungard.
The Jesters - “In The Beginning”
The Jesters (1966) (Left to Right) Richard Rupert (guitar, keyboards), Charlie DeSanto (drums), Mark Ranck (guitar), Jim Marvin (bass), and Rocky Anello (lead vocals).
The Jesters were born in the high school minds of Richard Rupert and Jackson Marvin as they met in the spring of 1965 for tennis practice. Richard had been a musician since grade school, playing accordion, trumpet, French horn, and drums. But it was the guitar that Jackson could play that piqued his interest. But then, with the Beatles influencing every aspect of life, how could any teenage boy NOT want to play guitar and grow his hair???
Jackson was an excellent teacher, and was also very good at working out chords to songs and singing them. It wasn’t long until the two enlisted the help of Jackson’s younger brother Jim to play bass. The addition of Frank Scarfo on drums made them complete: four band mates who could all sing. The Beatles were within striking distance!! But their biggest accomplishment was winning the much publicized battle of the bands in Brandon Park in front of thousands of people. Pretty heady stuff for the young lads!
The Jesters - “In The Middle”
The Jesters (2007) (Left to Right) Mark Ranck (guitar & vocals), Charlie DeSanto (drums), Rocky Anello (bass & vocals), and Richard Rupert (guitar & vocals).
The Jesters held a 40+ year reunion at the Sons of Italy Hall in Williamsport on December 28, 2007. Four out of the five original members made it to the reunion. Richard said "We really had fun playing together again. It was great seeing so many fans who followed the Jesters in the early years. The room had the acoustics of a gym, and the rented PA horns were blown-- all they put out was low mids and bass -- so I guess we probably sounded pretty much like we did 'back in the day'!" He said they played "Happy Together", "Teal Green", and "Well Respected Man" to name a few.
Saturday’s Crowd - “A Metamorphosis”
Saturday's Crowd (1968) (Left to Right) Freddy Wright (lead vocals), Don Miller (bass), Richard Rupert (guitar, keyboards), Mark Ranck (guitar), and Charlie DeSanto (drums).
From the Jesters, Jackson and Jim went away to college (Richard stayed in the band and went to Lycoming College in Williamsport), so personnel substitutions had to be made. With a band name change to the more contemporary “Saturday’s Crowd”, Mark Ranck filled Jackson’s shoes and Don Miller replaced Jim. And soon Rocky Anello replaced Frank Scrarfo on drums, eventually moving to the front as lead singer with Charlie DeSanto filling the drum position. To make band member history more confusing, Freddy Wright replaced Rocky as lead singer/front man. Over time there were other changes as well, with Rod Shaffer and Regan Meyer playing bass. But it was the combination of Richard Rupert, Mark Ranck, Charlie DeSanto, Don Miller and Freddy Wright that made up the band when a record deal was signed. The release of “Do I Still Figure In Your Life” b/w “A Little Boy, A Little Girl”, sponsoring the band’s appearance on “Upbeat”—a nationally syndicated teen music TV program out of Cleveland Ohio, was a thrilling though short-lived experience. Out of this group developed “Dear Jessica,”—but that’s a whole other story…
The Vagrants (1967) In the photo taken at Montoursville High School are (Left to Right) Jack Betts (lead guitar - his hand and guitar neck only are showing), Jim Huther (organ - holding tambourine), Mickey Hampton (bass), Jim Kuzio (drums), Kerry Mosteller (rythm guitar), and George Yaggi (lead vocals). Jack started the band, and he and George kept it going. Kerry's dad's Lincoln was the band's main transportation. Alex Blumberg was the band's business manager. George, Jim & Alex would later join the band "Fred" in 1968.
Prince Charles & the Royaltones (1967) (Left to Right) Kurt Hemphill (trombone), Phil Marchioni (trumpet), Steve Pleegor (trumpet), Gary Kirkwood (drums), Dave Kranz (bass), Dean Frear (keyboards), Larry Borgess (lead vocals), and John Radspinner (guitar). Not pictured was Frank Scarfo (sax).
Father's Angels (1968) (alphabetically) Father Angelo (business manager), Bob Bassler (trombone), Larry Borgess (lead vocals), Mike Caschera (sax), Barry Hirsh (keyboards), Dave Kranz (bass), Phil Marchioni (trumpet), Steve Pleegor (trumpet), John Radspinner (guitar), and Frank Scarfo (drums).
Popular disc jockey Gene Kaye worked overtime. Listeners heard him on WAEB in Allentown and and he heard what they wanted to hear in local clubs. In addition to the Rhondells, he also brought this group to the attention of Jerry Ross. Father's Angels was a blue eyed soul group with a self contained horn section and a gimmick -- they really were Father's Angels. Father Angelo sponsored them and shepherded them around to gigs in the parrish bus. How could it miss? It didn't in England, where "Don't Knock It" became quite popular among fans of Northern Soul, believe it or not, as did their instrumental "Bok to Bach" which was huge there. Year: 1967 Label: Unreleased in US - MGM/Heritage in the U.K. - Studio: Bell Sound- New York- Engineer: Neil Ceppos - Writers: Hayes / Porter - A Jerry Ross Production - Credit: Liner notes from "Yo Philadelphia - Look What I Found" (Heritage CD HYP002 1999).
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