'60s Baltimore R&B Jam

June 15 - Stingers Bar & Restaurant
June 16 - "The Alcazar" (Baltimore School for the Arts)

A slightly organized jam session,
this was a musical reunion of players of Rhythm and Blues/Soul music who were playing professionally (that means for money) in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1960s.

It was held on June 16, 2001 at the old Alcazar Ballroom (now the Baltimore School for the Arts), 712 Cathedral Street, beginning at 1:30 PM. There was a rehersal the night before for all players on June 15 at Stingers Sports Bar & Restaurant, 6900 Belair Road in Overlea, Maryland.

Approximately 36 players and 49 of their guests participated. There was a $10.00 door charge, plus shirts for sale to mark the occassion, and further defray costs. All shirts were sold. Money collected went toward the hall, including required building personnel and services, plus beer and soda, and subs from Palmisano's on Harford Road in Parkville. After expenses there was enough money left ($240.00) to cover the costs of producing a video tape of the event, with production services donated by Don and John Armstrong of Hocus Focus Productions, and provide a copy to each player who participated.

Finally, after 9 years, that tape has been digitized (thanks to Don Barto of Soundriven) and is available on YouTube. It is divided into 3 parts, and here they are ... enjoy:






I am personally grateful to every person, player and guest, who showed up on either Friday night or Saturday afternoon. You made it what it was. Beyond that I want to acknowledge the following:

  • Randy Filmore, my life-long friend who helped hatch a crazy idea.
  • Don Barto, the mellow pro who was the first to offer his help, and who produced the perfect Saturday venue.
  • Sam Towers, whose musicianship I have always respected, and whose offer to help resulted in many key player contacts.
  • Duke Gore, who offered professional assistance, played great bass, and remains the same beautiful individual I always remembered.
  • Mike Foreman, a new friend who injected a needed spirit and energy down the stretch, and who came up with the perfect Friday night rehearsal spot.
  • Paul Treffinger, the "kid drummer" who was there to help his brother's band in the old days, and who anchored the rhythm section for this Jam.
  • Walt Bailey & Trudy Morgal, who I felt privileged to be on stage with.
  • Jimmy Loomis, my roommate on tour in 1967, and a tenor player of singular style.
  • Santo Mirabile. What can I say... his playing is inspirational.
  • Paul Cridler, a pro in many styles, who rememberd the horn parts and can still hit the high notes.
  • Rody Barthelmes, who gives himself up to the music and has lost none of that energy.
  • Chip Costa, who knew exactly what to do on Saturday, and whose trombone playing with the Lafayettes created gigs for trombone players.
  • Jerry Treffinger, for picking up on the spirit (except for the duck joke) and coming all the way from Cleveland to add his vocal style.
  • Denny Picasso & Gary Chalmers, whose entrance on Friday night rivaled Cleopatra's entrance into Rome, and without whose presence the Jam would not have been the same.
  • Mike Hodgeman, whose singing I admired through four different bands together, and still enjoy.
  • Dave Peterson, who donated a wonderful collection of old band cards, and came all the way from Florida to play.
  • The Armstrong Brothers, for video and good spirit (and a fine rendition of "My Girl").
  • Buzz Sappington, Jeff Anderson, Al Crawford, Ray DeMoss, Larry Schumacher, Tommy Thompson, Marty Fisher, Warren Raymond, Keith Donhauser, Gene Orth, and anybody else I may have missed, who came to share the spirit, even though they didn't play.
  • Don Barto Jr., who spent his Saturday making sure the sound was balanced and the tape kept running.
  • JoAnn & Jennifer Barto, who volunteered to handle the door and shirt sales, and who did so with perfect aplomb.
  • Jim & Joan Boyer, who opened their doors to us on Friday night as the proprietors of "Stingers," and whose crab soup was my personal gastronomical highlight.
  • Mark Gisleson, my good friend in St. Paul, MN who burned all of those wonderful rehearsal CDs.

The danger of a list such as this is that I am certain to have left someone out. I hope that person will accept my apology. This entire Jam session was overwhelming, and its success belongs to everyone who joined in to make it what it was. Thank you all.






VOSA Anthropology
an R&B Reunion 2001 Post Script

"Intermediate" Jam
August 24, 2001
J101.a Photos

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