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Johnny Saint - "The Joyriders" - Part I - *A Country Walk Back Home* Instrumental

 "A COUNTRY WALK BACK HOME"  

The inspiration to compose this original melody came about one evening while I was  having a casual meeting with longtime friend and musician, drummer Johnny Saint. We casually reflected about the many cities and nightclubs & musical lounges that we worked through the years. Traveling the east and west coasts of the United States plus the many appearances across the border into various sections of Canada. 

“The Joyriders”

“The Joyriders” consisted of a swinging 5-piece combo from thes Philadelphia with a large fan club throughout the Delaware Valley on the East Coast. This group was headed by Johnny Saint,(drums) and close friends from the surrounding area of the city of Philadelphia . . . which included Tony Dell,(keyboards)-Joe Mallace,(guitar)- Rocky Angelo,(bass) , that paved the way for various Sax-men from Philly. These excellent reedmen included Nick Carl, Don Russell, Armand Saviano, Bobby Borda, and Dom Albano. The vocal expertise and musicianship was featured in all of their material from the current Top 10 Hits of the day to various Jazz arrangements that gave each member a solo spotlight at each and every performance.

I was fortunate to join the group in the mid-1960s after I departed “The Frank Virtue & the Virtues Revue.” Most of the members of “The Joyriders” were from the same Philadelphia neighborhood and enjoyed the same type of music from Rhythm & Blues, Classic Rock & Roll and JAZZ.  With this in mind, the experimental boundaries and musical input from each member at every performance was enjoyed by the audiences throughout the country.

While we spoke about the many cities we had traveled in the past. -  I played a demo tape of my instrumental composition “A Country Walk Back Home” that was dedicated to miles of travel through the years. As a drummer . . . I needed his input for a recording session, his creativity and spontaneous rhythm was shared by all during the session.

Synopsis:

(Produced and composed at IEA Recording Studios in the mid-70s - I was able to secure the talents of my friends that have recorded for major labels in the past. Even though, the saxophone is featured as the solo instrument. The rhythm section is tightly led by my friend Johnny Saint who devised a swinging touch of a two-beat rhythm tempo - which many people enjoyed dancing too at every performance.)

 In the following Chapters:

I also would like to recap some of

Johnny Saint’s memorable moments of his career in music.

Chapter 1

Looking back over more than 35 years in the music business . . .I realize what a blessing it was to be able to play an instrument as a drummer. - To be able to make a living at it is even sweeter. It is the only job that you would do for no pay, just to have the chance to play.

Johnny SaintFORT PITT- Atlantic CityMy group was called “The Joyriders” and from 1959 to 1963 I would play at Atlantic City’s “Fort Pitt” musical lounge located on New York Avenue & the Boardwalk from 10:00 pm to 3:00am.  After we completed our work schedule, our band and some friends all visited the famous Club Harlem located on what was known as “Kentucky & the Curb” where Chris Colombo & his band alternated with saxophonist Willis “Gator Tail” Jackson’s band until 5:00am. Then it was off to Rocky Castillani’s club at Missouri & Atlantic Avenues to play more music.


That point reminds me of the mornings I spent listening to some of the best music I ever heard at “Rocky’s” Bar that was owned by former middleweight boxer Rocky Castellani in Atlantic City.  The house band was an organ trio but by 4:00am . . . it became a Jazz Open House that featured visiting musicians from the surrounding seashore areas of Somers Point & Wildwood, New Jersey. During this time it would be possible to see, hear and enjoy as many as 10 or more musicians on the bandstand taking part of a swinging Jam Session that would last until the early morning hours of daylight.

Reflecting back to the age of five years old, my first interest in music was when I would listen to a Fat’s Waller radio show as I ate my lunch every day.

I liked the melodies being played, but I was more interested in the tempos and how it all meshed together with the other instruments. At an early age, when I began taking drum lessons at Wurlitzer’s Music store located at 10th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia, PA . . . I honestly believed I was destined to be a musician. At the age of 14, I played my first job in a neighborhood bar, with a trio consisting of accordion, banjo and myself on the drums. I made $10.00 each night for Friday and Saturday weekend. I was hooked.

I also remember that on the second floor of Wurlitzer’s Music Store there was a free open space that was available for Jam Sessions every Tuesday Night to visiting musicians working within the Philadelphia area with other traveling Big Bands. Whoever was in town would stop by and play for this Jazz Open House.

One night there was Horace Silver, Chet Baker, and Zoot Sims all on the bandstand at once. One night a 15year old young man sat in and played his trumpet and blew everyone away . . . his name was Lee Morgan who later became a leading Jazz trumpeter and composer with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. 

  *<> * (More interesting material in upcoming future Chapters)

 

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