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Entries in Jazz Combos (2)

6:21AM

"The Unique Joyriders" - Johnny Saint

The House-Rockin’ Back Beat keeps rolling-on!

Metaphor:

Just a short walk through the corridors of time will put you in touch with some of the most versatile musicians, vocalists, and composers who gave us what the music world is proud to call the birth of JAZZ

Since my personal comprehension of JAZZ is really a culmination of various styles of music from Rhythm & Blues, Mainstream & Straight-Ahead Jazz plus the swinging Big Band sounds from past decades; in reality . . . it is my belief, that the vocal harmony and R&B music that is rooted in the early days of Rock n’ Roll and DOO-WOP.

My musical career began during 1956 with first lessons in high school playing saxophone being coached by a music teacher who was proficient violinist with some knowledge of reed instruments. After a short time; since he noticed I was a fast learner understanding the instrument and music theory, he suggested that it was time to find a professional saxophone teacher by the name of Mike Guerra to advance the technical attributes plus music reading skills that were needed in- order to pursue a musical career. During that time, he was credited in the teaching aspects of Gerry Mulligan, John Coltrane, and other members of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. 

The later practical teachings and many shared experiences from the music business came from tenor saxophonist Joe Fortunato who became a very close friend and older brother in music; he always stressed an important fact, to play the instrument with feeling and expression whether playing a ballad or swing such as the old masters from past decades.

At an early age my exposure to music was listening to the big band sounds of Benny Goodman, Tiny Bradshaw, Louis Prima’s original big band prior to Keely Smith with Sam Butera & the Witnesses and many of the Rhythm & Blues record hits of Bill Doggett’s “Honky-Tonk,” “Hand Clappin’” by Red Prysock– Jimmy Forrest’s “Night Train,”- “Harlem Nocturne” by Georgie Auld, Earl Bostic playing “Flamingo” and his version of “Harlem Nocturne” - “So Rare” by Jimmy Dorsey plus the mainstream jazz sounds of Charlie Ventura, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and many others on the radio and being fortunate to have access to many recordings from a vast collection of original 78rpms’ - plus vinyl 45’s and 331\3 LP recordings of a vintage collection from Mr. Nick’s Jazz Corner.

My inspiration came from the sounds of Illinois Jacquet, Red Prysock, Gene Ammons plus Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor. Staying true to this path, I organized various Trios, Quartets plus Quintets & Sextets early in my career. During this time “The Battle of the Saxes” a House-Rockin’ revue was formed with other close friends featuring 4 tenor saxmen from Philadelphia. The swinging Rhythm section was formed by my friend Johnny Saint on drums the leader of The Joyriders.

Ironically, it was George Sarkis saxophone repairman known as . . .

                   “The Doctors of Horns” who gave us the name “The Philadelphia Four Brothers” featuring Joe Fortunato, Stan Ross, Ray Fern and myself. 

Another musical experience in my career, I had the opportunity to be a sideman with “The Unique Joyriders”

a talented 5pc. combo from the early days of R&R with the attributes of vocal harmony and music ability in conveying the enjoyable sounds to their fans and audiences throughout the United States & Canada.

Their leader John “Johnny Saint” Fiedler contacted me to fill the vacant position since their saxman was leaving the music business to pursue another career. This was a great time with the Joyriders as we played many venues in the country. We all shared a camaraderie as brothers and friends. The Joyrider experience had a great team spirit that gave each member a time to shine in their own musical talent of playing ability, vocal stylings plus arranging and composition. Unforgettable memories of the four-part harmony, drum solos and the showmanship of swinging to the house-rocking backbeat rhythms plus Bar-Walking antics that generated standing-ovations from audiences throughout each nationwide performance.

These memories will never be duplicated and most of all never be forgotten, even though Johnny Saint passed away on November 17, 2014.

This inevitable quote from Johnny Saint “We Did It Our Way” will always be remembered by musicians, friends, and family.

As a few years rolled by . . . Recently I received a call from Steve Fiedler son of Johnny Saint, explaining that he was contacted by a gentleman Bob Bosco, author and contributing writer for national magazine called “ECHOES of the PAST.”




Bob Bosco was interested in doing an extensive article about "The Unique Joyriders" and their nostalgic recordings and band members from the early days of Rock n’

Roll.

<> This magazine is on display in the Library/Archive section of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio <>

"Since I have very fond memories of the past playing at the Versaille Hotel, 2901 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio."

 . . . I thought it was a great idea and agreed to have a lunch meeting for an interview that took place in the later part of 2017 at my home. After a few hours of talking during lunch and looking through scrapbooks of memorabilia from the past I was very impressed with the comments and ideas that Bob Bosco had in mind to write about.

He is a true gentleman and has great knowledge of nostalgic music from the early days of Rock n’ Roll plus other prominent Rock n’ Roll personalities that shared a collection of musical moments on & off the bandstand with “The Unique Joyriders.”

The history of “The Unique Joyriders” is reminisced in

> "Echoes Of The Past" Issue No. 123 <

e-mail. . . echoes.past@yahoo.com

 Click here: Subscriptions Available From *Echoes Of The Past*

 


4:13AM

JOE GIORDANO - Vocalist With Style



Starting in South Philly clubs ( in the 60’s ) such as the Venus Lounge, he was heard by a vocal trainer named Artie Singer who also trained, Al Martino, James Darren, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, and other  popular singers that were in the mainstream of music during the 1960’s.

 Until 1967, Joe played local “gigs” and landed a stint in Las Vegas at the Aladdin Hotel.  Soon afterwards, he met and married a California girl and decided that his singing career had to go on hold to build a stable family foundation.

 Back on the East Coast while operating his own prosperous construction company, the opportunity to perform a long contracted engagement at Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino Hotel and The Playboy Hotel Casino was confirmed by long-time producer/promoter/agent friend Danny Luciano, President of International Entertainment Associates in Atlantic City.

 These performances led to many other bookings to perform his vocal stylings at the Sheraton Inn Airport, Warwick Hotel and Hilton Stadium Inn.

 Joe’s adult contemporary style has left the crowds swaying at many popular nite-spots in the Tri-State area of Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Delaware as well as favorite dinner clubs in New York City.

 Joe’s back on stage and are we glad. He’s having fun again!