SOUL MEN LIKE SAM AND DAVE.
THEY WERE THE GREAT...
Welcome back to part 3 of my interview with The Soul Clinic, the eight man R&B band from York, Pennsylvania. This is the first interview that The Clinic has granted in more than 40 years and I am honored to be presenting it to you exclusively here on SDM&M.
S.D. KNIGHT: Rick Dillman, I understand that you'd like to start off this segment with another round of show and tell. Let's see what you brought with you today, my friend.
RICK DILLMAN: I thought you might like to see a couple
of behind the scenes candids taken in a dressing room in
1968. They show how we looked in our tuxes.
In the picture above from left to right are Larry Smith,
Mike Eads and Clark Miller. The picture below shows
Rick Terlazzo sitting in front of his briefcase.
We all got briefcases to keep our socks, cumberbuns etc.
I think most of us had the same one after Rick T started it.
This is a picture of me
in my green tuxedo.
The picture below is another one of the band performing at
Altland's Soul Ranch in 1967.
S.D. KNIGHT: Great pics, Rick. Now, Little D, as you recall from our previous segment, we did the math and determined than an entire year passed between the time that Rick T, Clark and Mike joined Larry's band and the time you finally joined. How did you get into The Soul Clinic?
RICK DILLMAN: Rick and Larry
kinda stole Clark and Mike first.
I stayed in the Concords for a
while and eventually got an
audition to play with the Soul
Clinic around September of
1967. My audition piece was
the tune "Break Down and
Let It All Out" by the O'Jays.
"Let it All Out" - The O'Jays (from their 1965 album
Comin' Through, uncharted B side of "You're the One
(You're the Only One)"
RICK DILLMAN: There was a high D note in the trumpet
part that I hit both times during the audition which sealed
the deal. Plus I could dance..haha. I joined The Soul Clinic
around November of '67 as the youngest member of the
band (14 1/2).
RICK TERLAZZO: After all personnel acquisitions had
been completed The Soul Clinic consisted of the
Tony Scott - Lead vocals
Larry Smith - Drums & group leader - York Catholic
Rick Terlazzo - Organ - York Catholic
Ted Saxon - Bass guitar - York High
Mike Eads - Guitar - Carlisle High
Bruce Delauder - Sax- York High
Clark Miller -Trombone, vocals - Central High
Rick Dillman -Trumpet - York High
These were the eight who performed the two songs on the
band's single: “So Sharp” b/w "No One Loves Me Anymore."
S.D. KNIGHT: Ted Saxon, hello and welcome! I'd like to ask you the same question that I asked Barry Shultz, Ed Furst and Rick Terlazzo. What prompted you to become a musician and play guitar in a band?
I had no choice but to become a
musician. My father was a great
local jazz pianist who played on
radio. My mother played pipe
organ at local churches. Along
with my brothers Thad and Dale
I played music in churches from
the time I was three years old.
S.D. KNIGHT: Thanks, Ted! Turning now to you, Mike Eads,
same question. How did you get started as a guitarist?
------------------ Mike Eads
It happened to me when I saw Elvis on The Ed Sullivan
Show. I asked my Mom, "What's that around his neck?"
She said, "A guitar." I immediately said, "I want one."
Got a Roy Rogers guitar for X-mas that year. Plunked
a little, then lost interest.
Then we moved into town and an R&B/Soul band..
THE R&B/Soul band of my area.. The Orlonzos ...
rehearsed in the house behind mine. I would go listen
to them and met my 'mentor', Nick Holly, who played
guitar in the band. Nick showed me things. He also said
to come down to Shiloh Baptist church in Carlisle on
Sundays and sit in. The Orlonzo's were the house band
backing up the choir. So I did. The first time, it was a
scene out of The Blues Brothers movie. Nick saw me
listening in the doorway, held his guitar up, and waved
me in. The rest was history. Some of the best musical
'education' I had.
Nick unfortunately passed away last year. But just
about every time I strap the thing around my neck,
as I still do it full time as my living .. I think of Nick,
I think of all the guys I've had the pleasure of playing
alongside, as well as, hopefully, all the guys I will be
playing alongside. But, most of all, I think of all the
'adventures' music and this piece of wood and metal
have taken me on ... and hopefully still will. So I just rub
the neck affectionately and whisper to 'her', ... "time to
go for another ride." Maybe a bit dramatic sounding but,
nevertheless, true. I've been very fortunate to be able to
S.D. KNIGHT: Nicely put, Mike. Thank you! Okay, Little D,
it's your turn. What made you want to become a musician and join a band?
RICK DILLMAN: For me, from the first time I saw a trumpet
being played well, music seemed to be the most important
thing in my world. Music is transcendent, transformational,
and one of the most
physical and sensual
forms of communicating
with yourself and others.
To connect with an
and emotionally and
at the same time to
connect with other
musicians and create
and beautiful is thrilling
and fulfilling on all levels.
To be recognized and
appreciated by your
friends and peers made
playing in the bands something that each of us feel were
some of the most wonderful moments of our lives and
we will always fondly remember them.
S.D. KNIGHT: I'm feelin' ya, Little D. Thanks! Bruce Delauder, welcome to you, my friend. Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started playing sax?
I was born in Frederick,
Maryland and got started in
music in the seventh grade
through the band program.
I started out playing alto
saxophone. My family moved
to York in 1961. During this
period I played Tenor sax
with various local bands at
local York spots like the Elks
and American Legion, local dance venues, colleges and
bars. Those experiences led to an association with Larry
and later on to being a member of The Soul Clinic.
S.D. KNIGHT: Thanks so much, Bruce! Guys, I'm curious about something. How did the Soul Clinic end up with eight members, three black and five white, with one black lead singer? Was that band configuration a conscious decision
or was it based on personnel available at the time?
RICK DILLMAN: Just worked out this way. Because our
horn section could sing back up we didn't need extra
singers. Clark sang the tunes that were in the higher
register. Tony handled the rest.
S.D. KNIGHT: How was it decided to make The Soul Clinic
an integrated band rather than an all white band performing primarily black music as the Magnificent Men were doing?
There was no conscious
decision. My parents were
professional dancers and my
mom a singer also, in the 40s.
They were in showbiz. They
loved jazz and "black" music.
I was exposed to it my whole
life. My first professional gigs
were with a black band called
DON and THE WONDERS.
I was this 12 and 13 year old
little white kid with these LARGE AFRICAN AMERICAN
GENTLEMEN. That's how I learned to play soul music.
S.D. KNIGHT: Larry, I'm blown away by this ultra rare image of Don and the Wonders that you managed to find. Can you tell us who's who?
-------------- Don and the Wonders
LARRY SMITH: The core of Don and the Wonders was
Don "Duck" Generett and his two brothers. Buck Generett
is front and center holding the guitar. His brother Ervin is
on the far left. Don Generett is to Buck's right. The other
members of The Wonders in this picture remain unidentified
but we know that one of them is Ronnie Scott who played
keyboards and provided vocals. As many of you recall,
Ronnie was formerly with The Quin-Tones.
S.D. KNIGHT: Larry, your story reminds me of Philadelphia broadcast legend Jerry Blavat who became the first white jockey on an all black radio station. Jerry's philosophy that "music doesn’t know any color lines” certainly applies to your membership in Don and the Wonders and other mixed race bands like the Del-Chords and The Soul Clinic.
LARRY SMITH: To all our credit, nobody cared what color
you were, just how hard you could groove...
The Del-Chords and the Endells disbanded then reformed
as all white simply because there were many places that
would not book a "mixed" band. We just didn't care I guess.
S.D. KNIGHT: Larry, this is a great time for us to get to know you better. Why and how did you become a drummer?
------------------ Larry Smith
From the time I was 3 or 4, I used to beat on everything.
Pretzel cans, furniture, pots & pans. I was always around
music. Both my mom and dad were professional dancers
and instructors in NYC in the early 40's. My mom was also
a singer. As I said they both loved jazz & big-band music,
and my dad loved to play hand percussion (tambourine,
cowbells, maraccas) He had great rhythm, but never
learned to play a "drum kit". He used to sneak backstage
at Carnegie Hall to hear Benny Goodman with GENE KRUPA
on drums! Well, they got to know him and they became
friends. Same with Count Basie and Stan Kenton. Soon
WWII came along and Larry Sr. joined the Marines.
After the war, mom and dad decided to start their family.
I started drum lessons when I was 7 years old. I believe
I got my first drum set for Christmas 1956. Sometime in
1957, my Dad took me to THE VALENCIA BALLROOM in
downtown York. There was also a smaller club inside.
Appearing there was GENE KRUPA and his Quartet. We had
a table no more than 6 ft from his drum riser! He played
his famous "Sing, Sing, Sing" solo. WOW!!!
After the set Gene came RIGHT OVER TO ME. "Hi! Your dad
tells me you are a drummer." "Yes sir!" He sat with us for a
while and signed a photo. It turns out my dad had met him
in NYC at Carnegie Hall !
In 1957 and 1958, our family started to make treks every
summer to Hershey Starlight Ballroom to see The STAN
KENTON ORCHESTRA. Both mom & dad had known Stan
for years. A pianist, composer & arranger, he was known
for his progressive jazz arrangements. Superb musicians...
I was blown away.
We never missed a year of Stan Kenton's show in Hershey.
He started to bring me up on stage and let me sit next to
the drummer and watch him! Then, in the summer of 1961,
he asked: "Do you want to play tonight?". "Sure!" Oh shit!
Of course I did...just scared. I mean this is an 18 or 20
piece band. That's like an 11 year old driving an 18 wheeler!
During this same time I was also playing along to my sister's
45's. Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Little Richard,
S.D. KNIGHT: Great stories, Larry! You had some incredible childhood experiences and I'll be asking you to share more
of them next time. Right now I'm curious. We just found out about Larry's early influences. Who can tell me which music acts influenced The Soul Clinic to the greatest extent?
RICK DILLMAN: In the beginning we were most influenced
by the Stax sound, Sam & Dave in particular. Otis Redding
was a favorite along with Aretha. I also got way into the
first Blood Sweat & Tears album.
"I Can't Quit Her" - Blood Sweat & Tears
(from February 1968 album Child is Father to the Man)
RICK DILLMAN: I think our sound and feel was similar to
Sly and the Family Stone.
Medley: "Everyday People"/"Dance to the Music" - Sly and
the Family Stone ("Everyday People" charted January 1969,
highest chart position #1/"Dance to the Music" charted in
April 1968, highest chart position #8)
RICK DILLMAN: We were best on stage as we had a show
and dance moves.
S.D. KNIGHT: Was The Soul Clinic influenced by the Del-Chords and the Magnificent Men?
LARRY SMITH: I believe there was some influence, but we
were naturally drawn to a funkier, grittier sound.
"Let a Woman Be a Woman - Let a Man Be a Man"
- Dyke and the Blazers (October 1969, highest chart
position #36 Hot 100/#4 R&B)
MIKE EADS: I agree with Larry. We were influenced maybe
a little by The Mag Men, but we had pretty much our own
sound and style going. Not that it was that much different
from all the other "soul/horn bands" around at the time.
"Tighten Up" - Archie Bell and the Drells (May 1968,
highest chart position #1)
MIKE EADS: That's just the way it was then. Like the
Grunge bands of the 90's. We all dressed similar, did
pretty much the same songs, and worked most of the
same venues. Except the Magnificent Men 'broke on
through to the other side' .. when they had two
successful albums. As did The Soul Clinic to some
degree with the success of "So Sharp".
S.D. KNIGHT: Let me ask you this, Mike. Were the members of The Soul Clinic close friends with The Del-Chords and the Magnificent Men?
I know Smith, Terlazzo,
Bupp, and Buddy King
already had friendships.
I was an 'outsider' ;)
from Carlisle, so any of
mine developed through
those guys. Dave Bupp,
Terlazzo and I had one
later in '76-'77 and '80
when I had the band
'Atlantic Crossing' and
asked them to 'see
what they could do'. Then Bupp came to L.A. in '81 and
I got him an apartment across from mine in N. Hollywood.
S.D. KNIGHT: It stands to reason that Larry Smith was friends with Dave Bupp and Buddy King because he was a member of the Del-Chords when they recorded their single "Everybody's Gotta Lose Someday," the soul ballad ranked
#2 on my list of The 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell.
"Everybody's Gotta Lose Someday" - The Del-Chords
(December 1964, uncharted)
S.D. KNIGHT: When we return on Monday Larry will share more epic tales from The Wonders Years and tell us about his stint with Bupp and the boys. Have a great weekend, guys!
Larry Smith into the