The BassmenIn 1962; five eighth graders from Birmingham. Alabama, Tommy Allison (drummer) Mike Easter (guitar) Rob Hackney (clarinet) Bert McTyier (sax) and Tommy DeBuiys (piano) came together to form "the Churchkeys". Soon, McTier and Debuys left, Hackney picked up the giuitar and they were joined by Charles Feldman (singer) and Chuck Butterworth (bass).

The band changed its name to The Bassmen in 1964 and began playing at sock hops, cotillions and other local venues. More changes came as Butterworth left to play with another local group and Easter picked up the bass. In addition, the band was joined by Vaughn Rives (rhythm guitar) and Steve Gilmer (keyboards).

By this time it was 1965 and The Bassmen were in demand for college fraternity parties and other regional engagements. In 1965, The Bassmen were introduced to a "do-wop" singing group known as "Braxton VanSant and the Vandellos".The Bassmen backed up this group and made several recordings with them at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals AL. As a result of this collaboration, The Bassmen released their own rendition of A Braxton VanSant original titled "I Need You". The record aired locally on WSGN and WYDE and other stations and gained quite a following.

The Bassmen's star was on the rise but high school graduation was coming soon and they had a decision to make. Fortunately, they all decided to go to college. Allison, Easter and Butterworth to Auburn, Feldman to Alabama , Hackney and Rives to Birmingham Southern and Gilmer to Tulane. As luck would have it, Easter, Allison and Butterworth all pledged ATO at Auburn where they were rushed by Jamie Grant. Jamie were both graduating, so Allison and Easter stepped right in and Butterworth became a keyboard player. Although attendng Alabama, Feldman was able to join the band for most gigs.

Over the next four years, this group became very popular at Auburn and Alabama as well as other college campuses around the Southeast. As graduation neared, it became obvious that the career paths of each member would take them in different directions and The Bassmen went their separate ways in June of 1970.

the bassmen

It was not until 16 years later on the occasion of their 20th high school reunion that The Bassmen were reunited to play. After that, it didn't take long for the group to regain its momentum and popularity and today The Bassmen are still going strong, playing the same great music that brought them together back in 1962.

Source: Official Website


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