Friday, January 2, 2015

Vintage: See Reggie Bannister in 1965!

Talk to Reggie Bannister long enough and you'll probably hear him tell you how he is both blessed and cursed with two talents. The man does have a foot firmly planted in two worlds - movies and music. You obviously know him from the Phantasm films, but he's also put out a number of terrific albums. The last two are especially good and of interest to phans if you haven't checked them out yet. (Learn more about Reggie's musical offerings here.)

What most people don't know, however, is that Reggie's musical past goes back, way back all the way to the Greenwood County Singers, a touring folk group from the 1960's. Expand this post to hear what Reggie had to say about the group when asked and see vintage video of him performing with them!

Speaking to Ain't It Cool News back in 2000, Reggie fondly detailed his involvement with the Greenwood County Singers:

"So, we had a group called the Greenwood County Singers and what happened with that was this guy named Terry Gilkenson who used to write a lot of the music for Walt Disney Productions. Things like... I don't know. Some of those action/adventure things. Like, I don't know. Name one! (laughs)

Anyway, he used to do a lot of that music. Somebody back East, the head of a label called KAPP told him that, hey, he was out here on the west coast, they were on the east coast in New York. They told him if he could put a big group together, because big groups in folk music was starting to be "the thing" to be happening. He said that he could. He contacted a couple friends of his that were brothers by the names of Carson and Van Dyke Parks, they held auditions. 

I was big fans of them. They had a group called The Steeltown Two because they were both from Pittsburg. I was just honored that they asked me to audition for the group. When the smoke cleared, I was in the group, so, it was kinda cool. 

We had four albums and as many singles. We had a single for every album. Every single did pretty well. The first one was written by a guy named Bob Gibson and Shel Silversteen, who used to write for Playboy, and it was called "The New Frankie and Johnny." It was a takeoff on the old story of Frankie and Johnny who were lovers and all that, but it was in a rag-time sort of feel. It did very well and we ended up doing a lot of touring and a lot of TV and things like that."

If you'd like to see vintage video of Reggie performing with the Greenwood County Singers, hit up the embed below. This video is an episode of Hollywood Palace hosted by George Burns dated February 13, 1965. Skip ahead to the 16:45 mark if you want to see the Regman in action!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts