The Apollos: front and center Wayne Groves, middle row (left-right): Tommy Vorhauer and Jim Price, back row from left: Dave Harney, John Parisi Don Harney.
This is the original Apollos band established in early 1964 by Jim Price and Dave Harney.
|Updated Jan. 2, 2012
From Falls Church McLean, Virginia, the Apollos went through several personnel changes while leaving behind demos, live tapes and two 45s as their legacy. I’ve read conflicting accounts of who was in the band when, but with feedback from Jim Price and Tommy Vorhauer, this seems to be correct:
The original band consisted of brothers Dave and Don Harney on guitar, Jim Price on bass, and Dave Elliot on drums. Jan Sylvester soon replaced Elliot on drums was himself replaced by Wayne Groves, and Jon Parisi came in on keyboards. The band’s repertoire leant heavily on surf numbers until they added Tommy Vorhauer on vocals. This is the group in the photo at top.
A win at a local battle of the bands gave them studio time at Edgewood Studios in D.C., and they cut several sides, including early versions of “That’s the Breaks” and “Country Boy”. They re-recorded these two for their own Delta label in 1965.
“Country Boy” is a fine surf instrumental written by Don Harney. Surprisingly it has never been comped before. “That’s the Breaks” has great drumming and nice fluid guitar work with a strong vocal by Vorhauer. I’m not sure who’s playing the organ on this 45.
Tom Vorhauer clarified some points about the band in a comment below that I’ll reproduce here:
Jon Parisi played keyboard and wrote the music for “That’s the Breaks”. I wrote the words and sang lead vocal. I also sang lead vocals on “Target Love” and “It’s a Monster”. We were playing on M street in Washington DC at Mack’s Pipe and Drum and were approached by two gentlemen who were scouts for Paramount Artists. They were interested in signing the Apollos to a record contract but on one condition, they wanted to replace our manager Bill Moser, we refused and never signed.
By late 1966 Vorhauer, Groves and Parisi had left to be replaced by Doug Collins on vocals, Dwight James on keyboards and Wayne Goubilee on drums. Their second 45, “Target Love” b/w “It’s a Monster” on the Montgomery label is a great double-sided 45. I hope to feature it in the future, but it seems to be rarer than the Delta one.
There’s also a live tape of the band, with good versions of “Dirty Water” and “I’m Crying”. At some point they were turned down by MGM, and that seems to be the end of their story.
|In December, 2011 Jim Price contacted me and gave some background on the group:
We were from McLean, Virginia, not Falls Church. Dave, Don and I all lived in Woodside Estates, McLean. That’s where it all started in 1963. I was playing my guitar on our front porch and Dave and Don came wandering up and introduced them selves and said they played as well. I was playing lead guitar, Dave rhythm and Don played bass.We switched up as time went on and everyone found their niche.