The Del Notes

Danny and the Del Notes

The Del Notes
The Del Notes (photo from the Peninsula Garage group)

Del Notes Top Cat 45 Don't Leave Me GirlThe Del Notes came from Newport News, Virginia. Danny O’Brien attended Newport News High School and formed the group at school.

Early members included:

Danny O’Brien – vocals and keyboards
Tom Clark – guitar
Earl Howard – guitar and vocals
Ronny Methany (also written as Ronnie Matheny) – bass guitar
Dickey Moore – drums

Danny O'Brien of the Del Notes
Danny O’Brien of the Del Notes
The Del Notes recorded their singles at D’Arcy Studios across the James River in Norfolk, VA.

The first included two original songs, “Don’t Leave Me Girl” by Danny O’Brien b/w “I Been Thinking Lately” by Earl Howard, released on Top Cat 968 in April of 1968.

Earl Howard of the Del Notes
Earl Howard of the Del Notes
For their second single on the Sounds International label, Danny O’Brien wrote a great blue-eyed soul song “I Love You” b/w another Earl Howard ballad “I Wish I Was Home” which a commentator said was written for Ronnie Matheny who had been sent to Vietnam.

Twenty Grand Music BMI published their original songs.

Del Notes Top Cat 45 I Been Thinking LatelyDanny O’Brien periodically revived the Del-Notes over the next few decades. Later members included bassist Garland Reese, guitarist Fred Ordonio and drummer Randy Jackson.

Earl Howard was killed in an auto accident on May 16, 1991. Dan O’Brien passed away on December 4, 2003.

The photos seen here Tom Hudgins submitted to the Peninsula Garage yahoo group some years back.

An article in the Daily Press from November 1991 was a good source of information for this post.

I don’t know of any other releases on this Top Cat label, but D’Arcy Sound Studios and Twenty Grande Music publishing show up on many releases on the Sounds International label.

An early photo shows Earl Howard and Ronny Methany jamming with members of the Nite Liters, including Steve Keith on rhythm guitar, Harrell Baker on lead guitar and sax and Donny Falk on bass guitar. The Nite Liters had their own single on Sounds International, “Set Me Free” / “Harlem Shuffle”.

members of the Del Notes jam with another group
Ronny Methany and Earl Howard of the Del Notes jam with Steve Keith, Harrell Baker and Donnie Falk of the Nite Liters.

38 thoughts on “Danny and the Del Notes”

    1. Hi Randy im Gina Howard Earls daughter this website warms my heart , yall made a permanent mark here, folks still talking about the delnotes after all these years. Gone too soon , but he distilled his talent in me and he was my idol , if you ever want to talk , i would love that, Gina Howard

      1. Yep your dad danny and i were all together all the time if you ever need to call me 434 660 2023 i am looking for any of the 45 records. And pitchers i have some but still like to have more

    2. Hey Randy !!!!!!!!!! Harvey Peck here brother….. I hope you’re doing well, I know this post is better than a year old but I hope my reply reaches you still giving em hell

    3. Hey Randy, this is Lil’ Danny. I would love any pictures you have of Dad! And, I’d love to talk to you sometime when you got the time!!!

    4. Hey Randy, it’s Ron Matheny, the only “original” Del-Note” left since Tommy Clark passed a few months ago. If you still monitor this site, give me a call! I don’t think o have seen you in 40 years.

  1. The “other band” with which the Del Notes are jamming is the Nite Liters, with members Steve Keith and Donnie Falk shown in the photo.

    1. Just saw this site for the first time a few weeks ago! Francine and I are still together and live in Williamsburg. Hope all is well with you. Miss those days!
      Ron Matheny

  2. My older sister turned me on to this band in the late 60’s. I lived very close to the south Hampton shopping center and used to go see Danny and the Del Notes at the Cage Club. I remember how good their sound was.. Loved their music… Great memories…

  3. I was a friend of Danny,s in High school. He was a good guy. I got to know the band, and they were all good guys too. They had a great sound. I used
    to play their songs when I was a DJ in the early 70,s. Great memories !

  4. I’m Tracy Doug ward Sr. I played bass with Danny And Delnotes Band in the late 70s have pic if interested

    1. I wish I did. I remember you from Denbigh High School and hanging out with Lisa Wortman Harris. I was married to Danny O’Brien for a few years and actually have very few pictures from that time. I wish you well and hope you still play the sax. Miss Shockley would be proud.

    1. This is randy jackson of danny and the delnotes band drummer call me we can talk 434 660 2023 kenny morris this is your old drummer randy yep we did the dick lamb show take to the sky on a natural high are new hit single

  5. My name is Danny Kelly and for the last year or so ,as a member of the Nite Liters I played trumpet along with George Resto as the band introduced more horns. Anyway,I never had the chance to rock with the Del Notes of Newport News. I missed out on “battle of the bands” at the P A. It sort of makes me feel like I missed the real good times of the Nite Liters and Danny and the DelNotes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *