The Crescendos Do-Wop Group With Noel Ball
The Crescendos were a Cumberland High School group that won a talent contest about 1955. As a prize they were given a recording date with a record company. The result was a 1957 release of a tune titled “Oh Julie” which was a large regional hit. Noel Ball pushed the tune hard on his DJ shows and they actually made it to American Bandstand later that year. Like the Casuals they made quite a few appearances at local and regional rock-in-roll shows. On the release of “O Julie” there was a prominent backup part that was filled by a girl named Janice Green. On the strength of that record she crafted a string of personal appearances and some recordings. She was billed as Janice Green; The O Julie Girl.
Nashville’s first Rock n Roll Band 1956
Saxophonist Joe Watkins
Vocalist Buzz Cason
Accordionist and Pianist Chester Powers
Drummer Bill Smith
Vocalist and Pianist Richard Williams
Guitarist Johnny McCreery
By 1959, The Casuals had become the Casual Teens and toured as Brenda Lee’s backup band and recorded for Dot Records. The picture to the left is of the band in 1960. Band members included:
Left to right
Snuffy Smith, Double Neck Bass
Billy Smith, Drummer
Buzz Cason, (Gary Miles) Vocals
Richard Williams, Keyboard & Vocals
Wayne Moss, Guitar
Joe Watkins, Tenor Sax
The pictures below were taken in July 1960.
first got together in September of 1957 playing dances at what was then the Madison Fire Hall. John Sturdivant on baritone sax, John Richards on Tenor sax, Ernie Winfrey on drums, and Donny Green on guitar. We picked up Willo Collins on guitar and Hershel Hopper on electric bass, piano and drums. Hershel was a versatile guy. The five of them played University of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, U.T. and Vanderbilt frats as well as other college and high school frats and sororities throughout the south on a weekly basis for the busiest part of four years.
The Monarchs opened shows for Johnny Cash (before he was country) Brenda Lee and Al Green. Hargis (Pig) Robins played piano on a lot of local gigs but could not travel with them due to the session obligations he had at the time. In between jobs they played sessions for Revis Studios on lower Second Avenue.
Submitted by Donny Green