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Best of Alton Bros.

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2002 7:57 pm
by DDD

Has Danny or anyone ever sat down and given an outline of history of the Alton Brothers band?

I'm sitting here right this second listening to and watching the Best of the Blues Brothers DVD, and it's all washing over me again.

That really was one of the best things that ever happened in the ol' Rec Hall. (And elsewhere! You guys played a gig in 'Boro, yes?]



Re: Best of Alton Bros.

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2002 1:52 pm
by KenWarshaw
As a 7 year member of the Alton Brothers Band, I have often thought (fantasized) about "getting the band back together." It would be a pretty easy project if we just got together to play a couple of tunes at the next Alton reuinion. However, my feeble mind has forgotten who most of the people are who were in the band. Of course, I remember the guys who were in it long term, but I can't seem to remember almost any of the people who came and went (and if you've ever came and went you know how tough that can be). A catalogue of people and songs is a great idea. Maybe it would plant the reunion seed in our collective minds and bring the band together one last time for some Rec Hall madness.

Re: Best of Alton Bros.

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2002 2:02 pm
by DDD
Off the top of my head, I easily recall -

Tommy G
Jake G.
Danny R.

Also recalling Kenny, Jon Kaufman.

There was only one Jake but various Elwoods, if you will.

On keyboard, usually Joe DeSisto (a lot more hair than Paul Shaeffer...;-) ) But also Tom Kitt?

Songs? Mostly the BB tunes from the album. Check the photos etc. on this site to refresh your memory.

BB Theme (opener)
She Caught the Katy
Soul Man

I'm sure we can think of others in our collective wisdom.


Re: Best of Alton Bros.

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2002 2:26 pm
by KenWarshaw
Okay, if you want specifics, here's what I can come up with...but there's a lot missing.

Band Members

Dan Rabinvitz
Tommy G.
Jake G.
Ken Warshaw
Joe DeSisto
Little Shooey (I forgot his real name)
Tom Kitt
Jimmy Lewin
Gus DeMayo (spelling???)
Jon Kaufman
Andy Kimball


BB Intro (Theme)
She Caught the Katy
Hey Bartender
Jailhouse Rock
Sweet Soul Music
Who's Makin Love
I Got You (I Feel Good)
Messin with the Kid
Everybody Needs Somebody
Shake Your Tailfeather (Is that the name of the song???)
Soul Man
Flip, Flop, and Fly

There have to be a lot more songs but as I said, my memory is not helping. Also, because I didn't join the band until 1982 (my first year at camp) and the band was already in existence when I got there, I KNOW I am missing some key members including some of the founders. Maybe my former Alton Brother Jake Alton (aka Grandson of Fatschtick) will show his presence on the message board and help us all out. I'm sure he can fill in the blanks.

Re: Best of Alton Bros.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2002 8:40 am
by Bucky
I still have the cassette Ken recorded on the boom box over the fireplace. I think it is from 1988.

The back lists . . .
Dan Rabinovitz: Vocals and Trumpet
Sam Miller: Vocals
Ken Warshaw: Saxophone
Danny Lewin: Trumpet
Tommy Guralnick: Saxophone
Robert Benjamin: Trumpet
Evan Hirsch Saxophone
TK Kitt: Paino
Jake Guralnick: Guitar
Scott Meyer: Bass
Doug Dickerman: Guitar
Jimmy Lewis: Drums

It has the following songs:
Sweet Soul Music
Hey Bartender
I Feel Good
Stand By Me
Soul Finger
Messin with the Kid
Walkin the Dog
Riot in Cellblock
Jailhouse Rock
Twistin the Night Away
Sittin on the Dock of the Bay
Flip Flop Fly
Shake Your Tailfeather
She Caught the Katy
Land of 1000 Dances
Last Night
Papas Got a Brand New Bag
Blueberry Hill
Soul Man
Shake a Hand
Sign Off

I really should try to convert it to CD one of these days. On a personal note, I haven't touched a trumpet in about 8 years and the musical world has sent its thanks. I saw TK a year or so ago playing with his band. They are REALLY good and can be found at <A HREF="" TARGET="_blank"></A>

Robert "Bucky" Benjamin

Re: Best of Alton Bros.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:54 am
by Uncle Neil
Didn't the original Alton Brothers have a harp player? I know that Rob Stone played great harp in the later years, but I think I remember someone playing harp in the early years as well...probably mistaken...old age and all....

Re: Best of Alton Bros.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2002 2:01 pm
by KenWarshaw
Sorry about that Neil, as I said before my feeble mind fails me every now and then. I did forget about the wailing harpist who graced the Rec Hall stage on numerous occasions. And not to blow smoke or anything, but if you haven't ever heard Uncle Neil play the harp, you haven't truly experienced Music Night at Alton. The old guy can really rock!

Some More Bread For My Brother

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:03 pm
by Jake Alton
In addition to the members listed on Robert's tape, here's my memory of the group's members:
Various Elwoods: Eric Maran; Bobby Bortnick (sang 2 notes, danced on one song-yet made the poster)John Kaufman; and Edward "Little Shooie" Feldman
Gus Devaron.....metal clarinet ( a truly awful instrument)
David Grayzel.......trumpet
Dan Gold....Drums and and still searching for a real girlfriend with a real ass)
Jake Guralnick.....Saxaphone
Matt Berlin ...Bass
Brian (somebody).....Trumpet
Micheau (somebody from France)on saxaphone

Re: Some More Bread For My Brother

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2002 11:31 am
by DDD

Can you say more about the early days of putting it all together?

It started with the BB movie, aye?


Re: Some More Bread For My Brother

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2002 3:45 pm
by KenWarshaw
Just for the record, being part of the Alton Brothers for all those years, and having the honor of closing music night every week was one of the highlights of my Alton experience. It is one that I will always remember, and from time to time I think about those nights and I can't help but smile.

Thanks Dan, for taking a relatively shy 12 year old in Bunk K and showing me a little taste of the spotlight (and a little taste of those Bailey's milkshakes afterward too).

Blues Brothers/Alton Brothers

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2002 9:34 pm
by Tracy Klestadt
My last year at Alton was 1977, so I never had the pleasure of seeing or being part of the Alton Brothers. However, 2 weeks ago in Chicago I was privileged to go to a party where none other than Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, a/k/a the Blues Brothers, performed at the House of Blues. The performance was no less than awesome. But the best part about it was you could tell that they were having a blast up there performing. I can only imagine the fun everyone at camp had during the Alton Brothers act. If anyone can find a tape to post online, I and I am sure many others would love to hear it!

Re: Blues Brothers/Alton Brothers

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2002 12:48 pm
by Bucky
I have a tape from '88, but don't have the capabilities to convert a cassette to a cd. If anyone would want to undertake this project you are more than welcome to borrow the tape. The quality isn't the best, but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be when I first found it.

Is "Jonzo Really Gonzo"

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:40 pm
by James Nussbaum
Is "Jonzo, still Gonzo??"...a coined phrase from the firm of
Dusty and Greenfeld...refering to the morning after effect
Jonzo would have after producing the Music Night the evening
before. He was exhausted...

Probably the best music director we had was the legendary
Jon Smith who worked his tail off each week to install a
professional music night for everyone to enjoy...I can't help
but saying it, those nights from 1977 and 1978... rocked!!!...
Apparently, Mark Unger has, as well, the recordings from these
nights including our very own "Chicago Night" where we played
the entire best of album. What a night along with 50's night
and more...Having been the semi resident drummer at the time, we started a wave of hi quality music nights within our camp...
Power to the horn sections and guitarists, bass and keyboard we
were able to drum up....Hope some of you remember and truly
wish Mark Unger could get us the tapes from that faithfull night...
Stay well everyone..."Throw another log onto the fire"

Jim Nussbaum
Galileo Productions, LLC