Monday, November 26, 2012

Krystal Blue

The Houston area Solar label released a handful of interesting 60's and early 70's rock singles, including a nice double sided early hard rock 45 from Wharton, TX band The Krystal Blue. I got to speak with bassist Carl Thrasher a few times and he emailed me the story on the band copied below. Although Carl actually grew up in San Marcos (and remembers seeing area garage bands The Mad Mods and The Driving Wheels) he would commute the 2 1/2 hour drive to Wharton for practice every week.

"From left to right at the top is Ronnie Luco on Drums, Tootie Brown on lead guitar, Carl Thrasher on Bass, Terry Tony on rhythm guitar, Mike Gray on lead vocals, rhythm and acoustic guitar, and Glenn Seay (pictured in front) on piano and Hammond organ. Terry also frequently sang lead vocals. Carl, Terry, Mike, and Glenn sang backup vocals." 

"The band began playing for high school and college students at proms and fraternity parties in 1969 in places near Houston and Austin-San Marcos.  The band joined the Barons Agency in the summer of 1970 and began playing the dance hall circuit in an area bounded by Houston,  Austin, and College Station, which included dance halls in small towns like La Grange, Smithville, Swiss Alp, Schulenburg, Columbus, Deanville, College Station, Summerville, Sealy, Bellville, Brehnam, Giddings, Hillje, Lousie, East Bernard and other nearby venues.  Some of these dance halls had spawned earlier talent in the 60s, including B.J. Thomas and Roy Head.  The band usually performed every Friday and Saturday at one of these dance halls throughout the year, and sometimes on Sundays.  Crowds would vary from 300 to 1,200.  We were disappointed if we did not attract at least 600 people.  The band also performed in Galveston and as far away as Louisiana.

Usually once a year, the Barons Agency would sponsor a “Battle of the Bands” at one of these venues.  All of the bands (usually six to eight bands) in the Agency would perform.  These usually drew crowds of 1,500 or more people.

"Did You See Her Eyes"

 "All Right With Me"
The band recorded two 45s in 1971-1972 and sold them at performances for $1 each.   Posters advertising upcoming performances could be found in convenience stores, and fast food places in all nearby towns at least a week ahead of time.  The band did well enough to purchase its own van and m matching trailer with the band name on it, which was a source of pride for a group of college students like us playing music on the weekends.

We practiced at least once a week (usually Wednesday) in a recording studio in Rosenberg owned by the Agency.  The acoustics were exceptional in the studio, which kept the sound from bothering anyone outside.

We did mostly top 40 music and worked hard to learn and play the most current popular tunes of the day from artists like Van Morrison, Lee Michaels, Neil Diamond, Grand Funk Railroad, James Taylor, Loggins and Messina, Deep Purple, Three Dog Night, ZZ Top, Bread, Chicago, and the Hollies,  to name a few.

I left the band in July 1973 and have no historical information for the time after I left.  However, I believe the band continued for at least another three years after that, in some form or fashion."

Thanks Carl for taking the time to type out the bands story, it makes my job a lot easier! Ill be adding the second 45 and hopefully a few more pics to this entry as I acquire the source materials... 

1 comment:

  1. Great info. Never heard "All Right." Really good early '70s single in the late '60s spirit.