The Tempests (pt. 6): Ted Bodnar and the Road to Mercury-Smash

E. Mark Windle July 2021. The Tempests were ready to take on the world, no doubt about that. Musicianship, vocal talent and enthusiasm for live performance were all there. What was needed now was a new industry link to point them solidly towards a fresh recording contract. Someone with local knowledge, connections, and production andContinue reading “The Tempests (pt. 6): Ted Bodnar and the Road to Mercury-Smash”

The Tempests (part 5): Hit Attractions

E. Mark Windle 13 June 2021 Whether it was the Branch’s decision or that of other members to extend the horn section in The Tempests is unclear. Personnel in the early days was fluid, though Jim Butt (trumpet) and Rick White (tenor sax) had already been with group for some time, and Jim had takenContinue reading “The Tempests (part 5): Hit Attractions”

The Tempests (part 4): Ready for the Soul Explosion

E. Mark Windle, June 2021. Whilst new bass guitarist Van Coble was an only child whose birth father who was killed in service during World War II, his childhood was otherwise reasonably comfortable. His mother Helen, who was a nurse, eventually remarried. The musical talent came from his Helen Coble and her sister: “My motherContinue reading “The Tempests (part 4): Ready for the Soul Explosion”

The Tempests (part 2): Love Have Mercy! Atlantic Records.

E. Mark Windle. 16 May 2021 You could say music was in the family genes. But it was country, not R&B, that first inspired the Branch children to pick up an instrument. John Roger Branch’s grandmother was a not-too-distant relative of the famous Carter family, and a pretty competent guitar player at that. When notContinue reading “The Tempests (part 2): Love Have Mercy! Atlantic Records.”

The Carolinas: Of Piedmont Blues, Beach Music and Teenage Radio

E. Mark Windle 29 November 2020 Of course, history books are full of how African American racial and cultural identity was suppressed in the southern states of the US. Even North Carolina, often perceived as one of the more ‘progressive’ states of the South, was not entirely exempt from a reputation of hostility toward blackContinue reading “The Carolinas: Of Piedmont Blues, Beach Music and Teenage Radio”