Got a real-good 5-piece 50s-60s-70s Rock n Roll cover band for you guys…BANDANA which predominantly works clubs/bars/restaurants/festivals in the Venice/Englewood/North Port area.
BANDANA has been around since 1990 and is fronted by lead singer Butch Gerace. Just so you know, in recent years -Jeff Eats has seen BANDANA something like 4-times and no question in my mind-that Butch Gerace is right up there with the best “rock” leads down here in Florida. I have taken the liberty and re-printed Gerace’s bio from the band’s website www.bandanaband.com. I’m telling you, Gerace- can sing! No slight intended, the other 4 guys in the band are also dynamite, but Gerace is the show.
By the way, the group’s website also has pictures/videos/members bios/schedule.
Trust Jeff Eats on this one, if you want to see and party with one of Florida’s best 50s-60s-70s cover bands–then you gotta catch BANDANA in action.
Tony “Butch” Gerace
Formerly of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs Tony “Butch” Gerace is the leader, and founding member of BANDANA. His credits include radio, television, and recording, as only a part of this, dynamic performers past. Butch started performing to live audiences at age 5 in his hometown, of Haverstraw, New York. He attended vocal training classes at Startime Studios while making weekly appearances on the Horn & Hardart’s Children’s Hour, a television show out of New York City, where he sang, danced, and acted out skits with other young entertainers on live T.V.
This T.V. show opened doors for Butch at age 12, to record with the Mitch Miller’s Sandpiper Boys chorus, which released Boy Scout recordings in the mid 1950’s.
Early in 1960 he joined forces with a very popular dance band as featured vocalist. The band was Steve Frank’s Blue Devils. Although Butch was only 15 years old, he sang popular standards from Moon River to Sweet Georgia Brown at weddings, corporate functions, and various parties all around Rockland County, N.Y., and neighboring North Jersey. Appearances with this band, gained Butch a great deal of notoriety, and publicity. He was being billed as Mr. Melody. After two years of performing as Steve Franks’ featured vocalist, Butch decided he wanted to start his own band. He got together with a few schoolmates, and formed his very first rock and roll band, playing school dances, teenage night clubs, and benefits with giant names, Helen Hayes, Don Cornell, and Gene Krupa just to name a few.
Tony Gerace & The Timelighters, from Haverstraw, N.Y., won first place prize, in the Battle of the Bands Contest, at the Broadway Theatre, in Haverstraw, beating out bands from Rockland, Bergen, Westchester, and The Bronx. First place winners won a gig at the very popular hot spot, The Peppermint Lounge in New York City. This was the beginning of his life long professional career. In 1963 Butch recorded a single pop ballad for Fleetwood Records in New York, which received local airplay. During his latter teenage years, Butch formed a band called Tony Gee & the Gypsy’s. This band performed in the world famous Metropole Café in Times Square, New York City for 18 months, and also other hot night spots, like The Peppermint Lounge, and Trudy Heller’s in Greenwich Village, prior to being discovered by Leonard Stogal & Associates, business manager of Sam the Sham.
Tony Gee & the Gypsy’s were transformed into The Pharaohs, and went on to record “Lil Red Riding Hood” for MGM records in 1966, which soared to the number 1 record in the world for most of the summer of 1966. Other hits include “Wooly Bully”, “Red Hot”, “Oh that’s good”, “How do you catch a girl”, all from Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. During the years from late 1965 through 1969, Butch was bass player, and vocalist for this mega hit M.G.M. recording group. Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs, was listed as one of the top 13 groups on the planet, at that time. Butch, has shared the stage
In 1969, Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs broke up, after a few months at home Butch formed a Las Vegas type show band called LEMON TREE. This band performed in upscale show lounges across the country including Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, and many more. Lemon Tree was a high energy all male show band that was booked by Norby Walters & Assoc., one of the top booking agencies, in New York City. The band, was favorably written up, by Peter Benchley. At that time, he was working with Paramount Pictures.
In 1977 Norby Walters and record producer, Meco Manardo transformed Lemon Tree into The Meco Cantina Band of STAR WARS fame. The #1 record, “Theme from STAR WARS” disco version took Butch on his 2nd world tour with a giant hit, playing Europe, Asia, South America, and cities all over the United States, and Canada.
During the world tour of the Meco Cantina Band, Butch’s young cousin, Jeff Frasco, was their Special Effects Technician. Today, Jeff Frasco is with Creative Artist Agency, one of the most successful booking agencies in Hollywood, CA.
Butch settled down in Venice, Florida in 1978 after traveling for 13 years on tour. He met and married Shannon Davidson his present day wife of 29 years. After all 4 children were raised, he decided to form a local band, “BANDANA”. When asked where the name “BANDANA” comes from, Butch always replies, “I got that name off the top of my head!”
In the Beginning…
Butch Gerace started his career performing in front of live audiences at age 5 in his hometown of Haverstraw, New York, where he attended vocal training classes at Startime Studios while making weekly appearances on the Horn & Hardart’s Children’s Hour, a New York City television show. There he sang, danced and acted in skits with other young entertainers on live TV and doors started to open.
At age 12, Butch joined Mitch Miller’s Sandpiper Boys chorus, which released Boy Scout recordings in the mid 1950’s. In the early 60’s, he recorded a single pop ballad for Fleetwood Records in New York, which received local airplay. During his latter teenage years, Butch formed a band called Tony Gee & the Gypsys. Performing at the world famous Metropole Café in Times Square, New York City for 18 months, along with other hot night spots like The Peppermint Lounge and Trudy Heller’s in Greenwich Village, this band was discovered by Leonard Stogal & Associates, business manager of Sam the Sham, and was transformed into The Pharaohs. They went on to record “Li’l Red Riding Hood” for MGM records in 1966, a recording that soared to #1 in the world for most of the summer of 1966. Other hits included “Wooly Bully,” “Red Hot,” “Oh That’s Good” and “How Do You Catch a Girl” — all from Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.
In 1969, Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs broke up. After a few months at home, Butch formed a Las Vegas type show band called Lemon Tree. This band performed in upscale show lounges in major cities all across the country including Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans and others. In 1977, Lemon Tree was transformed into The Meco Cantina Band of Star Wars fame. Their #1 record, “Theme from Star Wars” disco version took Butch on his 2nd world tour with this giant hit playing Europe, Asia, South America and cities all over the United States and Canada.
Now Butch Gerace brings his incredible talent, all those years of experience and an amazing level of energy and vitality to every BANDANA performance. Don’t miss your chance to see Butch and his talented band mates perform!