On today’s “ThrowBack Thursday” blog we conclude our look-back at some of the area’s most talented bands with fond memories of Franklin, Ohio’s sibling sensations, Gary and the Hornets.
We found them in the book, “The Cincinnati Sound,” author Randy McNutt’s homage to local musicians from the 1940s to the 1970s. Check it out at MidPointe Library and enjoy the musical memories on each page as much as we did!
They bantered with the King of Late Night TV, Johnny Carson, on “The Tonight Show.” *
They entertained fun-loving crowds on TV’s “Where The Action Is.” *
They were guests of Mike Douglas, another legendary TV talk show host. *
“They” were none other than Franklin, Ohio’s own “Gary and the Hornets,” three brothers upon whom the gods of music bestowed an abundance of talent...and then smiled approvingly.
If you were a kid in the ‘60s, you probably remember the Calvert Brothers’ big hits -- “Hi, Hi Hazel” and “A Kind of Hush” (often referred to as “There’s a Kind of Hush”), among others.
In the “The Cincinnati Sound,” author Randy McNutt bestowed the coveted title of “the original boy band” upon Gary “the leader, singer and guitarist” (age 12)...bassist Greg (age 14) and Steve, the seven-year-old drummer.” He recalled that the boys “often performed in Cincinnati” and that the popular Cincinnati radio station WSAI “played their local rock hits…” **
With news of the siblings’ talent spreading around the country at that time, it was no surprise that the Associated Press dispatched a reporter to interview them.
The result was an AP story, complete with photos, that appeared in the April 2, 1967, Middletown Journal. The headline read : “Gary and the Hornets: ‘Fab,’ ‘Cool,’ ‘Neat.’”
The reporter described the trio as “just three little guys who are making a big name for themselves as Gary and the Hornets, a rock ‘n’ roll band ...They’ve got the entire town swinging to their music. Lately their success has spread from college appearances to nationwide television and hit records…”
The boys’ classmates “call them ‘fab,’ ‘cool,’ ‘neat,’ ‘gear,’ ‘tuff’ and ‘mod,’” the reporter continued, “but the boys themselves are taking their success in stride.”
He added : “They wowed the PTA and other school groups. One night while playing in nearby Dayton, where their father is a newspaper printer, a man from Detroit heard them and asked to be their manager...”