With the last show, at the Germantown Pretzel Festival, in our rear view mirror, it is time to reflect on the wonderful phenomenon that was THE GREASERS. It started with 4 guys sitting in a pew at choir practice driving the choir director crazy by doing doo wop songs right in the middle of choir practice. Of course, the fact that the director was two of the guys’ mother probably was a sign of what was to come. She just also happened to be the director of the yearly community show that was staged in Germantown to raise money for the local RESCUE SQUAD. Well, that led to the first performance of GARY GROSS and the GREASERS at that show in April of 1976. That weekend performance turned out to be the springboard to the 2014 version of THE GREASERS that you saw on Sunday.
The original band continued to perform fairly regularly first with just piano then bass and piano, then drums then saxophone and so on until 1999 when the band “retired.” Move forward 10 years to 2009 when original member, Randy Stiver, because of a request to reunite and perform at that year’s Pretzel Festival, decided to give it one more try. Somehow, he managed to get Ric Hacker (he was easy) and Richard Schoonover (he was not) on board. Then he contacted, first, his wife, Julie (saxophone and a not so easy yes) then Gerald Emrick (an automatic yes.) Somehow, he got Steven Cross to join on the keyboard and Brandon Schoonover on guitar then finally Don Frame on the drums and with that combination plus the expert coordination of sound man, Jeremy Emrick, he had formed arguably the best version of THE GREASERS ever! That band played many many summer gigs from 2009 until this summer of 2014 when, because of general life occurrences, the band decided to retire or “retire.” (Never say never, right?)
Throughout the years, there has been one constant that has kept the band interested and continually striving to improve…YOU! Without our fan base which ranged really from all over the country, there would have been no Greasers in the first place. So, to all of those GREASERS fans out there…THANK YOU for your love and support. It is much appreciated. AND, believe this. THE GREASERS LOVE YOU RIGHT BACK!!!
So, GOOD BYE…for now.
Posted September 30th, 2014 by ric
THE GREASERS STORY
By Richard Schoonover
It all began in 1976 with their performance at the Germantown Rescue Squad Musical. Billed in the program as “Gary Gross and the Greasers”, four young men, Ric Hacker, Richard Schoonover, Randy Stiver, and Jeff Stiver stepped out onto the stage and wowed the audience by singing a number of “doo wop” songs in a “Sha-Na-Na”-like performance. They were a big hit and the audience loved them. The “Show” is probably where it would have ended but in a “Peppermint Twist” of fate, little did they know they were just “warming up”.
After that initial performance, they were being asked to perform at many local events in and around Germantown. One of the first that year was Germantown’s 4th of July Bicentennial Celebration. As their “fame” and popularity grew, they soon began performing at other events outside the local area. A major one was singing in the middle of Rike’s Department Store in the Dayton Mall. The Greasers, as the name was soon shortened, had their start. And overnight, a 50’s small-town, cover band was created.
The original group consisted of brothers Randy and Jeff Stiver, Ric Hacker, and Richard Schoonover, all on vocals, and Dennis Roberts on piano. Later on, they added George McKinney on drums and Mike Doyle on upright bass.
Fast forward a number of years and lead guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, and saxophone were added. This enhanced the sound and allowed the group to do a much wider range of music.
Throughout their history, The Greasers have performed for many audiences at various venues and events. These included dances, parties, receptions, community events, festivals, and clubs. They were the first featured band to perform at the Germantown Pretzel Festival in 1979 and have performed there many times over the years.
In 1999 the band took a 10-year hiatus. But the love of music brought these old crooners back together in 2009. They added some very talented, younger musicians to blend with the veteran members. This addition further expanded their range of music from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s and created an even richer, fuller soundThree of the four original vocalists, Ric Hacker, Richard Schoonover, and Randy Stiver are still “chasing the music”. For the last several years, Mark Cross has also performed with the band on featured solo numbers. Ashley Stiver has the female leads and also lends her voice to backup vocals. The drummer is the “Dr. of Drumology”, Don Frame. Lead guitarist is the inimitable Brandon Schoonover. Rockin’ the keyboard is Steven Cross. Julie Stiver plays saxophone, tambourine, cowbell, and other musical instruments. Bass guitar is played by veteran musician and long-time rocker, Gerald Emrick. Jeremy Emrick is the very important “behind-the-scenes” Greaser who “works his magic” at every performance as the soundman.
For the Greasers, the “oldies” they perform are about the emotions and feelings they elicit. That’s really what these songs are all about and why they enjoy singing them. They are like a virtual time machine which takes you back to old, yet familiar places and times. The music and lyrics often speak to you in a special, personalized way.
After 30 years of “rocking it”, The Greasers now return to the Pretzel Festival for their “Swan Song” performance. They invite each and every one of you, their fans, friends, supporters, and former band members to join them on Sunday, September 28 at 4PM as they crank out their final “At the Hop”, “Johnny B. Goode” and other golden oldies that will have you “movin’ and a-groovin’ and “a-reelin’ with the feelin’”.
They want to take this opportunity to say it’s been a privilege to entertain you for all these years. They appreciate and thank you for your loyal support and following. As The Greasers take their “final curtain call”, they feel the lyrics from The Four Lads’ classic 50’s song say it best….. .
Though summer turns to winter
And the present disappears.
The songs that we were glad to share
Will echo through the years.
When other nights and other days
May find us gone our separate ways
We will have these moments to remember.
Posted September 24th, 2014 by ric
SNO - This Saturday, June 21st, The Greasers will make the first of their four final appearances at the “Saturday Night Out” event in Germantown. They will perform at the corner of Center and Main Streets beginning at 5 p.m. So bring your lawn chairs and come on up/down/over to Germantown for some good ole rock and roll! Hope to see all of you Greaser fans!
ALSO…We now have a definite date and time for the very last performance by The Greasers. That will take place on Sunday, September 28th at the Germantown Pretzel Festival at 4 p.m. So mark that date and time on your calendars!Posted June 17th, 2014 by ric
Check out our newly-uploaded pictures here!Posted April 10th, 2011 by The Greasers