In 1976, 4 young men sat in the sanctuary of Wesley’s United Methodist Church. These four young men, Randy Stiver, Jeff Stiver, Richard Schoonover and Ric Hacker were all members of the church choir. During choir practices on Wednesday evenings, these four would sit next to each other in the choir tenor section and, well, for lack of a better term, “goof” around infuriating the choir director, Mrs. Jeanine Stiver (who coincidently happened to be the mother of Randy and Jeff). The “goofing” off centered around old songs that these boys would sing under their breaths during practices. They were usually “doo wop” songs with rich 3 or 4 part harmonies. While Mother Stiver was usually a bit peeved, she also began to notice that these guys could do a pretty darn good “doo wop”. Being an industrious mom, choir director, and director of the yearly community show, she saw an opportunity. She began to talk to the boys about putting on a 50′s act at the community show that year. Thus was born the idea for “The Greasers”.
The group began with the very creative name, “Gary Gross and the Greasers” that was later shortened to “The Greasers” because there actually was a Gary Gross in the area. The original group consisted of Randy and Jeff Stiver, Richard Schoonover, Ric Hacker and pianist, Dennis Roberts. The first performances were at the weekend community show in 1976. To put it mildly, the group was a sensation. Over the course of the next few months, the group was asked to perform (for free naturally) at nearly every event in the local area up to and including the bicentennial 4th of July celebration in Germantown.
Since that first set of performances, “The Greasers” have gone from strictly piano accompaniment to keyboard, bass, drums, guitar, and saxophone. The Greasers have performed at the Lebanon Honey Festival, The Gem City Classic Car Show, The Affair at the Square at Courthouse Square in Dayton, numerous high school alumni dances, birthday parties, and a few bars and clubs. In addition, “The Greasers” were the first featured band to perform at the first Germantown Pretzel Festival in 1979 and performed at the festival on an annual basis until 1999.
After their1999 Pretzel Festival performance; because of families, professional obligations, and general life responsibilities, the The Greasers went on a 10 year hiatus and did not perform again until they were asked to appear once again at the 30th anniversary of the Pretzel Festival in 2009. Since that appearance, The Greasers have performed at several public and private functions including the 2010 Pretzel Festival.
Today, The Greasers feature some very talented young musicians blended with the talents of more veteran vocalists and musicians. Not only is the band a combination of youth and experience, it also has strong family ties. Three of the four original vocalists, Randy Stiver, Richard Schoonover, and Ric Hacker remain. The drummer is Don Frame. Playing lead guitar is Brandon Schoonover (Richard’s son). On keyboard is Steven Cross. Playing saxophone is Julie Stiver (Randy’s wife and Ric’s sister). The bass guitar is played by veteran musician, Gerald Emrick In addition, Randy and Julie’s daughter, Ashley Stiver brings a female voice to the vocals.
“The members of our band may have changed over the years, but the enjoyment we get from performing has not. All of our music was originally recorded in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and covers all genres during those years. The songs that you will hear us sing have withstood the test of time and are as popular today as they were decades ago. We pride ourselves by trying to sing the songs the same way that the original artist(s) performed them. We hope that when you hear us perform, a song or lyric might spark a good memory that transcends you back to a time when you were younger and life seemed a bit simpler. OR, perhaps it reminds you of a special person with whom you shared a special moment or period of time. We consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to entertain you and sincerely hope that you enjoy hearing our band perform these songs as much as we enjoy singing and playing them.”
The GreasersUpdated January 17th, 2011