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Dr. Joseph A. Baldassarre
Life In the Bands
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My current band affiliation is with the Fabulous Chancellors
 
The Fabulous Chancellors, 2002-
back row:
Jamie Jensen; 2nd tenor, sax, keyboards, violin, percussion
Ross Miller; baritone, guitar, bass
Stephen Baldassarre; baritone, drums
front row:
Jon McKay; 1st tenor (primary vocalist), guitar, percussion
Dr. Joe; 1st tenor, lead guitar, flute, harmonica, keyboards
Blair Crook; 2nd tenor, bass, trumpet

2003fabchan.jpg

The Chancellors Current Set List
Original Chancellors Tunes
From the early 60's:     Diamond in the Sky            Hey Girl
From the 1990 Fraternity label album:   I'm Cool        (Me and My Baby Like) Old Songs
On the upcoming CD:    Lovin' That Girl        Beacons           Searching          Stay a Little Longer
 
Doo-Wop & 50's
At the Hop              The Lion Sleeps Tonight         Little Darlin'
Pretty Woman         Rock and Roll Music              Ruby
Runaround Sue        The Wanderer                        Youngblood
Cryin'                      For Your Love                        Sea of Love 
Unchained Melody      This Magic Moment      
 
British Invasion
All My Lovin'            Brown-Eyed Girl                Day Tripper           
I Feel Fine          I Saw Her Standing There        Jumpin' Jack Flash
Satisfaction                    This Boy                      Nowhere Man      
We Gotta Get Out of This Place                The House of the Rising Sun    
I Love You So Much         A Whiter Shade of Pale       Slow Down     
Give Me Some Lovin'         I Should Have Known Better
 
Soul and Motown
Hold on I'm Comin'       I Feel Good           Land of a Thousand Dances
The Letter                       Mustang Sally         Shotgun        Soul Man
Time Won't Let Me        Then You Can tell Me Goodbye
 
Surfin'
California Sun          Do You Want to Dance         Fun, Fun, Fun
Runaway                    Surfin' USA         
 
Party Tunes
Louie, Louie          Gloria                 Money          Mony, Mony
My Girl Sloopy      Nobody but Me                       Wooly Bully
Born to Be Wild    Love Me Two Times               Proud Mary/Lodi
 
70's and more recent
Dance With Me Tonight        Rock This Town      Betty Lou
That Thing You Do         Travellin' Band            Who'll Stop the Rain
All My Only Dreams   Comfortably Numb   Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Fire on the Mountain         Tupelo Honey          Old Time Rock and Roll
 
Instrumentals
Jeff's Boogie      Pipeline      Theme from "Simon & Simon"              Wipeout
Tequila             Walk Don't Run                   Sleep Walk                    McCoy

     The Fabulous Chancellors had a few mild hits in the Northwest USA in the early '60's.  Their run came to an end in 1967, but the band reorganized under Ross Miller in 1989.  I was part of this rebirth playing lead guitar, keyboards, flute, sax and harmonica, and singing about a third of the leads.
    I left the band in 1991 to play in two power trios, Dr. Joe & Clockwork and The Shadows, successively.  In 2001, however, I rejoined The Fabulous Chancellors, and a year later, my son, Stephen, rounded out the sextet as their drummer.

THE FABULOUS CHANCELLORS, 1990
Dr. Joe; Lou Mathews, bass; Grant Green, drums; Ross Miller, guitar

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    In 1990, The Fabulous Chancellors, as a quartet, recorded its first album.  The self-title work yielded two singles:  "(Me and My Baby Like) Old Songs" and the tongue-in-cheek "I'm Cool", both composed by Ross and released on the Fraternity label.

To see The Fabulous Chancellors' official web page, please click here.

     Most of my work in bands has been in a trio.  I formed my first in 1968 when The Off-Set couldn't find a replacement bass player.  From 1976 to 1989, I headed up Chapter 3 in Boise.  We went through several bass players and drummers, but one of the better ones is pictured here.
Chapter 3, about 1982
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Allen Taylor, drums; me; Quinn vanPaepeghem, bass and guitar

     Between stints with The Fabulous Chancellors, I did the trio thing again from 1991 to 2001 with two different incarnations:  Dr. Joe and Clockwork and The Shadows.

The Shadows, about 1996
shadows.jpg
Lou Mathews, bass; Dave owens, drums; and me

     The Off-Set played some of the big clubs in the Northeast Ohio area.  We warmed up for dozens of recording artists and backup several others.  In 1967 we were crowned #1 band in Cleveland and were scheduled to perform on the Hullaballoo TV show.  Unfortunately, the show was canceled and the band disintegrated with the loss of two successive bass players:  Dave Grale (who went to college) and Doug Barrack (who was killed in a motocycle accident).
     We tried to find a replacement but wound up trying the trio thing with Tim Cernan (lead vocals/organ/bass) and Marty Pietrasz (drums/vocals).  We went on for a while but eventually split up.  Tim and I later played together again, but that ended when I left Cleveland in 1975.  Unfortunately, no known photos survive of The Off-Set.
     The last really good rock band with which I played in Cleveland was a symphonic rock band called Dante.  We did stuff like Moody Blues, King Crimson, The Association, The Cryan Shames and a host of others.  Anyway, we had six terrific voices and a very flexible array of instruments.  We practiced 4 hours a day, 3 days a week.  Unfortunately, nobody wanted to hear it - we played 12 gigs in 18 months.  What a waste!

     My first band, The Citations started up in 1962.  We started off playing mostly polkas, a lucrative thing in Cleveland, but by the time I left in 1975, we were playing all kinds of music.  I think that one of the most impressive things about this band is that I only had to replace each position once in 13 years.  Below is us at our first gig, a wedding at the Italian-American Hall in February, 1962.

The Citations
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Chuck Vleck, me, Jim Baran, Ted Cioban

A THOUGHT:   Don't take life too seriously, you'll never get out of it alive.