Tulare Advance-Register from Tulare, California on February 13, 1987 · 6
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Tulare Advance-Register from Tulare, California · 6

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Tulare, California
Issue Date:
Friday, February 13, 1987
Page:
6
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on entertainment!; ADVANCE-REGISTER, Friday, February 13, 1987 Accent capsule mM-ff Tt V H) vf -A) ft," I hii' ' 4te - - . ' )r V 1 " -v w . f -' f - fV , T"- "s vx 'r. ip i A-R photo The Charades then and now The nucleus of The Charades, Syl Grigsby, above left, and Ray Baradat, has survived 30 years of making music. Left photo is the band in 1962. Surrounding Baradat are, from left, Lavern Butler, Johnny (Buddy) Johnson, Alex Pilkinton and Grigsby. - V-rt j u 30 years of The Charades Music by Ray Baradat, Syl Grigsby and friends endures By Lori Mayfield Advance-Register Their hair has grayed and their faces have given way to a few wrinkles, but most longtime Tulare County residents would know them anywhere once the music started. They are The Charades, a group of musicians who have entertained San Joaquin Valley residents for 30 years. The group began in Tulare with a group of four Tulare Union High School graduates, and two of those original members, Ray Baradat and Syl Grigsby, are the nucleus of the group today. The group is made up of The Charades, a vocal trio made up of Grigsby, Baradat and Sally Watson, and the Charades Band, a six-member team of musicians who also do a little singing. When the group was formed in March 1957, the group of high school students, which began under the name Latin Knights, relied solely on voices. We sang with a piano player sometimes, Baradat said. We did a lot of high school dances. They would have a band play and then we would sing during their break. Grigsby continued, We did a lot of doo-wopping. Our voices were basically our instruments. Baradat added, What really prompted us to get a band was all the money we were missing out on. So a backup band, then called the Latin Knights, was formed and on its way. When the recording bug hit the group, the name was changed to The Charades because members thought the previous name would limit their audience, Baradat said. In 1962, the band signed with independent record producer Anthony Hilder, who was responsible for early hits by the Shields, Jessie Belvin and the Beach Boys. Hilder, at the time, had his hand in about 60 percent of the surfer music. In the years that followed, the band cut three albums and released several singles, and it toured as the opening band for such artists as Little Willie John, Connie Francis, Chuck Berry, The Coasters and Johnny Guitar Watson. Baradat was drafted into the Army in 1964, and the band returned to Tulare County and played local gigs until his return. When I was drafted in 1964, the Beatles were really hot and pretty much put an end to our kind of music, Baradat said. When I came back, we pulled it back together and began playing nightclubs. Several years later, in 1974, Baradat went to Los Angeles in search of the master tapes for some songs the band had cut more than 10 years before and ran into the bands former producer, Hilder. After reminiscing, Hilder offered the band a chance to do the musical score for a movie, Black Lolita. The Charades recorded the title song and the love theme for the class B movie. While working on the soundtrack for the film, Baradat met A1 Stewart, a producer and engineer with Motown records. The two formed a partnership and founded a production company, a record company and two music publishing companies. The Motown connection led to some memorable moments for the band. We were working in the studio and Stevie Wonder walked in one night, sat down at the keyboard and started playing one of our songs. That was very exciting for us, Baradat said. We also did some tracking on a Marvin Gaye hit, Got to Give It Up. Said Grigsby, Watching Marvin Gaye do a recording session, that was the most enjoyable thing that has happened. It was exciting to watch someone that good. The group has had several opportunities to make it big but has chosen not to do so. Perhaps that is one reason the band still is around. We went professional a few times on a short-time basis. We saw all the things wrong with it. Its a hard life, Baradat said. We never thought wed last this long, although we dont really think about quitting. When we have weeks off, were bored to death. One weekend is fine, but two in a row drives us crazy. Its a real good escape, like any hobby; it just happens to make us some money, too. Grigsby said, Its been a lot of fun for me. I havent really had a boring moment in my life. Ive met a lot of people and I enjoy people. Its been really great. I've had a lot of experience with recording and have met a lot of different artists. I get a lot of encouragement from people, and that keeps me going. I guess one reason weve lasted 30 years is weve gotten a lot of encouragement from people. Some of the groups former members have gone on to be professionals. Tommy Johnson, who played guitar with the band, went on to be a member of the Doobie Brothers. Former Hanford resident Steve Perry, who filled in on guitar for the band several times, is now a member of the rock band Journey. Today the band plays weddings, reunions and other private functions and performs music ranging from Willie Nelson to Michael Jackson and, of course, the oldies. The group is cutting an album of oldies in celebration of the 30th anniversary. Baradat said the album was being done mostly for their egos and he doesnt expect it to become a top-seller. Baradat and Grigsby have seen many changes in the music industry in those 30 years some good and some bad. Todays music, whats happening in the 80s, is all electronics. Some of that is good but it has put a lot of musicians out of work. Were losing the natural sound of instruments and singers. In the old days, when someone sang you knew who it was. Grigsby added, A lot of the music theyre playing now I dont care for, like rapping and really, really hard rock stuff. I love ballads. Thats my favorite. I guess A-R photo The group, 1987-style The Charades of 1987 are Grigsby, Sally Watson and Baradat, backed up by the Charades Band. Charades sidemen over the years have included ex-Doobie Brothers member Tommy Johnson, a former Visalia resident, and Steve Perry, who grew up in Kings County and is now making music with Journey. I'm the sentimental type. Baradat continued, Musicians arent really playing what we call rock and roll. Were from the old school. I love the rhythm and blues music from the 60s. One thing is there have been some good changes in the recording industry. Sounds are much clearer. One thing that is clear is that the friendship between Grigsby and Baradat is a key factor in the bands longevity. Syl and I just enjoyed music so much that we never stopped, Baradat said. Weve been able to keep good musicians to back us up. Its interesting that the group has survived this long. Grigsby said, Were good friends and have been ever since we were 15 years old. I guess we just couldnt get along without each other. We both love the same type of music and have the same things in common. Visalia mall plans variety of activities A toothbrush swap, a canine demonstration and performances by Miss California and the new Miss Tulare County are part of the weekend activities scheduled at the Visalia Fair Mall. Members of the Tulare-Kings County Dental Association will be on hand all day Saturday handing out toothbrushes to shoppers who want to trade in their old ones. Visalia police officers and Tulare County sheriffs deputies also will be at the mall Saturday demonstrating how they work with their dogs. IJsa Karen Kahre, Miss California, will visit Sunday, presenting musical performances at 1 and 3 p.m. The new Miss Tulare County, who will be named Saturday night, will Join her. Miss Tulare County crowned Saturday One of nine contestants will be crowned Miss Tulare County Saturday evening and will represent the county in the Miss California Pageant. The pageant will feature the talents of Kim Parker, Miss Tulare County 1986, and the ten top finalist in the Miss California pageant last year. Special guests include Lisa Kahre, Miss California, and Roger Love, an entertainer and vocal coach. The show will feature such local entertainers as organist FooGee Mock, vocalist Ila Eager, Harry Buyuklian and the COS Jazz Band, and Linda Robello and the COS Dance Ensemble. The pageant begins at 7:30 p.m. in the L.J. Williams Theater in Visalia. Tickets are $8 and $10 and may be purchased by calling 733-2758. Singles association plans valentine dance The Central Valley Singles Association is planning a valentine dance tonight at the PPAV Hall in Visalia. The music will be provided by Jerry Cardoza and the dance will begin at 9 oclock. Tickets are $3 for members and $5 for non-members. For information call 734-7128. Air Force band to perform In Visalia The Commanders, the Air Force stage band, will perform a concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, in the L.J. Williams Theater. The Jazz band will play sounds from the big band era to contemporary jazz. It is a 18-piece ensemble and is based in Colorado Springs, Colo. The group travels throughout North America and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs. Complimentary tickets are available at the Visalia Leisure and Community Services and KVIS Radio. For information call 738-3365. Tulare soroptimists to prepare dinner The Soroptimist International of Tulare will prepare its annual dinner Sunday, Feb. 22. The dinner of beef and ham followed by homemade desserts will be served from noon to 6 p.m. in the Tulare Veterans Memorial Building. Tickets will be $6 for adults and $5 for children and may be purchased at the door. For advance tickets call 686-1768. St. Aloysius Parents Club sets Mardi Gras The St. Aloysius Parents Club is planning a Mardi Gras dinner-dance for Saturday, Feb. 28. The evening will begin with hors doeuvers from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and dinner from 8 to 9 p.m. The Tulare Union High School jazz band will provide music before and during dinner. Following the dinner, guests can dance to the music of Music Machine until 1 a.m. Costumes are optional for the event. Tickets are $15 per person and can be reserved by calling 688-6753 or 688-7680. . Skippers is celebrating its tenth anniversary in California and youre invited to join in the fun. Clip the coupon below for our tastiest deal ever. Its the Fish All-You-Can-Eat with unlimited refills of fish, fries, chowder and coleslaw. All for only $2.99. Its our way of saying thanks for your patronage. Clip this coupon for tasty savings during Skippers 10th Anniversary celebration. Offer good thru 22287. 1250 N. CHERRY ST., TULARE Otter not valid with am 99 nlht-r coupon or di-ount dpp8r$n

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