GLADEVILLE – It was a different era. The British Invasion had started, led by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Elvis had finished his stint as a soldier, and the music was getting better and better.
Johnny Rivers, of Baton Rouge, La., went all the way to No. 2 with his cover of Chuck Berry's song "Memphis Tennessee." Folk classic, "The House of the Rising Sun," was covered by Newcastle, U.K. blues band The Animals and hit No. 1 in the U.S. and U.K. Texan Roy Orbison topped the charts for the final time in the U.S. and U.K. with the single, "Pretty Woman."
The Victors Combo formed in a small Tennessee garage playing the music of 1965.
It started in 1964 when Wendell Harris bought an old Fender Stratocaster and began learning to play. His little brother, Randy, would rush home from school, pull the "Strat" from under his brother's bed and play along with The Ventures, Johnny Rivers and the Beatles. Hurrying to place the guitar back exactly as he found it before his brother came home, Randy would start to practice on an old drum set. The brothers started playing with another family member and guitarist, Eddie Foster, and with that the Victors slowly came into existence. Later, Wendell switched to bass guitar, and the trio added the final link in the Victors, drummer Tommy Knowles.
The Victors became one of the many popular garage bands around the mid-state in the mid-‘60s, becoming the "house band" for Mt. Juliet's Teen Town. They played throughout the mid-state, and became one of the busiest bands in the area. In 1966, The Victors added keyboardist/bass guitarist James Swain and drummer Raymond Unland. The Victors continued to play into the ’70s, when outside obligations began to draw the band apart. Randy and Raymond continued to play with several different bands, but the magic that was the Victors was lost.
In 2013, a group of musicians again came together under the name of the Victors. Randy, the only original Victor still performing, joined Tommy Oakley (guitar), Rodney Thomas (drums) and Auston Adcock (bass) for an appreciation gig in Mt. Juliet, and the spark was apparent. They added keyboardist Steve Johnson, and became the latest reincarnation of the Victors.
The Victors will be in concert Saturday from 6-9 p.m. at the Gladeville Community Center for a post-Valentine’s Day show of ’60s and ’70s rock and roll. Admission is $6 per person, and concessions will be available. The center is at 95 McCrary Road in the heart of Gladeville.