It started in 1964 when Wendell Harris bought an old Fender Stratocaster and began learning to play.
Wendell’s 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, and the brothers eventually started playing with another family member and guitarist, Eddie Foster.
With that the Victors Combo slowly came into existence.
By 1965, 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 Music In the Glade, featuring ‘60s and ‘70s rock and roll.
According to Mabel Beazley of the Gladeville Community Center, the event is one of many ways the center – a nonprofit organization – raises money for its operations.
“One time a year we get money from [the Wilson County Recreation Committee], but other than that we raise our money,” said Beazley. “We take money at the door and we have the kitchen open to raise money, too.”
Saturday’s Music in the Glade will also feature a fish or chicken dinner.
For $8, guests can get the full dinner, including fish or chicken, French fries, cole slaw, white beans and a drink; for $6, guests can get a basket, according to Beazley.
Admission is $6 per person, and doors open at 5:30 p.m. The center is located at 95 McCrary Road in the heart of Gladeville.