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The Counts of Nowhere were the house band for the Nowhere Club in Hendersonville, Tennessee in the late 1960's. The members of the group: Jerry Meador - lead singer; Randy L. Mabe - bass; Toby Rennie - organ; Ted Reynolds - horns; John McKee - lead guitar; Paul Slate - drums; John Correll - drums (black hair); Mary Ann Spain - back-up singer; Beverly Pursell - back-up singer and Fred 'Fat Albert' Rennie - Manager. They were helped by D.J. Dan Hoffman of WKDA and Joe Melson helped us with The Nowhere Club (he wrote hits for Roy Orbison and the Newbeats). They were privileged to share the War Memorial Auditorium stage with The Feminine Complex.
They all went to Hendersonville High School. The Nowhere Club was started so the young people of Hendersonville and surrounding communities would have a place to get together to dance, hang out and have fun. We made great efforts to keep the drinking type activities to a minimum so we could remain open. Our manager, Fred Rennie, was a deputy sheriff so that helped a lot. All the kids respected him as a person as well. He and his wife, Ruby, sure did put a lot of time, effort and money into us. The club operated on Saturday nights only for a short while. It became popular quickly and we opened both Friday and Saturday nights. That was successful so we tried Thursday nights but that did not work. The club was supposed to be closed by midnight each night - at least we started winding down then. We booked other groups in to play when we were booked out of town which was much of the time. We (The Counts of Nowhere) were playing the "Hullabaloo Club" circuit and a variety of clubs throughout the state (Smyrna, Tullahoma, Clarksville, Gatlinburg, Camden, Columbia, Springfield, Mt. Pleasant, Paris, Goodlettsville, Old Hickory,Martin, Nashville etc). When we were playing close to Hendersonville we would often make it back by 1:00 am and there were still a lot of people still present as the band we had hired in was packing to go home. We would unload enough stuff to make some noise and sometimes jammed until 3 or 4 am. I am fuzzy in memory as to which groups we did that with as it was just the times that it worked out that way. I was thinking that maybe The Ugly Forest was there one night like that. The club was always packed with 100 - 200 young people in the club and out on the parking lot. Once we were into the night about two to three sets we just threw the doors open (in the summertime) to use the weather instead of air conditioning. We let many of the local kids decorate the walls of the club and had a soda bar to keep people cooled down. Hendersonville, Madison, Gallatin all had about ten miles or better of darkness between them at that time so the kids in Hendersonville were sort of isolated and our club filled that niche. Previous to our opening The Nowhere Club the only gathering place for the kids to dance was Saunder's Ferry Boat Dock. We would pack that place so tight everyone was pressed up against each other. There were times we thought we would sink that dock. But again it was always fun and always loud! Sometimes the Fire Station would put on a dance but there was just no place large enough to consistently offer the young people a good place to enjoy as their own. Our manager lived on Old Hickory lake with his back yard joining Mansard Island Park. When we would practice there would be a large gathering, picnic style, to dance and cheer us on. It was hard trying to get new material in shape to play for the weekend with the makeshift audience calling out requests! It was just the time I guess but I remember us, and other groups, ready to play for any event and anywhere - skating rinks, beauty pageants, community events. The Battle of the Bands competitions were always exciting. We won three in Nashville and came in second in the Southeastern Conference. We picked up a lot of instruments like that as well as a recording contract with RCA (I sure wished we had hit with something there). One thing sticks out in my mind when I see a certain brand of instrument today. Buddy Rogers Guitar Shop asked us to take a new line of amplifiers out on one of our circuits and try to blow them up if we could. Man did he outfit us. I had a double stack cabinet with four 15 inch woofers and a power head - my bass would make my pants legs shake every note. Well we couldn't blow the stuff up and it came time to reluctantly give his equipment back. Imagine our surprise when he told us to keep it! We did not argue. The line?? Peavey.
Story and Pics submitted by Randy Mabe, Las Vegas
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