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The Deltas Combo

The Deltas, a combo formed out of Gallatin, Tennessee in the early sixties. The Deltas played at the American Legion Hall in Gallatin along with Charley McCoy and in the early seventies also played at the Silver Swinger across from the currect location of Rivergate Toyta. Dick Kent from WLAC in the 70's was a great fan of the Deltas and they played a lot of schools out parties for him. Members included: Wayne Wright, guitar, Don Lee, guitar, Larry Leath, bass and Bobby Dorris drums. Bobby died several years ago from cancer, Wayne is in real estate in Gallatin, Larry currently lives in Murfreesboro, and Don is retired and lives in Gallatin. the 'RCA" shot is mid sixties with original and founding members Don and Larry, now having added Gene Large, drums, and kneeling Dan Wilson, keys and trumpet. The five member lake shot shows the late sixties lineup and most successful era of the band, along with Larry, Don, Gene, the band now featured Milton Blackford on rhythm guitar, and Jim Vantrease, fresh from Vietnam, as keyboardist. This version of the band recorded for Warner bros, United Artists, as well as backing up top performers on the day, Gene Hughes, Dobie Gray, and Larry Gatlin. They were a top rated country club act, with superior musicianship as well as top notch vocals. Larry's four 1/2 octave vocal's (without falsetto) were the signature sound. Milton was a highly successful jingle writer at the time, writing the national "Me and my RC" campaign for RC cola. in 1972, with the release of their single, Never Gonna Hide, Warner bros changed their name to the "GLASS HAMMER"...not to be confused with a 90's progressive Chattanooga group by the same name. In '74 and 75, they traveled with Frankie Valli as his opening act all over the east coast and Midwest, playing their hometown at the new Opry House in 1975. Gene and Milton left to pursue other opportunities in '77 and were replaced by Joe Meador on guitar, and Rick Judkins on drums. this lineup continued through 1990, when the band retired from road work. Jim, and Joe were the owners of Sumner County Music in Gallatin, opening in July of 1974. In 1988 the band reunited as an oldies act, playing class reunions, and privates parties, until the sudden death of Jim Vantrease in 2000. Joe currently owns his own production company on Music Row, Rick lives in Hendersonville along with Joe. The Glass Hammer pic is the official Warner bros publicity shot from 1973.
Info and pics submitted by Pat Julian
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