Neighbors: Jerry LeRoy and the Arrows member remembers playing around region
One of the old area bands Neighbors has heard and written about was Jerry LeRoy and the Arrows. The band played for many dances in the region in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Well, here's one of that band's members.
One of the old area bands Neighbors has heard and written about was Jerry LeRoy and the Arrows.
The band played for many dances in the region in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Well, here’s one of that band’s members. He’s Tom Vanyo, formerly of Alvarado, Minn., where he graduated from high school in 1962, and now of Minneapolis, who began playing bass for the band in the spring of 1961.
The other band members, he writes, were singer Jerry Sersland, his brother Johnny Sersland on drums and Tom Olson, of Grand Forks, on lead guitar.
“Just for fun, we would jam at the Sersland home in Alvarado,” Tom says. “I played rhythm guitar at the time. Johnny was also a good piano player and singer.
“A while later, Johnny said he had a booking in Mountain, N.D., but he had no band. He asked me to play bass and Tom to play lead.
“I didn’t have a bass guitar (and never played bass), so I used Johnny’s Dan Electro six-string bass and his amp.
“We must have done well because the place was packed and we were asked to come back, which we did, a month later.
“During that summer we played in a number of places in the area and were quite well-known.
“The band played only once a week, though, so there was not much money to be made. We got $20-$25 a booking, depending on where we played.
“I made enough money, though, to buy a Fender Precision bass and Bassman amp.”
Later, Tom says, “Jerry got married, Johnny left Alvarado, Tom played somewhere else and I began playing with Jim Engen and the Young Knights. That was the end of Jerry Leroy and the Arrows.
“When I left Grand Forks in 1964, I played the Minneapolis nightclub scene in bands with Leroy Aaker, Grand Forks, and Carroll Bateman and Howie Butler, both of East Grand Forks, Minn.
“I stopped playing professionally after 10 years and got into the investment business as a stockbroker.
“Leroy passed away a few years ago, Carroll lives in Minneapolis and does one-man shows and Howie lives in Grand Forks.”
That’s a little musical history by this former bass player.
Tea and coffee
Neighbors also carried an item about singer Harry Belafonte and his co-singer Jackie DeShannon giving a concert at the Fargo Civic Auditorium.
“I was there,” Mike Knudson, Mayville, N.D. writes.
What does Mike remember about that concert?
“Jackie wore cottons quite a lot and loved dark tea and the coffee pot,” he says.
Oh yes. She and Harry provided nice music, too.
If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email email@example.com