Edgewood Five

Salem, 1964-6

L-R: John Vail, Larry Siddle, Polly Lease, Phil Shasteen, Terry Smith

It's come to be cliche about about garage era bands who saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and formed the next week - in the case of the Edgewood Five, founder and leader John Vail saw the Beatles first on the Jack Paar Show a few months earlier - and assembled the band with some fellow Salem High School students.

The Edgewood Five included John Vail (lead guitar), Larry Siddle (rhythm guitar), Phil Shasteen (bass), Terry Smith (drums), and Polly Lease (vocals). Originally John and Larry had got together to perform Beatles songs, and they added the rhythm section as the could. The group took their name from the local Salem telephone exchange, which was EDgewood (33x - the US telephone system had assigned the exchanges using names years before the development of rotary and touch tone dialing).

The Edgewood Five played top 40 material with a large cache of British Invasion songs but they pushed hard to learn the latest by studying the Billboard charts and getting records in the mail from the UK. The greater Salem and Youngstown area was the Edgewood Five's 'turf' - they played the usual assortment of teen dances at schools and clubs, sharing and swapping gigs with the Uncalled Four, the Markees, and the Mersey Men.

The group recorded a handful of original songs in John Golden's garage attic studio, but did not do anything beyond cutting some acetates. John Vail wrote most of the songs.

The Edgewood Five lasted until late '66, when Phil and Terry joined the New Breed. John and Larry then formed the Empty Streets.

Polly Lease joined the New York/New Jersey based band "Glass Bottle" that released two LPs and had a couple minor hits.