the Four Winds

Columbus, 1966-7

L-R: Bob Blackburn, Dave Smith, Jeff Pharion, Bob Hill

L-R: Bob Hill, Bob Blackburn, Jeff Pharion, Dave Smith

The Four Winds were a 'professional' band that played the Columbus club and lounge circuit. Most of the band members had been in the Shilohs. Bob Hill - "I got married and left college in '66. In '66-'67, I joined the Four Winds - a bar band. Roger Riley was leaving. Walt Edry was the bass player. Later, we decided to become a show/dinner act. Blackburn replaced Walt. Russ Geis joined on sax for a while. We played together for a year or two and then, on an off night, my wife took me to "Mr. Frankie's" (?) to see The Dave Workman Blues Band - loosely styled after the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. I was blown away, left the Four Winds, sold my banjo, straw hat and patent-leather pumps and went blues/rock."

"Finally, though, after marrying in '66 I always tried to play full time (6 days, 5 sets/night). The Four Winds were that first group (although I seem to remember that it wasn't called that when I auditioned. It may have been the Shilos. I drove to another town in the winter with my guitar strapped to the luggage carrier for the audition. I was so cold when I got there that I had a boilermaker (shot and beer) to warm up. Since it was the middle of the day, the band later told me that they were a little worried that I was alcoholic. Actually, I usually drank coffee at the gigs. :)"

"We played the newest music we could learn to compete with other groups. The Four Winds had a soul bent but didn't rule out anything the audience wanted. I happen to like playing for dancing. Of course, after going "dinner" we tempered our loudness some. Temptations were an example."

As stated in the article, the Four Winds included some comedy acts - "The "comedy" was clean-to-slightly-risqué...and quite corny - (Do you have any nude pictures of your wife? No, of course not! Wanna buy some?). None of us really were that funny."