Buckeye Beat

Bands and Performers
About the site
Contact Us

Hobson's Choice

Akron, 1964-71

Hobson's Choice started as a four member band that played the top 40 sound. The group was started and led by Joe Macaluso. The original lineup included Joe Schmitt (drums), Tom Fitt (keyboards), Bill Lawhorn (bass). The group added Wally Frantz, a sax player who was missing a finger, and began to move in a soul/horn band direction. In May 1969 Wally placed an ad in the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper looking for musicians. Bill Lawhorn left and was replaced by Jimmy Null (who had been in the Shades), Macaluso also left. Over time they added Don Smerk on sax (replacing Wally), Gary Kekel (trumpet), Joe Tighe (trumpet), Augie Fulvimar, Greg Gorby, Joe Curtis, and Gary Grimes.

With this lineup the band became a 'serious' group and were managed by Nick Boldi. Boldi got a session with Carl Maduri at Cleveland Recording, where the group recorded "Just One Smile" (a Randy Newman song taken from the first Blood Sweat and Tears LP) and "Groovin' Is Easy" (originally by the Electric Flag). The sides were placed on Warner Brothers and sold well locally but WB decided not to invest in promotion.

The band travelled to several cities to promote the record with the eight member lineup. The band broke up in 1971 as some members mobed on to other bands. Gary Kekel joined the Shaddows.