Buckeye Biscuit Band
The Buckeye Biscuit Band were one of a few Cleveland bands that played contemporary country rock during the 1970s. Although the band was based in Cleveland, at least three of the members, including original members Joel Culp and Mike Casey, were from the Wooster area.
The band started in 1974 as a more traditional styled band by Ron Franklin (vocals, guitar), Joel Culp (mandolin, bass), and Bruce Michael (vocals, banjo, guitar). They played at the Grapes of Wrath. On March 15, 1975, they came out with a new full band lineup, adding Steve Adams (vocals, dobro, bass) and Mike Casey (drums). In July of 1975, they recorded a released a self promoted EP, under the name of Buckeye Biscuit (without Band, which was added later). There was a real Buckeye Biscuit company that sold over the NE Ohio area. In the 1960s, Culp was in Me and the Guys, and Michael was in the New Community Singers (of "Manry and the Sea" fame). The record was recorded by Richie "Dick Whittington" Green. The songs included covers and standards.
Culp and Franklin left the band in January 1976. New members Elbert Webb on lead vocals (formerly in Briarwood) and Ron Jarvis (bass) meant the band was moving away from the traditional sounds and more into rock.Jarvis was trom Orrville (near Wooster) and became a key member, writing some of the band's original songs. In the 1960s Jarvis was in the Repercussions from Orrville (it's thought that Mike Casey may also have been in this band but it's not confirmed). Joel Culp joined the more traditional sounding Deadly Earnest and the Honky Tonk Heroes, one of the three main country rock bands (the third being Flatbush) in late 1970s Cleveland. Later on, Ron Reisman replaced Casey on drums.
The band had been playing Cleveland clubs with regularity but it wasn't until Dewey Forward opened Peabody's Cafe in 1977 (in the former home of the Cellar Door where the BBB had been played) that the band had a home and large fan base. Forward not only booked the band but managed them, and in 1979, put up the money for the band to record a full LP (with the players listed above). The record was recorded at the revived Audio Recording with old Audio engineers George Stage and Bill Cavanaugh. The record sold well locally and a couple of the songs got regional airplay, with "East Cleveland Hotel" one of the fan favorites.
By the end of 1979, the band's lineup had changed again, with Dave Ritter on drums, Mike Reid (guitar), and Mike Daley (pedal steet guitar) joining Michaels, Jarvis, and Webb. Jarvis left in 1980.
The band ended in the summer or fall of 1982. One of reasons given for their demise was the stigma, and decline, of the "Urban Cowboy" pop culture phenomenon of 1980/1. They reunited for a couple one-off shows in 1983.
Ron Jarvis joined the well know Cleveland reggae bands I-Tal and later, First Light. Dave Ritter was killed in a solo car accident in 1982. Elbert Webb joined Denny Earnest and the Honky-Tonk Heroes in 1982.
The band has had a few reunions over the years.
(EP) "First Batch" - Sailin' ; Ruby / I'll Fly Away - Will The Circle Be Unbroken ; Bring It On Home To Me - no label, no #
(LP) "Fresh Candy" - Peabody's 1001, 1979