Buckeye Beat

Bands and Performers
About the site
Contact Us

the Corvairs

Ft. Thomas, KY, 1961-7

The Corvairs were one of Cincinnati's most popular bands of the early 1960s. The band included two sets of twins, (Bill Stith and Al Stith, and two named Langdon). The Stiths were from Ft. Thomas, KY and the Langdons from Cincinatti. Al was the lead singer and played guitar and Bill played guitar and bass.

In June of 1962, just after their first record "Black Diamonds" was recorded, Al was diagnosed with cancer and had his left leg amputated. That didn't stop him, as they recorded two more 45s, one more on Twin (covers of the R&B songs "Talk to Me and "Hard Times") and for Shad O'Shea's Official label. They also recorded a few songs for the obscure Show Time LP. The band personnel at the time of the Show Time LP included Billy Hinds (future member of the Marc IV, East Orange Express, and Pure Prairie League), Bill Reeder (mispelled Reder on the LP, later in the Vibrations), and Ben Bechtloff.

In November of 1964, Al succumbed to the cancer that he had fought for more than two years. The band continued with new lead singer named Little Joe Williams, who was barely a teenager when he started. Little Joe had already been peforming with the band and was also part of the Show Time LP roster (along with the Casinos). 

The band continued, led by Bill and Little Joe, and recorded two more 45s for Twin. The second one, "I'm Gonna Mary You" was picked up by Hickory for national distribution with a different flip side. The two post-Al 45s had the band firmly in the rock/R&B hybrid of the Cincinnati sound, covering R&B songs ("Gee Whiz" by Carla Thomas and "I Need You So" by Tommy McClain). 

By the time the group disbanded in 1967, Bill had started a new career as a school teacher. He moved to the more economically vibrant area of Miami, Florida. Once established, he bought into the struggling Great World of Sound/Trip Universal operation and used Twin as one of the GWS label names. In 1971 he scored a huge hit with the record "Welfare Cadillac". 

Around 1973 he left Trip Universal and moved back to Cincinnati. The TU operation had some element of the 'pay to play' process, where an artist puts up a pile of ,money to cover a recording, and TU or a subsidiary would use it's promotion network to get the record on the radio an into stores. Back in Cincy, he took the pay to play model all over the Great Lakes and midwest area, releasing up to if not more than 100 records on the AMG/Pilot Master labels. He supposedly left that business in 1976 to become a minister or some other religious leader, while Carl Edmondson and some others continued AMG until about 1978. 

Black Diamonds / Slipped Disc (Twin 45-4), June 1962
Talk To Me / Hard Times - Twin no # (Rite 9775/6) 1963
Fisherman's Wharf / Hey Pedro - Official 1002, 1964
Gee Whiz / It's Aw'Rite - Twin 1001, 1965
I Need You So / I'm Gonna Marry You - Twin 19671, 1967
I'm Gonna Marry You / Lonely Boy, Lone;y Girl - Hickory 1459, May 1967