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Jet Tones

Elyria, 1958-65

The Jet Tones were one of the original rock-n-roll bands from Lorain County and the NE Ohio area. The band was started by guitarist Donald Ward and bassist Gordon Thurman, who started by playing an upright bass. The original band seemed to have included three members with Bob Clutts as the singer.

In 1959 the band, like their namesake plane, took off big time with the addition of singer/guitarist Barney Freeman. Barney was already 30 years old, a WWII veteran, but knew how to rock and roll! The band was rounded out with Don Rutherford on drums and Leo DeLuca on sax.

The band recorded two great 45s. Both 45s were recorded at Audio. The first 45 they backed singer Rocky Olson, who was from Bedford and other than the 45m had nothing to do with the Jet Tones. The pairing was done at the request of Chess records. The band does a solid effort on the cover of "Kansas City" but the instrumental flip side "Jet Tone Boogie" is the winning side. 

For the band's second 45 they recorded the guitar/sax rocker "Henry" and another ripping instrumental "Twangy". The band made two recordings of this, for the Plaid and the Pix label, both run by Shelly Haims.

The band played all over Lorain and the dance clubs in northern Ohio. They also played down in the Cambridge and Newark area.

The band was still playing in 1964-5, althought it's not known if they stopped for awhile. In late 1959 Gordon Thurman was playing in a different band, the Star Fires. The band lineup from April 1964 was Barney, Jim Kordleski on lead guitar, Wynn Fertigue on bass, and Jim Dillenger on drums. They had a brief stay at the Tender Trap in S. Amherst at that time. Wonder if they were harrassed with requests for the Beatles....

All members of the band are deceased. Barney Freeman's brother, Reverend Joe Freeman (also deceased), recorded a few gospel rocker 45s that are well worth seeking out.

Kansas City / Jet Tone Boogie - Chess 1723, 1959
Henry / Twangy - Pix 1102
Henry / Twangy - Plaid 102
The recordings of "Henry" and "Twangy" are different on the two 45s

Pictures and info thanks to Matt Baker