Sunday, July 14, 2013

Swingin' Stingrays - Elkhart - Fujimo


Somewhere in Elkhart - just east of South Bend, a band spouted and bloomed - The Swingin' Stingrays! Before the British Invasion sound, the frat - Blues Brothers - soul type of thing ruled. Great for dancing and getting that "special" girl.
The Swingin' Stingrays released one 45, and "perhaps" a second.....

Tom Tom
Teen Queen

There may also be a second 45 with "Searchin'" and "Big Fat Woman", but alas, I don't have it.

And up for more input / debate: the members:

Wilbur Richie is certain, sadly he passed away in the early 80's.
Rex has been fingered as Maze, Mays, and most recently, Masterson. 
Paul, Pat & Rick (in the 1965 promo pic) remain unknown. The Swingin' Stingrays reportedly formed in 1958 and lasted until at least 1968 as evidenced by the Top Deck newspaper ad, circa August 68'.

60's Indiana band Szene team, you have been very good at filling in the blanks, and I need help here. Let's get these guys the due they deserve and get some recognition here!

Thanks to the late Bill Wagoner (of US Male - Warsaw, IN) and Terry Turner for the inspiration and tunes!

8 comments:

Terry Turner said...

I have an hour-long interview (it has been in my notepad for weeks!) with Rod Sanders, a Sting Ray for several years, that has been in my notebook for years, and he names all the members, well at least most, and talks about Sting Ray history and much more. Will try to get to it in next few days. And there was another Sting Rays group from Rensselaer. I will try to get the newspaper story next week that appeared in the Rensselaer Republican. They have reformed and play occasionally. Terry Turner. Rod's info is much and gives a lot of real names and years... including the band backing up the Everly Brothers and appearing on the same stage as Diana Ross and the Supremes

Anonymous said...

Pat Gaynor played keyboards. He was fantastic.The Swingin Stingrays performed many weekends at Bass Lake,IN.

Unknown said...

Geoff Snyder was also in the Swingin Stingrays and now has a band, Soul Funkshun, in South Bend. I played drums in The Basooties after Dennis left the band, joining in late 1968.

Anonymous said...

I am friends with Rick Maze, pictured on far right above. He is a great guy and tells many stories about the past with the band.
Jim Bryar.

Roger That said...

Wilbur Ritchie was my Uncle. The founder of the bad was Rick Maze. Rick was the lead Singer and Bass player, Wilbur played lead guitar and also sang. This band was very popular throughout the 60's and had opened for some famous bands, Everly Brothers among them.
I serendipitously met a former Stingrays drummer just today, who is getting more details from Rick that I'll post.

Unknown said...

My father is Rick Maze. He is still the entertainer he was back then!
Rick met Wilbur in 1962, at a Teen Dance in Plymouth, IN. Wilbur Ritchie, Larry Samuel and Rod Sanders, all from Knox, were playing in a saxophone style band. (No drummer, no singer) Rick got ahold of Rex Masterson (drummer) and got the original band together. (Rick Maze -guitar, lead singer -Plymouth IN, Wilbur Ritchie -guitar,singer -Knox IN, Rex Mastermon -drummer -Walkerton IN, Rod Sanders -bass -Knox IN, Larry Samuel -saxophone -Knox IN
Then came along Pat Gayner -keyboard -Knox IN.
"They were the only rockers in this area!"
They played on the same stage with "The Kinks"
"The Beach Boys"
"The Everly Brothers"
"The Rivieras"
"Paul Revere and the Raiders"
And a lot of other bands.
Additionally, they played with numerous singers, one timers. Moreover, they played all over the United States and Canada. The band split when Rick Maze got drafted for Vietnam, July 5th 1966.

Unknown said...

I was engaged to Wilbur Ritchie when he passed away.

Unknown said...

I enjoyed what you had to say. Excellent.