By Bob the Record Guy Paxon
In 2012 the Tune Rockers were inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall Of Fame. Their 1958 “Green Mosquito” was the first big Rock’n’Roll hit out of Buffalo and established a pattern of Rockin’ instrumentals which was followed by The Quarter Notes, The Jesters, Kathy Lynn & The Playboys and most famously the Rebels (aka The Rockin’ Rebels).
“Green Mosquito” featured a lineup of Gene Strong, Tim Nolan, Fred Patton, Mickey Vanderlip, with Johnny Capello (later lead vocalist of The Graduates) on sax. This lineup can be seen on an excellent video available on YouTube. Missing on that video is the piano player – a man who has become well-known in the Western New York area in other capacities – the man known as Art Wander!
Not nearly as well-known is a slightly earlier (and much scarcer) 45. Previously credited to a Cleveland recording studio but apparently actually recorded in New York City, and issued on a NYC label (Pet), “No Stoppin’ This Boppin” is a fantastic slice of instrumental Rockabilly and R&R, really raw. The sax player (not Mr. Cappello) remains unknown – apparently a session musician; and the drummer is Vinnie Vincent. NOT the KISS guitarist!
The flip side, “Easy Does It” is equally great, making this two-sider a favorite among collectors who prize the primitive charms of these sides above the smoother style of “Green Mosquito”.
Having taken their two shots at R&R glory, the Tune Rockers promptly disappeared and stayed in obscurity until Gene Strong and Tim Nolan showed up in person to receive their just due at the BMHOF induction in 2012. The story of Rock’n’Roll is filled with great regional bands like this who, on any given night, may have been The Greatest Rock’n’Roll Band In The World.