By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon
Olean and the surrounding area had its own Rock’n’Roll scene in the 1950s and 1960s. Buffalo and Rochester bands traveled there to perform. Wilmer & The Dukes were regulars at St. Bonaventure frat-style parties. And WKBW Radio worked with an Olean teen club putting on record hops. KB deejays even drove some of the bands out there that they’d brought to Buffalo (like The Barbarians, The McCoys and The Standells) to make personal appearances.
But it didn’t work the other way around – the Olean / Salamanca area had some bands who never played the Bufalo area. In two cases their records curiously came out with Buffalo-area addresses, confounding record collectors who assumed they could find info on them in this area. No one here remembered The Tigermen or Rebel & The Jaguars and they remained mysterious until info turned up, placing them in the Deep South (of the Southern Tier, that is). Both bands may have never set foot in the area even to record since the company who pressed their records (Century, with a local “office”‘ in a residence on the Williamsville/ Clarence border) generally only accepted tapes already recorded elsewhere.
Those bands recorded in the mid-1960s but they had a 1950s predecessor. Pat and The Satellites was a trio from Olean: Pat Piccirillo, Otis Antonelli and Wayne Lips.
On November 25, 1958, they cut their one and only record. Most likely it was a New York City session where they laid down the two tracks. “Jupiter-C” was a sleazy grinding instrumental, named for an American rocket used for sub-orbital spaceflights in 1956 and 1957. Surprisingly the instro got the A-side position on this rocking platter. “Oh! Oh! Darlin'” was the vocal B-side, a typical late-50s mild teen vocal Rocker.
As with quite a few local artists, the Atco label had signed them. In some cases we can speculate that Buffalo disc jockeys brought artists to their friends at Atco. In this case we don’t have to wonder too much, because KB DJ Dick Biondi got a writing co-credit on Jupiter-C, so it’s almost certain that Biondi helped them get the deal.
Group member Otis Antonelli got another third of the credit. And the last piece went to Olean-based saxman Clyde Dickerson, who arranged and transcribed it. Though Dickerson didn’t actually play the prominent sax on (Atco brought in King Curtis to overdub it), he may have worked with them sometimes. In any case, he has his own great story.
Clyde recorded for Kinzua Records as Clyde Dickerson & The Tear Drops; and probably also Red Arrow & The Braves -he gets the writing credit on both sides of the Red Arrow 45 on Kinzua (a topical song about the flooding and destruction of the traditional Native lands in the Alleghany area by the construction of the Kinzua Dam). He was also a member of Billy Lehman & The Rock-Itts and may be on their 1958 single on Hamburg’s Prime 1 label, and apparently a sometime-member of the Buffalo-based Jesters.
Dickerson later moved to Washington, D.C., area where he worked by day as a doorman at the Watergate Hotel for 20 years, acquiring the nickname “Watergate Clyde.” Yes, he was there during that infamous break-in. But at night he performed in upscale jazz clubs and did so right up to the time of his death, at age 80, in 2003.
Jupiter-C charted but never topped #81 (February, 1959). No more was heard from Pat and The Satellites as a group. Drummer Wayne Lips (what a great name!) later joined a Rockabilly Revival band out of Pittsburgh, The Rock’n Ravens, who recorded quite a few old-school Rockabilly R&R singles.