Vee Jays Combo at the Carolina Theatre

In memory of my North Forsyth High School classmate, J. C. Johnson, here’s a photo of the Vee Jays combo.  J. C. is holding the microphone and is the man standing (jumping?) second from the left.

They were playing at the Carolina Theatre for a dance party.

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J. C. sang at many school functions and also performed at the Downtown-A-Go-Go.

If you have memories of seeing or hearing J. C. Johnson when he was performing, please share your memories.

Here are a few photos of the Downtown-A-Go-G0, but J. C. is not in these photos.  Dick Bennick is the man in the center of the second photo.  Can anyone identify the band?

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The Downtown-A-Go-Go Club was located at 409 N. Spruce Street, above the Woolworth store that faced West Fourth Street.  The entrance to the club was nearly at the back of the Woolworth Building, practically out of sight at left in the photo below.

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If  anyone recognizes someone in these images, please let me know.  And, please share your memories of the Downtown-A-Go-Go.

Photos courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.

 

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12 Responses

  1. Cathy Barnes says:

    I believe this unidentified band may be the Eradicators, a band who played there a lot. I can’t see very clearly, but I think I can identify two of the band members. Several of my friends and I would go most Saturday nights!

  2. Ron Landreth says:

    That is deffinitely the Eradicators. Myself and Ronny Lewandowskinare the only living members remaining. We had a great time at the Downtown A-Go-Go.

    • Ron, Could you identify all of the band members,letting me know the names from left to right? I’d love to add this information to the photograph? Also, can you date this image? I’m thinking it is 1966-1967, but I’d like your input. Thank you.

      • Ron Landreth says:

        On the front row left is Sammy Roberts playing the bass. Bucky Crater is the lead singer in the fancy tux with microphone. Ronnie Landreth is in the dark suit (actually navy blue double breasted jacket and grey continental pants) playing lead guitar and singing back up with Bruce (Winky) Roberts far right. Winky was a member of the Vee Jays before he joined the Eradicators. He sang lean and played great saxophone. Wink and Sam were brothers. Mike Holder was our drummer and the youngest member of the band. Ronny Lewandowski is on the back row playing rhythm guitar on a Fender Jaguar guitar.

  3. Ron Lewandowski says:

    Hello Molly,
    Thanks for the memories. Just came across your post. I knew JC was very sick but did not know he had passed. I think of Bucky, Sammy, Mike, Winky, JC, Sam Moss and so many other local musicians. They made music in Winston-Salem so very special. We could certainly add a few verses to “Rock and Roll Heaven” by the Righteous Brothers.

    The Vee Jays picture was likely 1964. Left to right are Harold Miles on bass–Jerry Mayberry on drums–JC Johnson –Winky Roberts–Dick Bennick–and Bill Gwynn on guitar. Remember the song “Shout”? The line”Jump up and shout”? I saw them practice this song often at Sammy and Wink’s house.

    Yes…Ron Landreth was right ..we had so much fun playing in The Eradicators!

    Thanks again Molly
    Ron

  4. Vicky Bledsoe says:

    I really got a kick out of seeing these old pictures of my little brother and the guys in the band. I spent many a night at the go-go ( even though I was too old to be there) thrilled to hear them and see how the kids loved them. Also, hauling them around to gigs at NC State and recording session at I think Arthur Smith studio in Charlotte. A blast from the past. They were all so talented, and none but Winky was even old enough to drive when they started! Thanks,
    Vicky (Lewandowski) Bledsoe

  5. My brother Wayne and I were at the Downtown A Go Go every time it was open. Wayne is in one of these pictures. It was a great place to go for music and dance for young people. The Eradicators along with James Brown and so many other great bands we got to see. Thanks to Dick Bennick the young people always had a place to go. Thank you for posting these photo. I believe this was around 1965.

  6. Mike Hodges says:

    I used to go often an meet my girlfriend. Thanks 4 the photos sorry if is one . Mike Hodges 1967 north grad.

  7. Jan Martin Smith says:

    Margo and Janet are the go go dancers, I was there most Saturday nights also. Given a minute I can remember last names. Great place! So good to see Bucky again and Winky and Sammy and the guys. Man.

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