From: 50th Anniversary Of Rock & Roll Issue, August, 2004
(The TCB BAND Salutes
The 50th Anniversary Of Rock & Roll)
by Phil Arnold
Darwin Lamm will continue his tradition of ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight’ concerts when he treats Elvis fans to a double-header on August 13 this year in Memphis. One hour after the “Legends” finish their show, the famed TCB Band will take the stage for their salute to the 50th anniversary of the birth of rock & roll. If the band’s performance is anything like their brilliant Elvis Week concert two years ago, the fans in attendance are in for a superb show.
James Burton, of course, will anchor the group as lead guitar player. When Elvis decided to get back into touring in 1969, he went to James Burton and asked him to put together the TCB Band. Burton was with the group during every Elvis recording session and tour from then until 1977. He started as a member of the Louisiana Hayride house band in the mid-fifties and was recruited for Ricky Nelson’s band in 1958. For the next eight years Burton recorded and performed with Nelson, including appearances in all the closing musical segments of the “Ozzie and Harriet” TV show. Elvis professed watching the show every week just to see him play. After Elvis’ passing, Burton had a very successful career as an in-demand session musician. He recorded with many big names in rock and country music circles, including Buffalo Springfield, Judy Collins, Randy Newman, Emmylou Harris and John Denver. James Burton was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, joining Scotty Moore as the second Elvis Presley guitar player to be honored in the relatively new Sideman category.
Playing bass will be Jerry Scheff, another original member of the TCB Band. His association with Elvis goes back to 1966 when he played on the “Easy Come, Easy Go” soundtrack recording session. Before that, Scheff was a busy Los Angeles session musician, recording with acts like the Association, Bobby Sherman, the Archies, Pat Boone, the Everly Brothers, the Ventures, Bobby Vinton, and Johnny Rivers. Jerry Scheff and James Burton played on an album session together in 1968. The following year, Burton approached him about joining a new band he was putting together for Elvis. Jerry Scheff was a TCB member until 1973, taking some time off after the “Aloha From Hawaii” TV special to fish, garden, and work on his health. He rejoined Elvis in 1975, and stayed until the end. After that, he kept busy with session work backing singers like Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, Jim Neighbors, Tanya Tucker and Dionne Warwick. In the early eighties, Jerry Scheff joined James Burton to work for John Denver. Scheff played bass in Denver’s band on-and-off for the next dozen years.
Pounding out the ivories on the piano will be Glen D. Hardin, a TCB member from 1970 to 1976. He also wrote the arrangements for many of the songs Elvis performed in concerts. Prior to his time with Elvis, Hardin was an in-demand session player working with artists like Merle Haggard, George Jones, the Everly Brothers, and Ricky Nelson. Hardin recorded and performed with the post-Buddy Holly Crickets. During breaks in Elvis’ schedule, Hardin served as keyboard player for Jonathon Edwards. After Elvis’ death, Hardin performed in traveling bands for Emmylou Harris and John Denver.
Providing the rhythm behind these bandmates will be drummer Ronnie Tutt. At the TCB Band concert in Memphis two years ago, Tutt looked great, obviously recovered from the heart bypass surgery he underwent in 1999. After his seven years in the TCB Band, Ronnie Tutt backed Neil Diamond on tour for almost 20 years and recorded or performed with dozens of rock and country acts, including Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Costello.
With a group of musicians this talented, Darwin Lamm has to come up with an equally great singer, and he has. Terry Mike Jeffrey is a renowned performer who has taken his show all over the United States and numerous foreign countries during the past twenty years. His repertoire of songs is huge, but he specializes in Elvis material. In fact, Jeffrey has released three albums of Elvis songs. Unlike Elvis tribute artists, Terry Mike Jeffrey performs without the jumpsuits, black hair and sideburns, and he makes no attempt to sound just like Elvis. But, he can do a bang-up job singing the songs.
As we go to press, negotiations are underway with several other performers, all with Elvis connections, to compliment the lineup. One thing for sure, “The TCB Band Salute” will be a historic event you won’t want to miss.
© 2004 Philip R Arnold All Rights Reserved