L-R: Mike Besco, Ken Eldrige, Jerry Edwards, Sam Morrison, Mike Collins
The Dynamics were a successful Dayton-based band that began when four West Carrollton students formed the group in early 1964. The group went on to play dates throughout southwest Ohio and the Indianapolis area. They lasted until 1967-1968 when they agreed to disband. The four founders were Jerry Edwards, Mike Collins, Larry Anderson and Ted Russell. This foursome started like most bands of the era playing private parties and various school dances. The early song lists included a mix of British invasion, instrumentals and California surf music.
Within a year Edwards and Collins saw a need to expand and change the lineup. Anderson and Russell were replaced so that the playlist could grow. Edwards and Collins remained friends with Anderson and Russell as Anderson went on to form another Dayton band, The Knots. Russell continued to travel with the band and help with shows. Added at this time were bassist Ken Eldridge (who would remain until the group’s breakup), Dale Medford on keyboards and Mike Abner as lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist. Abner brought an engaging front man that would give the band a boost as they became more polished and expanded the song choices to include many songs by Motown and Stax artists which few white, teen, garage bands were playing. The vocal harmony of Abner, Edwards and Eldridge was a plus under this format. This danceable playlist proved very popular and bookings grew quickly. By now Edwards’ mother Marge Edwards had began managing the band and was aggressive in getting the band booked at new venues that kept the band playing every weekend.
Abner decided to leave the band for other interests and was replaced by Darrell Holbrook, a fellow West Carrollton student. This lineup continued for a short period when again changes were planned. Holbrook was replaced by Sam Morrison from Belmont who was also an accomplished keyboardist. Due to Sam’s keyboard capability, Medford agreed to leave the band. Also added at this time was Mike Besco from nearby Miamisburg Ohio. It would be this group that stayed together the longest and became the most successful. By now teen clubs had sprung up all around the area with The Village in Miamisburg being one of the most popular and a regular stop for the band. The band was also being regularly booked at Forest Park, The Kettering Skating Rink dances, the GBU Hall, the Loretto, West Carrollton tennis court dances, the Eaton Armory, the Diamond Club, the NCO club at WPAFB, and similar venues in Cincinnati and Indianapolis. The playlist was a mix of Kinks, Yardbirds, Byrds, Hollies, Animals, Beatles, Stones, Who, Creedance Clearwater along with those Motown/Stax hits from the earlier days.
L-R: Mike Besco, Mike Collins, Jerry Edwards, Sam Morrison, Ken Eldridge
The band played to its largest crowd at the 1966 Ohio State Fair. They did two consecutive nights to sellout crowds. The overnight accommodations provided by the State Fair board placed the five members in a large dormitory that was mostly populated by the many marching bands that were also playing at the fair. Needless to say there was some significant culture clash between these two groups with the Dynamics in the minority!
Soon after this the band was booked to open for Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels at the Diamond club. The club had become popular with national touring groups and provided the band with good exposure that led to more bookings at the club. Also during this period the band secured a two month stint as the house band at a bar (name forgotten) in Springfield. At this time all the members were under the legal age and therefore were not allowed anywhere on the bar floor between sets. They had to be “sequestered” in a small back room. This booking ran from 9:00 PM until 2:30 AM, Thurs.-Sat. for the two months and since all members were still in high school it made for some very tired Fridays in school.
L-R: Mike Collins, Sam Morrison, Ken Eldrige (far back in the dark), Mike Besco
As dates grew, the band saw a need to change the name. “The Dynamics” just didn’t fit the trend in band names after the British invasion. During this period the Dayton Daily News included a weekly, teen focused supplement called “Tempo”. Marge was able to negotiate a feature article on the Dynamics with a contest to rename the band. Surprisingly the response was huge and the band dug through all the suggestions and chose “The Bloomin’ Lot” as its new name. Unfortunately this was only months before they disbanded so there were few dates played under this name.
Also during this period Marge Edwards had developed a business relationship with Dale McIntosh of Miamisburg who was part owner on The Village and also owned The Sound Shop, an instrument and music store in the Plaza shopping center. The agreement provided for the band to exclusively use Sound brand amplifiers which improved the sound over the previous equipment. “Mac” as he was known to the band had also built a recording studio in the facility. The Dynamics were one of Mac’s early attempts to record. The most promising track was written by Miamisburg resident Harry Urschel (later of the Hopple Street Exit). The group was deeply into the cutting of many tracks when, due to increasing responsibilities, the band fell apart during the ’67-’68 timeframe. Only Edwards and Morrison remained dedicated to performing as they went on to join a later rendition of another popular Dayton band, The Pictorian Skiffuls.
Story by Mike Collins (shown above at the Village)