Hobson's Choice


Akron, 1964-69

Hobson's Choice started as a four member band that played the top 40 sound. The group was started and led by Joe Macaluso. The original lineup included Joe Schmitt (drums), Tom Fitt (keyboards), Bill Lawhorn (bass). The group added Wally Frantz, a sax player who was missing a finger, and began to move in a soul/horn band direction. Bill Lawhorn left and was replaced by Jimmy Null (who had been in the Shades). Over time they added Don Smerk on sax (replacing Wally who was ousted in a person dispute), Gary Kekel(trumpet), Joe Tye (trumpet), Augie Folvomeyer, and Gary Grimes.

With this lineup the band became a 'serious' group and were managed by Nick Boldi. Boldi got a session with Carl Maduri at Cleveland Recording, where the group recorded "Just One Smile" and "Groovin' Is Easy". The sides were placed on Warner Brothers and sold well locally but WB decided not to invest in promotion.

The band eventually ran out of steam with members moving on to other projects - Gary Kekel joined the Shaddows.