Cincinnati / Oxford, 1964-6
Tony and the Bandits was started by Tony Brazis, a Cleveland native who relocated to Cincinatti's Bond Hill neighborhood. There he formed the original Tony and the Bandits with Bill Bartlett (guitar), Bob "Dude" Dudak (bass) and Bill Albaugh (drums).
The band recorded a few of Tony's original songs at King and released a couple on the local Flo-Roe records, which was one of Kenny Smith's enterprises. "It's a Bit Of Alright" was a local hit, and deservedly so. Coral released the record nationally, and the band performed it on the nationally telecast Shindig show. The TV appearance came from winning a band contest held at LeSourdsville Lake. The band released a second 45 on Coral that was more pop sounding.
The band's history takes a strange turn here. The band moved a few dozen miles northwest to Oxford, OH and Bob Nave joined on keyboards in early 1966. Shortly after, Tony and the band parted ways, which led to a three way swap of singers between the Bandits, Ivan and the Sabers, and (we believe) the Driving Winds. Tony ended up with the third band, which became the Chosen Lot. The other Bandits hooked up with "Ivan" Browne to form the Lemon Pipers. A Cincinnati band known as the Continentals took over the Tony and the Bandits name and played a few gigs. For more info about those bands, check their listings.
It's a Bit Of Alright / (Oh! No!) I Can't Lose (Flo-Roe 500, Coral 62461)
The Sun Don't Shine Now That You're Gone / I'm Goin' Away (From You) (Coral 62477)