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the Renegades

Salem, 1960-1968


The Renegades started in 1960 and lasted into the late 1960s, with guitarist Randy Strader as the only constant member.

The band was started by Salem High School students, with Al "Fella" Catlos on lead guitar, Randy Strader on lead and rhythm guitar, Joe Crawford on rhythm guitar, and Fred Narragon on drums. Later they added Larry Muntz on bass and Frank Copacia was the drummer. Although the band was mainly instrumental, they brought on Bob King as lead singer. The band was heled by Lew Platt, a Salem resident who had been Alan Freed's manager when he was just starting out in his home town.

The band was one of very few teen rock-n-roll bands in town and they got a lot of school dance gigs in the Salem and Columbiana County area. In early 1962 they recorded their one and only 45, a couple of rockin; instrumentals, with Hi-Tension, written by Fella Catlos (not Strader as the article claims), as the favored side by collectors. The record was recorded in Cleveland by the Manhattan/Patrice label operation and published with their B.C. publishing. By the time the record was cut, Fred Narragon returned as drummer.

In 1964 Fella was taken by the British Invasion and wanted to play the new sound, so he left to start the Mersey Men. Over the next few years the band had a complete change of personnel. 


The article from January 1965 has the band as Randy, Terry "Chick" Miller on keyboards, Rick Rutsky on drums, Frank Klemann on bass, and Jerry Esterly as MC - assume they meant lead singer/front man. There was no such place as the RCA recording studio in Cleveland, it's possible they meant Cleveland Recording or Audio, but nothing has ever turned up. Later the same month they played a March Of Dimes telethon out of Emporium, PA that was broadcast on a few local TV stations.

Newspaper reports say the band played in Grand Rapids, MI and Muncie, IN.

Other people who have been in the band were Fred Flory - brother of the Ron Flory of the Mersey Men - and Frank Grafton. A 1969 ad lists the members as Fred, Randy, Rick, and Chick.

After the Renegades, Randy joined Drift, and Fred Flory led the Joint Effort.

4 Speed / High Tension - Chardo no #, Feb 1962