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the Rock-Its / the Decades

Miamisburg, 1956-1990s


L-R: Merle Williams, John Weisgarber, Pete Reed, Randy Staley, Gene Schuder.

The Rock-Its were one of the earliest local rock-n-roll bands, and never actually disbanded, lasting until the death of founding member Merle Williams in 1999. 

The band was started by Merle and Randy Staley in 1956, and added three more Miamisburg HS students Pete Reed, John Weisgarber, and Gene Schuder. They immediately became a local sensation, as kids and adults would check out the band's rehearsals at the Reed family home to see what that crazy new musical fad was all about. The band's first public show happened at the Baum Opera House, Oct 5, 1956. The band was heard by Dale Wright during a live perfomance on WING radio and Dale asked the band to back him on his record "She's Neat". The record was Dale's biggest hit and got them a lot of exposure, including an appearance on American Bandstand. 

In 1959 they made their own 45 for Spangle, a good driving 2-sided rocker that did pretty well locally. During the next few years they continued to play off and on in Miamisburg and the Dayton area with the same personnell,

In 1967 the band decided to get more active after keeping a low profile for a couple years.They resumed playing locally and somehow got the attention of Shad O'Shea who brought them to Allen-Martin recording studio in Lousiville. They recorded a Merle Williams original "There Ain't No Way" and a cover of the Johhny Ace classic "Pledging My Love" Shad suggested they get a more contemporary sounding name so they became the Decades, a moniker they kept for the rest of their existence. The record shows they kept right up with the times, as they came up with a nice garage 45 in "There Ain't No Way".

As the 1980s came only Merle and John were still in the band, with the other original members going in different directions. Merle's death in 1999 meant the end of the Decades. John is also deceased.

It's L-O-V-E / If You've Never Been In Love - Spangle
Pledging My Love / There Ain't No Way - Great Scott 1002/3, 1967