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the Savoys / Ronnie and the Savoys

Uniontown PA / Cleveland, 1957-late 1960


The second of two Savoys bands to play in Cleveland started out in their home of Uniontown, PA right in the Pennsylvania coal mining region. The band was led by drummer Ronald Zupancich, with Bernard Zupancich on piano and accordion, Jimmy Sellers on guitar, Thomas Kancheck on guitar, Tim Tokish on sax, and Steve Popovich on bass. 

The band recorded a 45 in 1958 for the P.D.Q. label, with the vocal side "Domino" (a band original, not the Roy Orbison song) credited to Poppy and the Savoys, Poppy being Steve Popovich's nickname. The other side was an instrumental 'Slappin' Rods and Leaky Oil". The 45 did well in the Pittsburgh and Cleveland markets, it was a staple on the famous Pittsburgh oldies for many years. This popularity prompted a 'reissue' - of dubious legality - on the NRM label around 1965/6. The NRM label was claimed to be originated by a local record store but in the grey area of Pittsburgh reissues, it could also mean someone's initials.

As for the Savoys, around 1962 the band relocated to Cleveland. It's not clear which of the six members made the move, but Popovich and Ron Zupancich did for sure. Once in Cleveland, they started playing the bar scene, often billed as Ronnie and the Savoys.


This June 1965 ad features Steve Popovich with the Twilighters and his old band the Savoys, who fit right into Cleveland's greaser band scene..

Steve Popovich left the Savoys and joined the Twilighters when they formed.

There is little information about the later Ronnie and the Savoys. The last listing for them playing is March 1968.

Slappin' Rods and Leaky Oil / Domino (Just For Kicks) - P.D.Q. 5001, Aug 1958 (later on NRM 904, 1966)