Hello, Johnny And The Hurricanes were a rock and roll instrumental band from Toledo, Ohio. The leader was Johnny “Paris” Pocisk-saxophone, Paul Tesluk-organ, Dave Yorko-guitar, Lionel Mattice-bass and Tony Kaye-drums. He was replaced in late 1959 by Bo Savich-drums.
In April of 1959 the group charted their first Billboard Hot 100 hit. “CROSSFIRE”, that was first released on the Twirl Record label in 1958 made its chart debut on April 27 of ’59, now on the Warwick Records label. “Crossfire” climbed up the chart to #23 and had a 14 week run on the Hot 100. The groups second record, became their biggest hit. “RED RIVER ROCK” which is a rock version of the old country song “Red River Valley” made its chart debut on August 3, 1959, it peaked on the Hot 100 at #5 and enjoyed a 17 stay on the chart.
Continuing with that winning formula, Johnny And The Hurricanes charted “REVEILLE ROCK” on November 2, 1959. “Reveille Rock” is a rock version of the Army bugle call “Reveille”. Their third hit record reached #25 on the Hot 100. In February of 1960, “BEATNIK FLY”, a rock version of “Blue Tail Fly” climbed into the Top 20, peaking at #15.
Their next record was recorded for their new label, Big Top Records. “DOWN YONDER” entered the Hot 100 on May 30, 1960 and climbed to #48. They would continue to chart records through 1961, but their would be no more big hit singles. “ROCKING GOOSE” would chart at #60 in 1960. “JA-DA” one of their best records stalled at #86. It should have been a huge hit, but it didn’t and after that they would not chart another Hot 100 single.
The band developed a large following in Europe. In 1962, they played at the Star-Club in Hamburg, where a little known band, “The Beatles” were their opening act. Johnny And The Hurricanes toured from time to time in Europe until 2006. Drummer Bo Savich died in 2002 at the age of 62 and band leader Johnny Picisk died in May of 2006 at the age of 65. Johnny And The Hurricanes charted 9 Billboard Hot 100 hits in less than 2 years. They were one of the best instrumental groups of “The Golden Era of Rock and Roll”.
Till the next time—Joe