THE PASTELS–“BEEN SO LONG”

JOE T'S SODA SHOP (JOE TROIANO'S BLOG)

This talented, but short-lived vocal group met while they were in Greenland, serving in the US Air force.  The original members included James Willingham, Richard Travis, Tony Thomas and Gerald Craig.  Soon after, they took notice of DiFosco Irvin (Big Dee Irwin), a talented piano player and vocal talent.  He was invited to join the group.  During the harsh winter months, while off duty, they practiced their harmonizing with various songs.  Although they had no experience, Willingham had family connections with The Cadillacs and The Heartbeats.

After transferring from Greenland, they ended up at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington D.C. where they got back together and named themselves, The Rocketeers.  Gerald Craig left the group at this time.  The remaining members performed at some engagements in the area.

The Rocketeers wanted to record and headed to the Big Apple and before long they were discussing a contract at Hull Records.  Record…

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