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Since the Catalinas formed in Charlotte, North Carolina, in late 1957, over 60 accomplished guitarists, keyboardists, trumpet players, drummers, bass players & singers have been a part of the band. Most have come from communities along the Interstate 77 corridor from Statesville to Charlotte.
Gary Barker, a Statesville resident who plays guitar and sings, is the current owner of the band. He started with the band in 1965, and has been the steadying influence for the last thirty years. In his own words, "I just did not get it into my head that I was getting paid to do something I love."
Barker attributes the band’s long success to the ongoing popularity of beach music and the great tunes that the band has composed and recorded over the years. Some of their classics include, "You Haven't The Right," "Facts Of Love," "Dancin'-Romancin'," "Hey Little Girl (aka Rainy Day Sunshine)," and their signature song "Summertime's Calling Me" from 1975.
The band has had its down moments including the death of lead vocalist, Tommy Black in a plane crash in 1968 and the death of band member Ronnie Gittens on October 28, 2005. Gary Barker has been the band’s glue, keeping it going even when rock & roll in the late '60s & early '70s threatened to submerge the Catalinas and beach music. The Catalinas had little choice but to play their share of Crosby, Stills & Nash, Grand Funk Railroad, etc. "You either played it or you didn’t get any work," said Gary Barker.
The Catalinas Album "Fun" 1964 RK Records M1006
“Fun” was produced by Bobby Darin’s T. M. Productions in two sessions (March 26 and May 20, 1964) at RCA Victor Studios in Hollywood, California.
- Gary Barker (lead guitar, vocals)
- Johnny Barker (keys, vocals)
- Lynn Barker (bass, keys, vocals)
- Dwight Nichols (lead vocals)
- Barry Duke (lead vocals, sax)
- Jody Rumple (drums/percussion, vocals)