The Mighty Manatees

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The Mighty Manatees
Years active1985 (1985)–present
LabelsFuzztone Records, Shady Egyptian Records, Hungadunga Records, JefDam Records, Shoreline, Lakestone Records, Ronkle Records, DeCarlo Records, Flexitone Records
MembersRanger Will
Joe "Jo-Zo" Rizzo
Karl "K-Jo" Frick
Tim Hooper
Jim Hines
Past members
Many of the players on this list still play with The Mighty Manatees on occasion:
Ray Adkins
Rev. Tom "Bebop" Brunner
Ted "The Fiddler" Wilby
Roy Truax
Myles Rothwell
Andrew "Dr. Drew" Geltzer
Jim "Grandpa" Cavanaugh
Jim Sergovic
Eric Allal
Andy Vernon
Ritchie DeCarlo
Tim Campbell
Jeff "Blondy" Von Stenz
Harold Watkins
Bobby Michaels
Ras Michael Sheffer
Kathleen Weber
Nancy Josephson
Jim Verduer
Tom Mussleman
Chris Delsordo
Brian Herder
Waler Tates Jr.
Jason Crosby
Brett Hass
Randy Wagner
Aaron DeAngelo
Terry DeAngelo
Roy Bell
John Bian

The Mighty Manatees is an American "Dreadneck" band based in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Throughout a career spanning four decades the band has been known by many different names, including The Manatees, The Mighty Manatees Medicine Show,[1] and Los Manatees.


Between 1985 and 1990 the group was named simply The Manatees, and its first show was on October 31 (Halloween), 1985. At the time, the band was a duo, consisting of Will Hodgson and Ray Adkins, which relied on drum machines and sequencers. During this time, they released two live cassettes and two videos, including the cult classic Manatees In Manhattan.

In 1990 bass player Roy Truax and drummer Myles Rothwell were added to the line-up. The following year, the studio album High Water was released.

In 1992 Truax left the band and was replaced by Rothwell's cousin Randy Wagner.

In 1993 Adkins left the band and Hodgson effectively took over. From then on, the group, renamed The Mighty Manatees, became a de facto musical co-operative which employed a steady stream of various musicians coming and going.

In January 2000, Karl Frick joined the band playing Hammond Organ and Wurlitzer electric piano.

On September 11, 2002 the band played alongside G.L. Brackett, an English professor and musician, in a tribute to those who died in the September 11 attacks.[2]

In January 2007 Jim Cavanaugh, previously of Wanderlust, became the drummer for The Mighty Manatees.

In September 2011 Andrew Geltzer became the keyboard player and Karl Frick switched from Hammond/Wurlitzer to bass, replacing Randy Wagner.

In 2012 Jim Cavanaugh and Will Hodgson played in Belfast and Dublin, backing up Shana Morrison opening for father Van Morrison.[3]

In 2014 Tim Hooper replaced Andrew Geltzer on keyboards.

In 2015 Jim Hines (formerly Brian Wilson's drummer) replaced Jim Cavanaugh.


  • 1988 [Cassette] Manatees - Live
  • 1989 [Cassette] History Of The Manatees Vol. One
  • 1991 High Water
  • 1991 The Shoreline Sampler Vol. One (Compilation)
  • 1992 The Mighty Manatees - Whiskey Joe's
  • 1996 South Paw
  • 1996 Live Medicine[4]
  • 1996 'Tees In The Keys
  • 2002 All Heaven Broke
  • 2002 Manatee Masquerade
  • 2003 Go Forward (Compilation)
  • 2003 Good Friday Tracks - La Banda Grande
  • 2004 Tall Pines (acoustic)
  • 2006 No "L" (Christmas compilation)
  • 2008 The Mighty Manatees
  • 2009 The Mighty Manatees Live!
  • 2013 Medicine Show

Video Releases[edit]

  • 1989 Manatees In Manhattan (60min)
  • 1990 Save This (30 min)


  1. ^ Colby, Paul (2002), The Bitter End: Hanging Out at America's Nightclub, Cooper Square Press, p. 207, ISBN 978-0-8154-1206-9
  2. ^ Gonzales, Misty (2002-09-25), "English professor rocks on to benefit 9/11", The Pace Press, retrieved 2009-09-20
  3. ^ Gary, Puleo (2012-02-12), "Local duo opens for Van Morrison", The Times Herald, retrieved 2015-12-02
  4. ^

External links[edit]