Tom 'Bubba' Lee
Bubba sings ...
Born in Detroit, Tom began his musical career early with piano and violin . His Grandmother, Phyllis Young, gave him his first guitar which was owned by late Uncle Kenneth Young, who lost his life in World War II. (Thank you for serving our country, Uncle Ken) Throughout his schooling, he sang in choirs, Madrigal & Barbershop ensembles, and played the lead role of Little Chap in a high school production of "Stop The World, I Want to get Off!"
1963-First band- Kim Breech & Brad Mitzlefeld.
1964-The Fortunes Gary Griffin, Gordon Smith, Chris Binkley, John Bingham
1965- 1969 The Odds & Ends. Gary Griffin, Gordon Smith,Tim Hsu, Dave Mammon
1971- Formed first original band Springport Bouquet with Gary Griffin (vocals, guitar, bass & piano) Bob Byrne ("Robert"/deceased) (vocals, guitar, lap steel, piano) Dave Morse (drums) Glenn Richter(Manager) ***Robert Byrne went on to achieve great success as one on Nashville's top songwriters before he passed.
1972- The band moved out to Malibu, Ca to write and record. It was there they met and became friends with Mike Denecke. Mike was the recording engineer for The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and King Harvest. He also invented the Denecke Time Code Slate, still used today in video & film production. Mike recorded the band, allowing them to learn about the recording process and further develop as songwriters. They performed original music at The Troubadour, Ye Little Club, and Trancas Canyon, as well as clubs in the Los Angeles area.
Tom went back to Michigan to finish an English degree, returning to California yearly to record with Mike Denecke, who produced Tom's original LP "Take Off The Day".
In 1980, Tom formed The Citizens with Gary Griffin, Rick Yardley, & Michael Parrentoni. Their highlight was opening for the Doobie Brothers at Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Michigan. (Their first time playing in front of 8,000 people!)
Back to California- 1981
to settle in Van Nuys. Dear Friend Joann Kurman suggested that Tom contact Sterns On The Hill in Playa del Rey for a possible gig. Soon joined by Don Raymond, they played the gig as a duo for over a year.
Married With Children
Tom and Wanda van den Ende were married, and had two wonderful children, Charlotte & Tommy!
Big Daddy 1982-1993
Don Raymond introduced Tom to Marty Kaniger and Bob Wayne at a recording session for Marty's "It's So Hard Top Say I Love You" song. They were looking for a bass singer. This happened to be the first recording to be produced at Bob's new studio in Culver City..."Sunburst". Everyone got along just fine. Soon after the recording session, Bob & Marty wanted to put "Big Daddy" together. We were all game. The lineup was Bob, Marty, David Starns, Gary Hoffman & Tom.
Bob had mentioned the possibility of recording an album on the Rhino Records label, and asked if Tom would be interested. He laughed "Sure!", not even thinking that this would take place. One day Bob called Tom up & said "Hey, do you remember the recording project we talked about? Well, it's happening!" Tom immediately started laughing. Bob said ..."You think I'm kidding, don't you?" "Sure I do!" Tom replied. "All my life I've been waiting for a record deal, and here it is placed in my lap?" Bob said "I'm serious. This is going to happen!" It did...and the rest is our story.
While recording & performing with Big Daddy, Tom worked at Universal Studios for several years as a member of the doo-wop group "Double Date", as well as playing the roll of Jake in The Blues Brothers Show.
Tom also sidelined for several Irish bands in Los Angeles, soaking up a love for Irish music...along with a wealth of Irish songs, and adequate "drops of the pure". A few of the bands he performed with are The Vagabonds, Des Regan (deceased) and Men Of Worth (Donnie Macdonald and James Keigher).
In 1986, Tom started an Irish Duo "The Shenanigans" with guitar virtuoso Zavier (John Welch/deceased) This duo continues today with Don Raymond in LA, and Gary Griffin with Rick Yardley in Detroit.
Tom produced 2 collections of popular Irish & traditional songs on cassette..."Songs Of Ireland" by The Shenanigans with Zavier", and "These Lands Of Ours" with Benny McInally.
Garfield and Friends writer Mark Evanier asked Tom to sing on two Garfield Episodes, "Garfield The Musical" and "The Ocean Blue".
Tom returned with his family to Michigan.
While in the Motor City, Tom played a weekend gig at The Clarkston Cafe with The Shenanigans...for 12 years! He also worked for AT&T/Ameritech/SBC /YP from 2001-2014.
Tom sang on dozens of radio & television commercials created at Dan Yessian Music.
Tom was hired by friend & Andover classmate Tim Byer (Gail & Rice) to set 600 names to customized Hawaiian music, and give a live performance in Hawaii to honor the GTE Winners Circle. Tim Byer (Firefly Productions) also used Tom as a voice over artist in a corporate presentation held at the haunted Hotel del Coronado.
Tom has been writing songs for over 45 years, and continues to collaborate with close friends Gary Griffin, Al Carmichael, and Don Raymond.
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Now back in California, Tom is performing and recording with Big Daddy.
He does solo performances at Buchanan Arms British Pub in Burbank/Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:30-9:00
"Donny D" Raymond
Donny sings ...
Don's musical career started in a 1952 Chevy on route to Yosemite National Park, when the spanish guitar licks of the song "El Paso" danced out the front 2" speaker. Only 5 years old Don asked his dad: "What instrument is that and I want to learn to play it". A month later his dad returned home from the music store, not with a guitar but an accordion. And that how it all got started!
Studied classical guitar for 7 years, joining rock bands in High School, Don later studied music at SMC and UCLA. Had a small record deal in Hollywood at 20 years old, guided by manager Ray Augustine ( Al Wilson ) recorded a single "White Clouds" with little success but cool learning experience. Moved to Detroit in late 70's after meeting a great musician/songwriter Gary Griffin and played 6 nights a week all over Michigan. Joined a punk band called The Brunettes and recorded a 45 single "Me and You" had some local success. Before moving back to LA, Don joined a cool rock/motown vocal band called "The Movies" and played all the local clubs.
Returning to LA after 4 years was like starting over again. Playing solo guitar in restaurants and writing songs living in a single flat in Playa del Rey till a small part on NBC's "FAME" TV show as guitar player in Lee's band came along. A few small lines here and there, lots of fun for 2 seasons. New Wave music hit the LA scene and clubs like Madame Wong's and the Music Machine were packed. The band (Z-Dogs) was formed with Melinda Raymond and a few members of her old band. Great original songs and heavy new-wave grooves, the Dogs rocked the club scene.
Big Daddy was already cruising along in early 1986 when Don joined the band. Recording LP's "Cutting Their Own Groove" and "Sgt. Peppers" for Rhino Records. Touring in Australia we landed a record deal with Virgin Records with our single "The Land Down Under" and filmed a MTV music video. Later with fellow Big Dads, Marty and Bob we recorded "Chantmania" and filmed a 120 minute made for
Blockbuster Documentary/Video. The Best of Big Daddy came a few years later where along with our old catalog we recorded our last record "My Heart Will Go On" (Theme from the Titanic".
Don joined the Jan & Dean Band in 1993 and is currently touring with them. Don along with other members of Jan & Dean formed The Surf City Allstars playing corporate parties all over the world. Don co- produced the first surf 5.1 surround sound DVD "I Get Surround" featuring a guitar duet with Don & Jeffrey "Skunk" Baxter ( Steely Dan & Doobie Brothers) on AIX Records. In 2001 co-produced for DVD, "Weird Al Live" and Mannheim Steamroller's "Christmas Angel" for AIX Media Group.
From 2000 - current, Don has been the musical director for Universal Studios Theme Park shows. Produced-Arranged-Recorded all musical tracks for live shows in the parks. Shows include: Blues Brothers, Grammy Award Show, Michael Jackson Tribute, The Beatles "Imagine" and many others.
Composer for Asylum Films feature film "Sunday School Musical" in 2007. Composer for Jay Silverman's production "Zakland" featuring Zak Morgan. A pilot made for DVD release. Composer and creator for the "MrGig Show" an animated reality episodic series.
Don re-edited the movie "Titanic" to Big Daddy's recording of "My Heart Will Go On" in 2012. It's a rocking MTV style music video and can be view on bigdady59.com as well as on YouTube.
Highlights of of Don't musical career include performing with: The Ventures, Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys, The Drifters, The Coasters, Little Richard, Brian Setzer, LA Philharmonic, Paul Williams, Lori Lieberman, Big Daddy, Lou Christy, The Monkees, The Rivingtons, Leslie Gore, America, John Stamos, Al Jardine, Jeffrey "Skunk" Baxter and all the LA & Detroit musicians!
"Lightnin' Bob" Wayne
Bob sings ...
Bob Wayne has been involved with music ever since his first clarinet lesson at the age of ten. He quickly went from clarinet to tenor sax and then to “Gut Bucket” bass for his first musical group with fellow high school students Marty Kaniger (later to be a fellow member of “Big Daddy”) and Mike Shedlin. Their folk group, The Ascot Singers, never replaced Peter, Paul and Mary at the top of the charts but it was Bob’s first taste of performing and singing in front of an audience and he was hooked.
After graduating from UCLA with an MBA in 1973, Bob took a job at Preview House, a market research firm in Hollywood. He became involved with testing records for major labels and ran the department in charge of format transfers and quality control.
During that same time, Bob, Marty Kaniger, Tom Lee, Gary Hoffman and David Starns formed a band that would turn out to have a very long musical life...”Big Daddy”. Starting out as an 1950’s “oldies” band, Big Daddy eventually recorded five CD’s...four of which were released on Rhino Records from 1983 – 1992. The band also toured extensively overseas and had a national top 20 hit in 1985 with the Bruce Springsteen penned “Dancing In The Dark”. Bob along with Big Daddy members Marty Kaniger and Don Raymond recorded “Chantmania” as “The Benzadrine Monks of Santo Domonica”. This spoof on the “Chant” album from 1994 became the biggest domestic original release ever on the Rhino Records label.
Bob also established Sunburst Recording, a full service recording studio for both music and spoken word which operated in Los Angeles and then Culver City from 1977 through 2014. He won a Grammy award for his engineering work on George Carlin’s CD “Napalm & Silly Putty” and has also been a Grammy finalist many times with Firesign Theatre and other acts. He has also recorded and produced many other projects including work with Adam Sandler, Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer), and Henry Mancini Sax legend Plas Johnson.
More recently, Bob established Sunburst Archiving & Restoration Services, a division of Sunburst Recording. During the past five years, this division has grown to help rescue deteriorating analog recordings for educational institutions (including UCLA Research Library’s Special Collection), museums, private collectors and the music industry. Bob has also produces narration and sound effect recordings for Morbid Industries, a division of Rubie’s Costume Company, one of the world’s largest manufacturer of Halloween dolls & clothing.
In 2016, Bob co-directed with writer Ira Heffler “An Evening with Betsy O’Connell,” a musical comedy which ran for six consecutive sold out weeks in North Hollywood. The play will be reprised in 2017.
2016 was also the reformation of “Big Daddy” as a touring unit and Bob is enjoying making music again with the old pals.
Marty "The K" Kaniger
(Not Currently Touring)
Marty sings ...
Marty Kaniger began his career in music by performing three songs in front of six hundred people at a high school “hootenanny” in 1963. This was the first time he had played guitar and sang for more than just a few friends or family members and, as he laughingly recalls, “I was so terrified, that the time between taking the stage and leaving the stage was an absolute and utter blank. “I was totally unaware of singing those three songs”. But the audience was aware and gave him a rousing round of applause, and that... he remembered. At that moment, he knew the course he would follow.
He continued to perform at school and community events. He performed as a solo guitarist/vocalist and also in various combinations with other local musicians, such as “The Ascot Singers”, a folk trio including friend and fellow classmate Mike Shedlin also on vocals and guitar, and childhood friend and classmate Bob Wayne on vocals and “gut-bucket” bass. Years later, Bob and Marty would get together to form Big Daddy.
In 1965, his senior year of high school, Marty would partner with another fellow classmate and guitarist, Dan Peyton, to form a highly successful local rock group, “The Loved Ones”. They played not only school dances and events, but were soon performing in clubs all over the L.A area, private parties, and major corporate events. In 1968, the group was signed to a contract with Colgems Records, released one single, and then broke up. But all was not lost, because Marty and Dan were almost immediately signed to Colgems Records as recording artists under the name P.K. Limited and to Screen Gems / Columbia Music, a major music publisher, as exclusive writers. Things were looking up!
Between 1968 and 1972, Marty and Dan worked almost non-stop. They recorded and released four singles, produced by David Gates, leader of the chart topping group “Bread”, for the Colgems label, Some even became regional hits. Their version of “Shades Of Gray” actually topped the Monkees version on the charts in several Midwestern cities. Speaking of the Monkees, Marty and Dan also provided back-up vocals on several Monkees recordings. They were also primary vocalists on the Warner Bros. Records’ “Mystic Moods: Awakening” LP. Their songs were recorded by the likes of Brian Hyland and, then teenage heart-throb, Sajid Kahn. They wrote songs for the Partridge Family and Bobby Sherman TV shows. They wrote and recorded the title song and several others for the Columbia Pictures film, “Getting Straight”, starring Elliot Gould and Candace Bergen, and directed by Richard Rush. In addition to writing and recording most of the songs for the movie, their guitar work and vocals can be heard throughout the movie’s soundtrack. During their years as Screen Gems writers, they also wrote songs for several TV pilots. Marty was often hired by other writers to sing on their demo recordings. In ’72, Marty and Dan were switched from Colgems to Bell Records and released a few more singles, also produced by David Gates. They then left Bell and Screen Gems and struck out on their own. They were hired by Premore Productions to write several songs for a network television musical comedy special, “Dora’s World”.
Through the 70’s, Marty performed at restaurants and clubs around Southern California. He worked as a principal performer and vocalist for TV and movie composer/arranger Fred Karlin on the 1977 CBS network TV special, “They Said It With Music: Yankee Doodle to Ragtime.” He also worked with Fred Karlin and other film and TV composers, like Bill Conti and lyricist Norman Gimbal, singing on their demo recordings.
In the early 80’s, Marty and Bob Wayne, Tom Lee, Gary Hoffman, and Dave Starns formed Big Daddy. Originally a 50’s cover band, they switched to the concept of re-arranging and performing contemporary hit songs in the styles of the 1950’s. Between 1983 and 1992, they released four albums on Rhino Records and toured extensively in the U.S. and overseas. The band had a top 20 hit in England in 1985 with their 50’s version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark.” In 1994, Marty, Bob Wayne, and Don Raymond – aka “The Benzedrine Monks of Santo Domonica” – recorded the CD “Chantmania”, a takeoff on the surprisingly successful “Chant” album of that same year... contemporary rock classics in the styles of Gregorian chants. “Chantmania” turned out to be the biggest selling original recording ever on the Rhino Label. In 2000, the band – Marty, Bob, Tom, and Don - released “The Best Of Big Daddy”, a compilation of some of their favorite tracks from their first four albums, a previously unreleased live recording, and a newly recorded bonus cut – “My Heart Will Go On”, from the hit movie “Titanic”.
In more recent years, Marty has kept busy doing some solo/acoustic gigs. He has, with Bob Wayne, produced and performed on CD projects for Rhino Records and CDs for singer/songwriter/comedian Henry Phillips. For several years he did all of the music licensing for an international toy manufacturer, and for CD and production projects. Most recently, he was back in the studio working with Bob, Tom, and Don on a new Big Daddy album which was released in 2013.
Todd is a veteran stage and soundtrack musician who has worked with many internationally recognized acts. As well as Big Daddy, Todd has lent his talents to: Stephen Bishop, Jan & Dean, Spencer Davis, Peter & Gordon, Mickey Dolenz, Darlene Love, Laurence Juber (from Wings), Paul Williams and Phyllis Diller to name a few. When not making music Todd enjoys hiking, camping, golf and a good glass of wine.
Saxophonist/Vocalist/Percussionist Steve Nieves was raised on a virual smorgasbord of musical styles in his hometown of San Diego, California. As his parents possessed a love for music of all kinds, he grew up with an unlikely mix of recordings that ranged from artists like James Brown to Sergio Mendes, The Jazz Crusaders to Tito Puente, and many others. Beginning his studies on the alto sax at age 7, young Nieves also started a love affair with percussion, which seemed a natural step for him since he comes from a family of drummers. Adding lead vocals to his arsenal, a teenage Nieves took to the thriving San Diego music scene and soon he was in demand as both a sideman and leader. By his twenties he had worked along side some of the area's top players including Jason Scheff (now with CHICAGO) and members of the popular smooth jazz group FATBURGER.
In 1981, Steve made the move north to Los Angeles area and began touring with Warner Brothers recording artists MAMMATAPEE, a national R&B act discovered by legendary Motown writer/producer Norman Whitfield. It wasn't long before he had his first major recording contract, singing with Motown Records in 1984 as the front man for JAKATA. That began a longstanding relationship with producer Steve Barri (responsible for signing STEELY DAN). He appeared on DAVE MASON's recordin, "Two Hearts" (MCA Records), alongside Stevie Winwood and Phoebe Snow. In 1998, Steve released his solo album "Dream Harvest" (JVC Records) which included both keyboardist Jeff Lober and bass giant Abraham Laborial. In 1999, Steve and his longtime collaborators formed the group JANGO. Under Barri's guidance they released the album "Dreamtown" (Samson Records) which included a cover of Victor Feldman's "With Your Love" that went on to earn JANGO a nomination for "Best New Artist of the Year" at the 2000 National Smooth Jazz Awards. Their second release "Closer To Home " earned them a spot at Europe's famed North Sea Jazz Festival in 2001. The new millennium found Steve as busy as ever juggling appearences with JANGO, as well as wth renowned guitarist/producer/Emmy nominee Chieli Minucci, leader of the Grammy Nominated group SPECIAL EFX.
In the summer of 2005, Steve was tapped for the Loggins & Messina "Sittin' in Again" reunion band. A DVD of the fifty-city tour was subsequently released. He finished that yeart with country great Clint Black. Steve followed up in 2006 with Kenny Loggins on his "Celebrate Me Home" Christmas tour". This time the legendary duo welcomed The Gabe Dixon Band, Poco, Richie Furay, and Dave Mason to open selected shows. 2010 found Steve once again joining the Kenny Loggins band on tour as Kenny brought back favorites from the highly successful "Leap of Faith" project.
Since 2001, he has been a regular member of the Lao Tizer Band (another nominee for "Best New Smooth Jazz Artist"). The band has recently finished their 4th studio CD, recorded and filmed live in Hollywood's famed Conway Studios, set for release in early 2018.
In 2014 Steve was invited by pop icon Olivia Newton-John to join her band for selected dates in her Las Vegas residency at the fabulas Flamingo Hotel Donnie & Marie showroom, and startingin 2017 he became a regular member of her touring band.
In 2016 Steve was invited to join the popular Los Angeles based Big Daddy '59
(Rhino Records), stepping in to fill the big shoes of group founder & vocalist Marty Kaniger, as well as providing the tenor sax, flute and percussion stylings so important to this group's unique sound.
2107 will find Steve embarking on a vast array of diverse musical situations. From Maui to Amsterdam to Africa and beyond, he continues to broaden his musical journey in fresh and exciting ways.
Steve endorses TOCA percussion, AQUARIAN drumheads, SUPERNATURAL cymbals, & ANTIGUA woodwinds.
Contact information: 951. 966.7165
Arists Steve has opened for include:
CHICAGO-PATTY AUSTIN-MARCUS MILLER-TOWER OF POWER-RICK BRAUN-RONNIE LAWS-CRAIG CHAQUICO-TOM SCOTT-JETHRO TULL-DAVID BENOIT-K.C.& THE SUNSHINE BAND-BONEY JAMES-JACK BRUCE-UB40/CHRISSY HYNDE-MARION MEADOWS-DENNIS DE YOUNG-STARSHIP-THE DOOBIE BROTHERS-CHRIS BOTTI-GEORGE BENSON/AL JARREAU-DAVID PACK-KANSAS-ROBIN THICKE-ISAAK HAYES-SOULIVE-THE COMMODORES-ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA-SPYRO GYRA-PEABO BRYSON-JOHN LEGEND-AVERAGE WHITE BAND-OLETA ADAMS-DAVE KOZ-SHEILA E-BELA FLEK-KELLY CLARKSON-JENNIFER HUDSON-HUGH JACKMAN
Bassist Denny Croy got his first taste of playing the blues when, at age 17 and what a taste it was!. He would go over to legendary Guitarist T-Bone Walker's house to jam with him in T-Bones living room. Croy's professional career began in 1979 when he toured and recorded with Capitol Record's artist Moon Martin, who is best known for penning the multi-recorded hit 'Bad Case of Loving You'. Croy would go on to record with such artists as Lou Christie, Darlene Love, Lesley Gore, Freddy 'Boom Boom' Cannon, Victoria Williams, Micky Dolenz, The Williams Bros, The Foremen, Big Daddy, Lawrence Lebo, Brian Setzer, Keb’ Mo’, Fiona Boyes and Doug MacLeod.
Denny has appeared on such popular TV shows as The Tonight Show, Mad TV, and The Midnight Special. He has played on several movie soundtracks including Spring Break, One Fine Day, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, and Last Seduction.
In addition to keeping busy as a bassist, Denny is an educator. He has been the exclusive bass teacher at the world famous McCabe’s Guitar Shop School of Music for the past twenty years and Dean of the school for the past seven years. Having trained with legendary “Wrecking Crew” and Motown bassist Carol Kaye, Denny is one of a select few bass instructors in the Los Angeles area that Ms. Kaye recommends
Michael Chanslor, versatile keyboardist and vocalist, was born in St. Louis, MO, and raised in Midwestern America. He has been performing and recording live music since the age of 14.
Michael has made many national TV appearances, including five times on The Tonight Show, both performing and conducting the Tonight Show orchestra. He has appeared at Radio City Music Hall, the SuperDome, the SuperBowl, Walt Disney World, and various locations around the world including Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, England, Singapore, Thailand, and South Africa.
“Performing with Big Daddy is the most fun of all!" says Michael, who has shared the stage with:
Billy Vera and the Beaters
Jack Mack and the Heart Attack
Les Brown and His Band of Renown
The Denver Philharmonic Orchestra
The Mills Brothers
The Radio City Music Hall Orchestra
The Talk of the Town Orchestra, London, England
The Tonight Show Orchestra