Tampa, Florida 1964-1969
The Tropics and Lindsey Swida.
Photos Courtesy of Lindsey Swida 2005.
In 1966 The Tropics won The International Battle of the Bands held at the famous McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. The Band took first place over more than 1000 bands, which included names as Chicago and Tommy James & The Shondells. Out of that came a recording contract with Columbia Records and the single "Take the Time," produced by Teo Macero, which made it to the top of the charts and got a "92" on Dick Clark's American Bandstand
Buddy Pendergrass - Guitar & Keys
Eric Turner - Guitar & Vocals
Mel Dryer - Lead Vocals
Bobby Shea - Drums
Charlie Souza - Bass Guitar & Vocals
The Beatles, James Brown, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, Dave Clark Five, Paul Revere & The Raiders
Sunn sponsored the band in the late 60's and furnished all of our equipment & Ludwid sponsored us with Ludwig drums
Apple Rehearsal Studios, Oldsmar, Florida
1952 Cadilac with surfers stripes, 65 Ford van, & a converted customized city bus after it broke down, several Ford trucks with camper shell and trailer for gear!
International Battle of The Bands, Chicago, Ilinois - Won First Place and were singed to Columbia Records with our first big hit "Time".
Gig from Hell!:
International Battle of the Bands, Chicago, Illinois - took the train from Tampa Florida and missed our conection in Jacksonville (got to Chicago just in time to play But won anyway!
Largo Cultural Center, Largo Florida Aug 20th 2005 - "A Tribute to The Chief" Buddy Pendergrass who died of Cancer in 2003 - A Donation was made in his name to Moffitt Cancer Research.
The Tropics opened for The Who and Herman's Hermits at the Jackson, Mississippi coliseum in 1967
(pics and info courtesy Robert Allen Jackson)
The Tropics - Shown here with James Brown
Based out of Tampa Florida, The Tropics began as a seven piece horn band featuring Mel Dryer on lead vocals, Buddy Pendergrass on guitar and Spencer Hinkle on drums, with Wayne Guida on Trumpet and Ronnie Ferrer on sax. In 1965, the band changed styles, and became a Beatle type band, adding Eric Turner on guitar and Charlie Souza on Bass, dropping the horns and hiring a new drummer, Bobby Shea, They took on manager Margie Sexton, owner of the famous "SURFER'S CLUB," at Madeira Beach, Florida, a teen-age night club in the mid 60's.
In 1966, The Tropics, AKA "The Bitchin' Red Band" when playing on the Pier in Cocoa Beach, Florida, won The International Battle of the Bands held at the famous McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. The Band took first place over more than 1000 bands, which included such names as Chicago and Tommy James & The Shondells. Out of that came a recording contract with Columbia Records in New York and the single "Take the Time," produced by Teo Macero, which made it to the top of the charts and got a 92 on Dick Clark's American Bandstand! The origional recording of "Time" is on this CD.
The Tropics Documentary Video is available at the Tropics Website. www.charliesouza.com