Band Of Oz

The beach music group Band of Oz evolved from the Greenville, North Carolina Rose High School stage band. The group of high school students became a professional band during the early 1970s and featured Chuck French (trumpet), Gary Warren (saxophone), Randy Hignite (keyboards), Jim Heidenreich (drums) Johnnie Byrd (bass), Keith Houston (guitar) and Buddy Johnson on vocals. In 1971 Johnson was replaced by Billy Bazemore.

The group’s first single, “Shaggin,” was released in 1978; the follow year they released “Star of My Life.”

The Band of Oz perform in a total of 200 to 300 shows a year. During the 1980s there were personnel changes in the group, which released their hit single, “Shama Lama Ding Dong” in 1995. That song won the “People’s Choice Song of the Year” honors at that year’s Cammy Awards and became one of the most performed beach songs of all time.

The Band of Oz was inducted into the Beach Music Hall of Fame in 1997.

Current and past members of the group include Chris Keaton, Thomas “Butch” Barnes, Billy Bazemore, Rick Brogden, Johnny Byrd, Roland Colsen, Charlie Satterwhite, Shep Fields, Scott Fine, Ronnie Forbes, David Franks, Chuck French, Mickey Hardie, Jim Heidenreich, David Hicks, Randy Hignite, Keith Houston, Buddy Johnson, Bob Lynch, Daniel Morris, Tim Morris, Rick Sanders, Jimmy Smith, Rick Strickland, “Big” John Thompson, Freddy Tripp, Gary Warren, and Jerry West.

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