In the 1960s, The Victors were hot stuff. Made up of a group of high-school musicians, The Victors performed at school dances, sock hops, NCO shows and parties.
So it was fitting that one of the organizers came up with the idea of The Victors playing at Fort Hunt’s reunion of the Classes of 1965-69, which was held last weekend.
Actually, it was a combination of players not only from The Victors, but The Prophets and The Berkshires as well. Kevin Tracy played with The Prophets and said, “We all played for competing bands, but we were all good friends.”
With just one practice, they took the stage both at the picnic on Saturday afternoon and then again on Saturday night at The Hilton.
“It’s like riding a bike. Most of the songs from the ‘60s only used three chords,” said one of the musicians.
Tony Kelly lived near band member, Bruce Barrett, and helped out with their concerts while he was in high school. He said, “We had a great time. They were the hottest band — if The Victors were playing at your party, everybody would go.”
Chris Farrell, who played lead guitar, came in from California, where he is a film composer. He’s currently working on some major films, including “The Haunting of Slaughter Studios.”
“A lot of these guys I haven’t seen in so many years,” he said. “It wasn’t until Frank Ceresi called and said, ‘What do you think of putting together a Victor reunion?’”
Teri (Tesa) Ranney Jones said, “They played all night. We had so much fun. The dance floor was packed.” She said that another alumnus, Bryant Cochran, also got members of his old band, Undercover, for an appearance at the picnic.
Tracy said that they had practiced 12 songs but ended up playing about 40. “They wouldn’t let us go. People kept yelling up names of songs to us, so we would start playing a few chords and then I would sing as many of the words that I remembered. Most of them were easy, like ‘Louie, Louie’ and ‘Hang on, Sloopy.’ I think they liked it.”
WHILE THE APPEARANCES by The Victors was a highlight of the reunion, the graduates enjoyed just getting together and reminiscing. The reunion weekend kicked off with a get-together at The Wharf, where a couple of hundred alumni took over the bar and restaurant.
As local grads Jones and Pitter Bautz Ranney signed guests in, graduates looked at a collage of newspaper clippings put together by Jones. She also showed a copy of her new book, “Cobwebs of Time,” which was released last year, to friends.
Hugs and kisses, giggles and tears, shrieks of “Oh my” could be heard as the graduates from the five different grades recognized fellow classmates. Some other local grads included Tom Harvey, Dan Hoehne, Jan Baker, Bonnie Christ, Pat Glass and Deborah Williams.
The fun continued the next day with a picnic at Fort Hunt Park. The weekend’s events concluded with the dinner dance at The HIlton Old Town and music by The Victors.