The MOB Story

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Part 1:
"The Roots"

Part 2:
"The Incubation Period"

Part 3:
"The Nucleus Forms"

Part 4:
"The Final Piece"

Part 5:
"What Ever Happened To?"


The MOB Story

PART TWO -"Incubation Period"


Jimmy Ford & The Kasuals, 1963

Jimmy Ford was a young, up and coming, high register trumpet player in the Chicago area. For years, his group, Jimmy Ford & The Kasuals had been a solid 4 piece combo, performing at dances and wise-guy owned clubs in Chicago. Mike Sistak on guitar, Ron Gately on bass, Dwight Kalb on drums and Jimmy Ford on trumpet, played jazz standards and R&B instrumentals of the day.


Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars

Through Jimmy's due diligence, he built a relationship with Bob Ahlert, the head of the William Morris office in Chicago. Since Jimmy's band was all accomplished musicians that could read music, Bob secured them a job as a back-up band for an upcoming 1964 Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tour. Ron Gately, the bass player, opted to not go on the road and was replaced by Wayne Erwin, a former member in Holvay & Beisbiers' high school group, The MayBees.

Their musical skills of backing up hit recording stars on the show was a success, which secured Jimmy and his group a regular spot for more Dick Clark tour opportunities.

While performing in Nashville, they were contacted by Brenda Lee's attorney. He informed them that Brenda's back-up band was also called The Casuals and that they would have to change their name. Jimmy changed the name of the group to The Executives.

In the fall of 1964, Wayne Erwin, the bass player, left the group and was replaced by Jimmy Guercio. Dwight Kalb on drums, also left the group to pursue his art career. Danny Seraphine, who lived a few blocks away from Dwight and was being mentored by him on drums, replaced Kalb. Guerico had befriended Wally Parazadier while attending DePaul University and later brought Wally into the band. Wally, in turn, brought Terry Kath into the band to play bass.

In January of 1965, more Dick Clark tours started to come Jimmy Ford's way. Unfortunately, most of the Executives were attending college as the Vietnam War was raging and could not leave school. Jimmy needed to assemble a second Executive band to handle the road work.


The Executives, 1965

Jimmy Ford recruited Jim Holvay (guitar), Gary Beisbier (sax), Rick Panzer (trumpet), Bobby Ruffino (drums), Jimmy Guercio (bass), and Kevin Murphy (organ), who were all joined together to form The Executives #2 tour band.


The Tour Bus

That unit performed numerous tours across the US and Canada as the Vietnam War continued to escalate. In the fall of 1965, after a near fatal bus crash while on tour, coupled with a much needed "time out" from the grueling road schedule, all the members of the band returned to Chicago.

Holvay and Beisbier registered for college, Ruffino joined the Marine National Guard, Guercio stayed in Los Angeles, and Kevin Murphy returned to Chicago.

After Holvay's return to Chicago and while attending a local Junior College, he called on Jimmy Ford and Mike Sistaks musical talents, along with Lee Loughne and Danny Seraphine, for recording sessions he was co-producing with Joe DeFrancesco. Joe was a local promoter who would search out groups to record and then shop them to local labels in hopes of securing a record contract.

Click here to read Part 3: "The Nucleus Forms"