The Deltones

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Not to be confused with the British ska/reggae band with the same name, the Deltones were comprised of six enlisted men stationed at the naval base at Whiting Field in Milton, FL, and one civilian. The…
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Not to be confused with the British ska/reggae band with the same name, the Deltones were comprised of six enlisted men stationed at the naval base at Whiting Field in Milton, FL, and one civilian. The group featured two lead singers, Wendell "Bee" Hall, who inspired comparisons with Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison, and Jackie Morningstar (born Willie Morrell), the band's only civilian, who played rhythm guitar. New Jersey-born Wayne Smith provided much of the band's sound with his single-note Chet Atkins-influenced lead guitar melodies. The band was rounded out by rhythm guitarist/background vocalist J. Buddy Knowland, Jr., tenor saxophonist Jerry Veight, bassist Peter Haskell, and drummer Ray Solito, the only member with prior musical experience. The band's shows were often dominated by self-appointed manager Johnny Fraser, who reportedly "hogged the mike" during their performances. Following the Deltones' disbanding, Haskell and Solito, who was known for his imitation of Jackie Wilson, continued to work together in a trio.