Although little known in the mainstream of rock ‘n’ roll, Johnny (b. 1914, USA) and his band of sweet-talking vocalists have been delighting fans and their own bank balance for more than six decades. Johnny first got the bug for broadcasting by becoming a regional break-out on a radio station in Silver Spring, Maryland. From that moment on he decided that television was the answer and that radio would not give him enough rewards. He set about making a career in both. Over the years the line-up of the Klugettes has changed but one face has been beating the drums with Johnny since 1967. The near-legendary Stu Subotnik (b. 1942, USA) is the Billy Strayhorn to Johnny’s Duke Ellington front-man status. Subotnik, who turned down an offer to join the similarly named Spotnicks in the early 60s, has been a key figure. He has collected gig money on behalf of the band for many years and has kept the members clean and on the straight and narrow, without having to resort to dirty laundromats to do their washing. Subotnik (known as ‘Scoobydoobie’ to his friends) is a keen jazz fan, and it is no secret that his strong Thelonious Monk influence has infiltrated the band. Another key member of the Klugettes is the petite, no-nonsense female vocalist Silvia (Miss Moneypenny) Kessel who joined the group in 1984. She is supported by Hilly Walsh and Floy Joy Jackson, the band’s ‘beautiful backing babes’. The present line-up is completed by Vinnie Santillo, Scotty Gallin and ‘Madame Sin’ Racine. The quiet-spoken Johnny is one of the most enigmatic characters on the scene, but there is no doubt as to who leads the band, on tour or in the studio. When Johnny takes the stage and Stu rolls out the drums, the Klugettes follow in great style.
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