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ABOUT THE BAND
"North Tower IS entertainment!"
“A delight to work with. Their musical talents and showmanship continue to entertain our diversified membership. ENCORE!”
“Absolutely FANTASTIC! We had a great crowd and everybody loved them.”
“North Tower is a terrific band to work with. They are professional, accommodating, and lots of fun! Their vocals and instrumentals are outstanding.”
“This band was more than we hoped for!”
"An excellent performance! You were terrific! We appreciate all your help and cooperation. The dance was a huge success thanks to you!”
“Super! From concerts to festivals, big and small, the band always gives a great show, always looks good, and always has fun!”
“If you are looking for a great band for any event, these guys are it!!”
“They do it all and they do it well."
North Tower has been one of the south’s great party bands for over 30 years, providing the best in oldies, beach, top 40 and funk. Sizzling brass, super vocals, and a wide ranging repertoire all contribute to making your event a night to remember!
Chuck Canady Guitar/Vocals Chuck has been playing professionally for 23 years. Over the years Chuck has performed with and shared the stage with many legends in the music industry. Artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Rivers, Hank Williams Jr, Delbert McClinton,Molly Hatchet, The Bellamy Bros., Terri Gibbs, The Crystals, The Drifters,The Coasters, and Jerry Butler among others. A veteran on the Beach Music scene, he has played with such notable beach bands as Ocean Drive, The Incredible Push Band, and the Original Main Event from Columbia, SC. He has been with North Tower for 15 years and is also an accomplished songwriter. Look for his latest tune “Since My Baby Been Gone” on the new North Tower CD, “It’s About Time”.
Bob Craig Sax/Vocals Bob Craig, from Mooresville, NC, is one of the original members of the North Tower Band. Bob has been a “saxman” for most of his life getting his start in and around Mooresville and Charlotte. His college years at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill led him and some friends to start North Tower and to name it after a dormitory on campus. He’s been an instrumental part of the group ever since with his great sax playing abilities, his backing vocals, and now his “sound dealing”. His acute business sense has also been invaluable. Bob currently resides with his wife and 4 children on the family estate just outside of Raleigh, NC. His interests are music, baseball, and he seems to spend a lot of time looking at cars.
Bobby Craig Drums Bobby Craig grew up listening to his dad, Bob Craig, play music with North Tower. As far back as he can remember, all he wanted to do was play drums in the band. In early 2008, he got his wish.
His musical influences vary greatly, ranging from big band to prog rock. His favorite drummer is Neil Peart, drummer for the Canadian rock trio RUSH.
Larry Dean Keyboards/Vocals Band leader Larry Dean’s musical education includes a major in piano and minor in voice at Campbell University. During these years he performed in jazz ensembles, vocal ensembles, solo classical piano, and voice. Professionally he has performed in jazz bands, country-western, top-40 groups, and solo piano.
Jeff Hinson Sax/Vocals Jeff Hinson is one of the newest membesr of North Tower. For the past 15 years Jeff has been the lead vocalist and played saxophone for the band Mirage, in Wilmington North Carolina. He said “Mirage taught me about the ‘music business’ and the decision to leave them was tough, but I’m excited about my opportunity with North Tower and am looking forward to making a positive impact on the band.”
To say that Jeff is a beach music fan is an understatement. When most of his friends were going to hard rock concerts Jeff was going to beach music festivals and beach clubs. He still recalls the first time he saw North Tower in the late 1980′s, when he was a college student at UNC-W. Now he’s part of the North Tower tradition.
The artists that have most influenced Jeff are Wilson Pickett, Jr. Walker, Chicago, Jay Beckenstein (Spyro Gyra) and beach music legend Craig Woolard.
Jeff lives in Wilmington with his wife Michelle and two sons, Austin and Garrett.
Johnny Hopkins Trumpet/Trombone/Vocals Johnny Hopkins has been entertaining audiences nationally for more than four decades. From his beginnings as a founding mumber of The Villagers, thru the years with The Embers and now with North Tower Band, Johnny continues touring.
Doug Manning Bass/Vocals Doug first start performing with a band in the 5th grade in elementary school. The band was called “The Avengers”. (The Avengers later changed their name to The Band of Oz) Shortly thereafter Doug moved to Whiteville,NC. Not long after arriving there a new band was formed called “The Sound Masters”. This name was dropped in high school and the group became known as “Infinity”. While still in high school this band played many paying gigs including a couple of clubs at North Myrtle Beach even though most of the band members were not old enough to get in.
In 1977 Doug moved to Raleigh, NC and yet again a new band was formed. This group, called “Carolina Trace”, had some minor success locally. Not happy however Doug, along with fellow “Carolina Trace” member Gary Dennis, decided to form a new Top 40,Beach and Showband using a couple of the guys from “Carolina Trace” and the members of a vocal quartet Dennis was part of in Chapel Hill called the “North Tower Quartet”. The group, formed in 1979, took the name “The North Tower Band”.
In 1990 Doug left North Tower to get a “real” job as it’s sometimes referred to. In 2011, after a more than a 20 year break, Doug has rejoined the band for one more ride. Not completely out of the music business during that 20 year span, he wrote several songs for others that enjoyed considerable airplay. Chasin Dreams for North Tower in 2005, So Hung Up on You for Gary Brown and most recently Thank Goodnness She Cheated which was recorded by The Entertainers. In addition to those, along with his daughter Taylor, Doug penned the tune Piece of Your Heart. This song was performed by Taylor and that tune plus several others recorded by Taylor have resulted in Doug now being known in the music business as “Taylor Manning’s daddy”! When not playing music or working, Doug is likely to be found sliding down a mountain, out on the lake with or watching his other daughter Casey play softball or cheer.
Neil Brown Sound Engineer Bio coming soon.
A Brief History of the Band
North Tower was started in 1975 as an acapella vocal quartet by a group of friends who attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (The name of the group represents an area of the Old East dormitory, where some of the members lived). The group shared a common appreciation of intricate four-part vocal harmonies and quickly garnered praise for their performances around the Triangle area. The focus on strong vocals became a hallmark of the North Tower tradition which proudly continues through today.
Gary Dennis, who was a member of the North Tower Quartet, and Doug Manning, a Raleigh based musician and vocalist, were playing in a Top 40 band called Carolina Trace, and on a couple of occasions Doug had played acoustic guitar for the North Tower quartet. In 1979, Gary and Doug decided to form a new band with the bass player and soundman for Carolina Trace, Bill Brooks and Anthony Tart respectively, and add the guys from the quartet to form a Beach Top 40 and Show Group. They decided to retain the North Tower name and called the new group The North Tower Band. The lineup at that time was Doug Manning, Gary Dennis, Bill Brooks, Tom Ed White, Lowell Ball, Anthony Tart, and Alan Meisenheimer. Their original show act was a 50′s routine called “Tom Ed White and The Comets”. Shortly thereafter, Saxophonist Bob Craig joined, and Bill Brooks left to be replaced by John Smith. After about a year, Alan Meisenheimer left for the Peace Corp and Lowell Ball left for law school. Larry Dean, who went to school with Anthony Tart at Campbell University, was recruited to play keyboards. Doug Hoover, who was brought in as a sound man, moved to the drums and Gary Dennis became the front man. The expanded group began touring the mid-Atlantic states performing a mix of hits from the current charts as well as classics from the past. This move proved successful and the group decided to pursue the music business full-time in 1980.
Throughout the eighties, the band continued to establish itself as one of the most popular acts in the Southeast. The band was known for its floor shows, which included a celebration of the 50′s era, a tribute to the musical genius of the Motown-era, a tribute to Frankie Valli, and a spoof of the Oak Ridge Boys, a popular country group from the eighties. The band also entered the beach music market by recording several singles which received regional airplay.
Chuck Canady joined North Tower in 1988 as lead vocalist and guitarist. Chuck’s talents added more depth and versatility to the band. He had established himself on the beach circuit by playing with great bands such as Ocean Drive, Push, and Main Event. Chuck’s strengths have proven to be a great fit for North Tower.
The success of their early recordings led to the release of an album length project called “Let’s Go ‘Round Again” in 1989. That recording contained “Paula,” an original tune by members, Doug Manning and Bob Craig, which received the Original Song of the Year award at the 1989 Beach Music Awards presentation.
In 1991, longtime drummer Doug Hoover decided to leave North Tower to form a new group with his brothers, Pat and Greg; also members of the North Tower family. Ex-Boomers drummer, Rick Murray, and Jim Stoudemire, from the Fabulous Kays, were enlisted to propel the group into the nineties. The group quickly added Jeff Swafford to play the trumpet and built a three-piece horn section. In an era when grunge and rap were king, clients and audiences alike loved the brass. The group made several long trips in the nineties taking the party to New York, Montreal, Tampa, and Phoenix to name a few as well as continuing to perform numerous dates a year in Virginia and the Carolinas.
In 2004, the band released the studio album “It’s About Time”. The album featured the monster beach hit, “Chasin’ Dreams.” The song stayed at the top of the beach music charts for several months.
In 2005, following the departure of Bob Craig, the band hired Sax player and frontman Jeff Hinson. Between his skills as an entertainer, vocalist, and sax player, Jeff was a great addition to the band. They also hired Johnny Hopkins, formerly of the Embers, to play trumpet.
In 2008, after a 3 year absence, longtime member Bob Craig returned to the band. With his return, his son Bobby took on the role as the band’s drummer.
In 2011, founding member Doug Manning returned to the band to play bass.
Important Booking Information and Tips
To book this band or ANY other Beach Music or Variety band, Regional or National Act, or DJ, TRUST THE EXPERTS - The Oz Agency - in business for over 40 years with an impeccable track record, and exclusive booking agency for The Band of Oz. Don't trust your important event entertainment to ANYONE else! Call (919) 772-2366.
Unlike most other agents, we have worn all three hats - Booking Agent, Performing Musician, and Venue Owner. We know what it's like from ALL THREE perspectives, which gives us an insight into this industry very few (if any) have.
If you book your entertainment directly and they no-show, or break down, what are you going to do? If you book through us, you have a much higher likelihood that we can get someone there. We can minimize your headaches, answer all your questions, address all your concerns, and make sure all the details are worked out smoothly. We are easy to do business with. We will earn your business. Thank you in advance.
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