The Sherwoods (8)
The Sherwoods (8) (Danbury, Connecticut)
(by Norm Marcioch)
Norm "Nolan" Marcioch (Lead)
1965 - The Search Is Over (Unreleased) (Crystal Ball "97")
1965 - That's my Desire (Unreleased) (Crystal Ball "97")
The Sherwoods were “born” in 1964 in Connecticut. All four members attended Danbury High School and got together after they had graduated. At first they were a duo, Norm Marcioch and Chuck Spaulding, who’d met in 1961 while both were hanging around Danbury’s musical mecca, the Record Fair record store in downtown Danbury. In 1964 Bob Benton came on board. Number four, Harry Hawkes, joined the group after Bob and Norm had heard him sing in the local Baptist Church choir.
Norm Nolan in action at Candlewood Arena - 1961
Now that they were at full strength the group practiced as often as they could. Most anytime. Most anywhere. One session especially stands out in their minds. It was a splendid early spring day in 1965 and the foursome set up at Sherwood Island State Park on the shore in Westport. There, with Chuck on his trusty acoustical guitar, the gang ran through their line-up of songs of the day mixed with a healthy dose of oldies.
Norm Marcioch Chuck Spaulding
It must have been a good blend . . . because suddenly it seemed that there was a sizable crowd clapping and singing along and making requests. “Gee, they must really like us,” Norm recalls himself thinking. Not only did the Sherwood Island outing give the quartet a jolt of confidence, it also gave them a name. When someone in the crowd shouted “What’s your name?” the almost immediate response was “We’re the Sherwoods.” And indeed they were.
A couple of years earlier Norm had heard a home-made demo by a local Elvis sound-alike named Fran Greer entitled Searching For Love. Norm was not impressed. To him, at least, the effort was short, disjointed and utilized lyrics that didn’t rhyme. Norm, however, liked the search idea and, with a little help from Chuck, penned the up-tempo gem proudly presented here. The Sherwoods played various gigs. They appeared at shows and dances in Danbury, Newtown, Bethel, Ridgefield and New Milford. The boys also ventured across the New York state line into Brewster, Mahopac and Carmel. Harry remembers playing the Birch Hill Ski Area in Patterson. “Our pay was a barbeque meal,” he laughs. Asked what would pay normally be he ponders a second or two, then laughs again and replies “a meal.”
The Sherwoods on LP - Crystal Ball Records 'From the Vaults' - Volume #3 - 1997
The group’s biggest thrill was, alas, also their biggest disappointment. It was their venture into “The Big Town,” New York City, to cut a demo at Broadway Recording Studios at 1697 Broadway and then shop it around down the block at the legendary Brill Building. The four-some, plus a friend of Bob’s to play drums, did the studio work for both songs in one take. Chuck then added a bass and rhythm guitar track as well.The group’s favorite spot: the sock hops held by Sol Goodman, the Record Fair’s proprietor, at the Danbury Roller Rink with Bridgeport disc jockey Harry Downey doing the emceeing.
Bob Benton Harry Hawkes
So far, so good But that was about to change. A short time later, when the demo copies were ready, Bob and Norm drove to Manhatten, picked them up, and went to work. Some record companies were polite and took a copy and said “We’ll call you.” while others were more direct. Norm recalls a visit to Laurie Records (Dion & the Belmonts’ original label) as typical. The person in charge played about 15 seconds of The Search Is Over and said “Thanks for coming in.” So much for fame and fortune.
The Search Is Over That's My Desire
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