Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Hello All-

Thank you to all for a great 2013, as we saw the release of our book. There's lots more to come in 2014   with the book, and other projects related to There Was A Time. And I hope to see you soon. Check out our book on Amazon, or email me via this site, or our publisher site, fortcanogapress.blogspot.com.

Thanks to all, and happy New Year,
-Daniel (and Jake Berger)
December 31, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Nothing Says Christmas Like Our Book

Hello All-

Just a friendly reminder that our book makes for a bad-ass Christmas present. Check out our book on Amazon, or email me at danielcoston (at) aol dot com. Thanks, and happy Christmas,
November 19, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

News on the Mannish Boys, and a new release from Fort Canoga Press

Hello All-

If you're in Charlotte, NC on December 15th, come out to the Thirsty Beaver Saloon around 5pm. Book co-author Jake Berger will be there leading the Mannish Boys in some raucous Rock & Roll. His co-author, yours truly, will be there to say hello and maybe shake a tambourine.

Fort Canoga Press has now released its second book! This book, Charlotte's Home Of The Blues, is an update of a book I co-authored with the late Debby Wallace in 2009 on Charlotte's fabled blues music venue. The book features Jake Berger, and many other folks featured in There Was A Time. I've added a new chapter, new photos, and the first-ever publication of photos from the night that Eric Clapton played the Double Door. You can purchase the book here-


You can also more info on the book, as well as There Was A Time, at fortcanogapress.blogspot.com. Thanks, and happy holidays,
December 14, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Nice review in Big Takeover Magazine of our book

Jacob Berger & Daniel Coston

There Was A Time: Rock ’n’ Roll In The 1960s In Charlotte, and North Carolina
            (Fort Canoga Press)

Any region boasts a rich musical past. Some, such as New York, L.A., and Nashville are known, but rock sprung up everywhere, including North Carolina, and Berger and Coston are perfect historical guides. In this oral history, the region’s early days of rock, with such artists as The Paragons [not the “TheTide is High” ‘60s Jamaican ska group or the ‘50s Brooklyn R&B group.—ed.] with their 1966 local hit “Abba” and others show the development of a scene that rode the wave of the British Invasion, soul from Motown and Stax, and AM radio pop. Later, early efforts by Don Dixon (with Arrogance) or Mitch Easter with his early band Sacred Irony, helped lead, decades later to the area becoming one of the most important stopping grounds in the1980s punk/new wave scene. Berger and Coston have produced a work that will serve as a compelling read. (therewasatimebook.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hello To Everyone That Heard About Our Book ON WNCW


Hello to everyone that heard me on WNCW yesterday. Yes, our book covers the Rock & Roll, Garage Rock and Psychedelic that was in Charlotte, and NC during the 1960s. This is the first book of its kind about this era of music in North Carolina. Here's the songs you heard on the show yesterday, all of which are featured in There Was A Time.

Grifs (Charlotte, NC) "Keep Dreamin'", 1967
Bondsmen (Durham, NC) "I See The Light", 1968
Paragons (Charlotte, NC) "Abba", 1966

You can find all of these on Youtube, and on Ken Friedman's fantastic Tobacco A Go Go series, much of which is available online.

To order copies direct from the authors, you can contact me at danielcoston (at) aol dot com. You can also order the book from Amazon here.


Thanks, and happy holidays,
November 20, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Article about our book, and my other NC Musicians book

My thanks to the Tribune for this. FYI, I did also photograph the Avett Brothers' Mignonette album. We also did not get to interview members on Concord's own Tamrons for the book, but we have since located some of the bandmembers, and am working on interviews soon.
See you all soon,
November 17, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Damascans photo

Hello All-

As far as we know, there were only a handful of Rock bands from Charlotte that released a single. The Grifs, Paragons, 18th Edition (based in Hickory, with Charlotte ties), and the Damascans. When we put the book together, the only band we did not have info on was the Damascans. Imagine my surprise when I was told that their keyboardist, Toni Naples, had been at our book release party.

When I was finally able to interview Toni (which you can find on this site), she mentioned that she might have a couple of photos of the band. Thankfully, some photos did exist, and here is the band, in all their glory. My thanks to Toni for this.
November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Four Star Review Of The Book In Blurt Magazine

My sincere thanks to Fred Mills for this. I'm really proud of we did with this book, and to see the Fort Canoga banner in print. And my thanks to all that came out for the show on Friday. That was a lot of fun, and we will do this show again soon. See you all soon,


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A reminder about our show on Friday night

Hello All-

Here's the flyer for our show on Friday. Our book will be available at the show. 10pm start with the Mannish Boys. Hope to see you there,
Nov. 5, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Announcement of a new show tied to our book

Kick Out The Garage A Night of Garage Rock music the Queen City, then and now
with Modern Primitivies Mannish Boys Kinksmen (from Raleigh) and special guests MC'ed by Daniel Coston NC 60s books and music also available at the show therewasatimebook.blogspot.com
Snug Harbor November 8, 2013 Doors at 9pm, show at 10pm
Tickets are $6
See you there,
October 1, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Annoucement of show that we're involved with, November 8th

Kick Out The Garage A Night of Garage Rock music in the Queen City, then and now with Modern Primitivies Mannish Boys Kinksmen (from Raleigh) and special guests MC'ed by Daniel Coston NC 60s books and music also available at the show therewasatimebook.blogspot.com Snug Harbor November 8, 2013 Doors at 9pm, show at 10pm

Sunday, September 1, 2013

We're On The Radio Tonight

Hello All-

I'll be on Charlotte, NC radio station The End (www.1065.com) tonight (Sept. 1st) from 8 to 10pm, talking the NC 1960s, and all three (yes, three) of my books. I'll be interviewed by Divakar Shukla for the station's New Music show. You can listen to it online, or over the air at 106.5FM. Stop in, and hear the voice behind the camera. Thanks,
Sept. 1, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Toni Naples/Damascans interview

Toni Naples of the Damascans
by Daniel Coston

When we finished our work on the book, we had a lot of information about every Charlotte-area Rock band that recorded during the 1960s. Except one. The Damascans recorded “Go Way Girl”/”Diane” for Arthur Smith's Pyramid Records in 1966, and Tom Pope of the Hodads confirmed for me that the band was from Charlotte, but I did not have any other leads for the group. 

So imagine my surprise when someone told me after our book release party that one of the Damascans had been at the show. Thankfully, a couple of friends put me in touch with Toni Naples, who was all on 14 years old when she played keyboards on the band’s lone single. Naples has stayed involved with the local music scene, playing with numerous groups. It’s been a genuine joy for me to document Toni’s story, and to shed some light on the Damascans, whose single now goes for upwards of $150 in collector circles, and who might have recorded more if tragedy had not intervened. You can also hear "Go Way Girl" on Volume 2 of the fabulous Tobacco A Go Go series.

Daniel Coston: How did you first start playing music? Did you play any instruments in school? 

Toni Naples: I started playing music when I was really young, about 7 years old. First instrument was accordion. My dad is a musician and my brother, too, so it was something we did everyday in our house. I didn't play any "school" instruments, but I did sing in the chorus.

Coston: Did you play in any bands before the Damascans? How did you come to join the band?

Naples: The Damascans was the first band I played in. My brother was in the Damascans, and when they first started they always practiced at my house. It was just kind of a natural progression since we were the house with the music room and several instruments. 

Coston: Where did the band play?

Naples: We played at the same teen clubs as the other bands- Spider Web, The Crested T,  Battle of the Bands, some school dances, private parties.

Coston: What was the local music scene like back then?

Naples: The music scene was actually pretty busy back then. Lots of teen clubs, etc.  We all knew each other and bands tended to start in schools. 

Coston: Describe your bandmates.

Naples: Buddy Hyman was about 19 when we started [the Damascans]. He is the person who wrote the songs on the 45 we did, "Go Way Girl” and "Diane".  He was a student at UNCC and, sadly, in 1968 he was killed in a murder/suicide out at UNCC. Another student shot him because Buddy was dating a girl who had dated the other student. Really tragic. We did the 45 in ‘66, and he was killed in ‘68, so that was the end of the band. Buddy lived next door to Arthur Smith, so that is how we got hooked up with him to do the 45. 

[My other bandmates were] Lanny Smith, Arthur's nephew, was our manager.   Other bandmates were my brother, David Naples (drums) who can play many instruments and still plays in bands to this day.  Jackie Holmes played bass. I have lost touch with him. At times, we had a singer, Scott Pope. They were all in high school, except Buddy.  

Coston: What were some of your favorite gigs, and bands to play with?
How far away from Charlotte did the band play? Any other memorable gigs, good or bad?

Naples: We played mostly around Charlotte but I do remember going to the mountains a couple of times (just can't remember where we played). I think the very first gig we played was at Sun Valley High School in their gymnasium. I remember playing a Battle of the Bands and the Ravens, Paragons and Stowaways being there. I think it was at Park Center. 

Coston: You were a rarity in that were a female in what was largely a male-dominated scene. And a young lady, at that. Did you ever have any trouble with that? Did some people give you a hard time?

Naples: It was different being a female in a band back then. I think I had to work a lot harder to be taken seriously. I was really young, only 13, so my brother was charged with taking care of me. My dad was involved with the band, so he went to most of the gigs. I don't think my brother was really excited about having to look after me.  

Coston: How did the Damascans come to record their single? What do you remember about the recording session?

We recorded the single at Arthur Smith's studio. We were fortunate to have the connection with Lanny Smith and Buddy. I remember playing a Hammond B-3 that was in the studio, and Arthur being in the studio with us.  

Coston: What inspired the songs?

Naples: Buddy wrote the songs, and I believe the song "Diane" was about his girlfriend.  

Coston: What did you do, and who else did you play with after the band broke up?

Naples: After the Damascans broke up, my brother and I had another band called the Collection. We did the same type of gigs but we had more members in the band. Lead singer, horns. Sometimes as many as 10 people playing. After the Collection, I started my own band (The Toni Naples Band) and still play gigs under that name.  

Coston: What are you doing these days, and who else are you playing with?

Naples: I play with several bands including my own now. The Donna Duncan Band, Jim Garrett Band, sometimes Sonny Skyzz.  I also did a jazz recording with Claire Ritter in 2009 (I played accordion). I was fortunate enough to get hired to play with Peter Noone when he was in town in the 90's for a two night show at the Coliseum.  

Coston: When you think about that time of your life, what comes to mind?

Naples: When I think of that time of my life, I remember music being the focus. My dad would come home from work and he and I would play music almost every night. He is a trumpet player and is still playing gigs.. He will be 90 in February. The bands back then (Damascans, et al.) were somewhat competitive. It seems like there were a lot of bands that came out of Myers Park High School, and South Mecklenburg (that's where I went). My brother and I were lucky to have a father who was willing to support us in our musical endeavors. We always had a house with a big music room and several instruments. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Nova Local, "If You Only Had The Time"

Well, dang.

In my feverous research on the Rock & Roll of NC during the 1960s, I was not able to find much on the Eastern NC scene. The internet is not always your best friend, either. Search different things in different ways, and nothing comes up. Search one name, and info on a whole city pops up, which is what happened in my Asheville research.

So it was that I was unaware of the Nova Local, a band that formed in Chapel Hill in 1964. After constant touring, the band got a deal with Decca Records, and recorded their (as it turned out) only album in New York City in the fall of 1966. By the time the LP, entitled Nova 1, was released, the band had split up.

In listening recently to Andrew Sandoval's Come To The Sunshine show, I discovered a Nova Local single that was released separately from the LP, and apparently did chart in North Carolina. Here's that single. Much of the band's LP is also on Youtube, and is really worth listening to.

My apologies to the Nova Local for not including them in the book, which they obviously deserved to be in. Maybe they'll be in the book's second edition, you ask? Well, quite possibly. Stay tuned and see. Until then, enjoy this great Nova Local single.
August 22, 2013


Sunday, August 18, 2013

"Abba" performed at our show finale

Here's video footage of the closing number of our book release party. Of course, it had to be "Abba", performed by the song's original composer, Jim Charles, Paragons guitarist Pat Walters, and members of the Young Ages, GBU, Abbadons and the Mannish Boys. If you've got more video footage from this show, please send it to me. Thanks, and keep the next-to-last weekend in June 2014 open for next year's show. Thanks to Funhouse73 for this footage. See you soon,
August 18, 2013


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

More new locations to pick up the book

Barnhill's, in Winston-Salem, NC (www.onlyatbarnhills.com)
Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC (www.quailridgebooks.com)

Please thank the stores for carrying the book, and let us know who else should carry our book. Many thanks again to you all,
August 7, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Book Is Now Available In The Outer Banks/Huckleberry Mudflap

Hello All-

I'm happy to announce that you can now find our book at the Outer Banks! Island Bookstores (http://www.islandbooksobx.com) is now carrying the book at its stores in Duck, Corolla, and Kitty Hawk, NC. Just one more reason to love the Outer Banks. If you're in the neighborhood, say hello, and check out the book.

To thank Rick and Island, we're posting what might be the best pop/rock song to ever come from the Outer Banks. Huckleberry Mudflap was formed in Beaufort in 1969, and were popular throughout the region. Their lone single, "Blue Surf" got a lot of airplay in the coastal area, and still holds a special place in the hearts of many from that time. Enjoy, and I hope to see you all on the Outer Banks soon.
July 29, 2013


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Locations In The Triangle Area To Pick Up The Book

Offbeat Music, off of Main Street, in downtown Durham, NC
CD Alley, Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC

Both stores now have our book in stock, with more outlets soon to be announced. Please swing by, and thank them for their patronage.

FYI, Ken Friedman (Tobacco A Go Go) will be on Riffin tomorrow (July 25th) from noon to 2pm. Go to www.ashevillefm.com to listen to the show. Thanks,
July 24, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Places To Pick Up The Book

Hello All-

Just wanted to tell you again where you can pick up the book.

Park Road Books (autographed copies!)
Paper Skyscraper
Sunshine Daydreams
Heroes Aren't Hard To Find
Lunchbox Records

Vintage Cottage (downtown Asheboro)

More distribution places will be announced shortly. Including a few spots on the Outer Banks. Do you know where else we should distribute the book? Let us know. As always, you can always pick up hte book on Amazon.com here-


Thanks very much,
July 22, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Listen To My Appearance On Riffin


Listen all this week, and enjoy.
July 15, 2013

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hello To New Visitors, and Riffin show online

Hello All-

My thanks to those of you that found our site via the Mighty Manfred's mention of the book on his Underground Garage show, last Wednesday. You can buy the book here on Amazon.


You'll also find links to lots of cool NC songs on this site, as well as essays. Come back often, and say hello.

For those of you that missed my appearance on Ashevillefm.com's Riffin show yesterday, the show is now available for the next week on their website. Go to www.ashevillefm.com, look up Riffin, and enjoy the show. Thanks, and talk to you again soon,
July 12, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Book Is On The Radio

Hey Everyone-

The Mighty Manfred of the Woggles will be plugging our book tomorrow afternoon (July 10th) during the 1pm (East coast time) slot, on his SiriusXM Underground Garage radio show. Listen for that, and for him to play "Abba" by the Paragons. Boss!

And don't forget to check out my interview on Ashevillefm.com this Thursday afternoon, during the Riffin show, about the book. The show airs from noon to 2pm. Talk to you all soon,
July 9, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Book Is Now Available In Asheboro, NC

Hello All-

The Vintage Cottage store, on Sunset Street in downtown Asheboro, NC (http://www.vintagecottagenc.com) is now carrying the book in their store. Stop by, and check out the book, as well as some of my photos on the store's walls. Thanks,
July 8, 2013 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Riffin Show This Thursday

Hello All-

I'll be appearing on the Riffin show on Asheville.fm, a web-based Asheville radio station, this Thursday (July 11th) between noon and 2pm, to talk about the book. You'll also be able to stream the show for a week afterwards. Set your coordinates to www.ashevillefm.com. See you then,
July 7, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The 18th Edition, "When You Love Someone"

At our premiere party, I made reference to the fact that there are only two known TV appearances from 1960s NC bands that still exist. Both are from the syndicated TV show Village Square, which taped at WBTV Studios in 1966 and 1967. One of the videos is the Paragons performing "Abba", and the other is the Statesville-based (with ties to Charlotte) 18th Edition. "When You Love Someone" is part of two singles that the band recorded in Statesville in 1967. The group would also record their only full-length LP as The New Mix later that year, which was released by United Artists in 1968.

After the band broke up, Henry Steele would join Pat Walters in The Good Bad & The Ugly (or GBU, as they were also known), while Rob Thorne would eventually join Walters in the Spongetones. A special note should also go out to David Brown, who recently passed away. We miss you, David. Here's the clip. Enjoy,
July 2, 2013


Sunday, June 30, 2013


Hello Everyone-

My thanks to everyone who came out for our book release party on Friday, as well as my appearance at the Joe Newberry/Mike Compton house concert last night, which promoted my other forthcoming book. There'll be more coming soon about the NC Musicians photo book, and you can continue to follow the NC '60s book here. I'll be distributing the book throughout the state this month, so stay tuned. More essays, stories and music are also in the wings. 

Thanks very much,
June 30, 2013 

P.S. Look for our There Was A Time event page on Facebook, which features photos from Friday night's party.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Info About Our Big Events This Week

Here's all the news about this week's big events.

Wednesday, June 26th. There Was A Time book signing. Park Road Books, at Park Road Shopping Center, at 7pm. Jake Berger and I will tell stories, and sign books. The book is now available at the store.

Friday, JUNE 28th. There Was A Time book release party, with the Young Ages, Good Bad & The Ugly (featuring Patrick Walters), Abbadons, Mannish Boys (featuring Jake Berger and Donny Fletcher), and Bobby Donaldson. Neighborhood Theatre, on the corner of 36th Street, and N. Davidson, in the NoDa area. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm. Tickets are $15, and are available at the door, Lunchbox Records, Sunshine Daydreams, and on the Theatre's website. Books will be available to purchase, and have signed.

Please spread the word on these events to local media, your friends, your enemies, and anyone else you know. See you later this week. Let's Rock.

June 25, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Just A Friendly Reminder

There Was A Time book signing
Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC
June 26, 2013

There Was A Time book release party
Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte, NC
featuring the Young Ages, Good Bad & The Ugly, Abbadons, Mannish Boys, Bobby Donaldson, and MORE!
Emceed by yours truly, Daniel Coston
Tickets are $15
Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm
Tickets at the door, or onine

See you there,
June 16, 2013 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Last-Minute DJ Gig Tonight, Playing These Great Songs

Hello All-

Sorry for the late notice, but I'll be DJ'ing tonight some of the music that is covered in our new book on the NC Rock & Roll scene of the 1960s. I'll be at Snug Harbor, in Charlotte, starting tonight at 10pm, and playing songs in-between performances by three local acts. Copies of the book will also be available. Come on out, and let's turn this music up loud. 
June 12, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Here's Where To Buy Tickets In Advance For The June 28th Release Party


Or in person at the Neighborhood Theatre, and other locations around town.
June 4, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Article about book for June issue of Crowd Surfer Magazine

The Rock & Roll scene in Charlotte during the 1960s
by Daniel Coston
co-author of There Was A Time: Rock & Roll In The 1960s In Charlotte, And North Carolina, by Fort Canoga Press.

“Was there a Rock & Roll scene in Charlotte during that time?’ The question was often asked while I worked on a book on that subject, and to honest, I might’ve once asked that same question, myself. To my delight, I discovered that there was a popular scene in Charlotte during those days, and the fruits of their labors are only recently beginning to be appreciated.

Like many other scenes during that time, many of the Rock & Roll bands in Charlotte during the 1960s were still in College, High School, or even Junior High School. Many youngsters heard the records coming out of England, or in the growing Rock scene in America, and quickly acted on this new obsession. They learned how to play their instruments, joined a band (or did both in the reverse order), and found a quick audience in their own classmates at school dances, and Battle Of The Bands competitions. It wasn’t until the 1970s that being in a Rock band became a more adult pursuit, be it part-time or full-time.

Due to the age of many of the group’s fans, many of the Rock & Roll venues in Charlotte were teen clubs. Often, they were in the basement of recreation halls, or churches. The Crusted T., The Tin Can, and the Spyder Web were among the most popular teen clubs in town. The Spyder Web was located in the basement of the YMCA on Morehead Street, and did not allow anyone in older than 19 years of age. There were some other clubs that catered to an older (i.e. alcohol drinking) crowd. The Purple Penguin, which was located on the corner of Central and Pecan (where CVS is now), the Box, on South Boulevard, the Cellar, which still sits on Morehead Street, and in the late ‘60s, Phantasmagorica, which was on the outskirts of Charlotte, near Matthews. Many of the bands in town still played these venues, despite not being old enough to drink, or legally step foot in the venue. Many venues told the musicians, “Don’t tell anyone your real age,” so they didn’t.    

Not a lot of bands got the chance to record during that time. Recording was expensive, and the parents of many of these groups didn’t think that people would someday be collecting these records for amazing sums of money. In all, eight groups in Charlotte recorded during that decade. The New Mix (which featured future Spongetones drummer Rob Thorne) was the only Charlotte band to record for a major label, releasing their sole album on United Artists Records in 1968. They also recorded a couple of singles under their previous name, the 18th Edition. The Stowaways recorded an album in 1967 for the Winston-Salem based label, Justice Records. That album now goes for $400 to $600 in collector circles.

Perhaps the best-known single to come from Charlotte was “Abba”, which was released by the Paragons in 1966. “Abba” is now revered as a Garage Rock classic, and has been embraced by a new generation of collectors and fans. That single, which the band sold in the halls of their high school, has brought more than $1,800 on Ebay. The Grifs, who were all of 19 when they recorded “Catch A Ride” in 1965, got more attention from the Midwest when their single got airplay in that part of the country. “Catch A Ride”, with its nasty Fuzztone sound, and follow-up single “Keep Dreaming”, are two of the best singles that ever came out of a Charlotte band, period, and listening to these singles on Youtube is highly recommended. Also recording singles during that time were the Psychotics, Damascans, and the Good Bad & The Guy (featuring future Spongetone Pat Walters). The Young Ages, who were based out of North Meck High, recorded a two-song demo for Decca Records in 1968, which can now be heard on their website.

It has been a pleasure and a joy to put together this book on the Charlotte scene, as well as the rest of North Carolina. I’m glad that I could help to put this together, and my only regret is that someone else didn’t do this sooner. All of these years later, the music that came from North Carolina can be heard on Youtube, or in compilations like the Tobacco A Go Go series. Go out, and discover this music. It’s new, it’s hip, and it’s cool, just like it was when it was first recorded.


“There Was A Time” will celebrate its release with a show at the Neighborhood Theatre on June 28th. Doors will be at 7pm, and show will start at 8pm. The bands will be Good Bad & The Ugly (first Charlotte show since 1994), Young Ages, Abbadons (first show since 1967), Bobby Donaldson & The Ravens/Premiers reunion revue, and the Mannish Boys (featuring book co-author Jacob "Jake" Berger). The show will be emceed by yours truly, Daniel Coston. Tickets will be $15, and copies of the book will be available for purchase at the show. You can get info about the show at www.neighborhoodtheatre.com. We will also be doing a book signing for the book at Park Road Books, in Charlotte, on June 26th at 7pm. Also, check out the book’s website at

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Book Is Now Available At...

Park Road Books, and Paper Skyscraper, here in Charlotte, with more locations to come. And it's always available online at-


Drop us a line, as well, if you're interested in autographed copies. Thanks very much,
May 29, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The books will be in Charlotte on Tuesday

Hello All-

I'll have possession of the first shipment of the book on Tuesday, and will be distributing them around town immediately. I'll be posting where the book will be on sale. If you are interested in a copy, please email me, or check out the book on Amazon.com. Thanks, and see you all soon,
May 26, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ugly Things Magazine (with one of our chapters) is now out!

Hello All-

The new issue of Ugly Things Magazine, which excerpts a chapter from my new book on the NC Rock & Roll scene of the 1960s, is now out. This is the legendary mag's 30th anniversary issue, so it's a thrill to be involved with it. 

I should note that the article does incorrectly list the book's website. It actually is-


which you already knew, if you're reading this. In the meantime, check out our site, or check out the Ugly Things website at-


Copies of the NC 60s book will be available next week, if you live in Charlotte. Stay tuned,
May 24, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Meet The Authors!

Jacob "Jake" Berger (top left): It was Jake's idea to create the book that you're reading about. Jake joined his first band in 1965, and has been a part of the Charlotte music scene for many years. Some of the bands that he's been a part of include the Mighty Diamelles, Belmont Playboys, Phil Lee's touring group, and was a key person in the formation of Charlotte's own Spongetones in 1978. It is Jake's story that ties the book together, one of youthful days, the pains of growing up, and staying true to the music. Jake now leads the Mannish Boys, and lives in Charlotte.

Daniel Coston (bottom left): Daniel is the co-writer, editor, and overall shepherd for the book, and has truly enjoyed his experience in helping to put together this book over the last three years. Daniel is an internationally recognized photographer and writer, and currently lives in Charlotte, NC. You can also check out his own blog at danielcoston.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

There Was A Time Is Now Available On Amazon.com

You can now buy the book here-


If anyone would to buy autographed copies from myself and Jake Berger, please email me, or message me on Facebook for more information. Thanks.
May 15, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Here's The Podcast To The Radio Show That I Appeared On Last Night

Actually, the show was with David Childers, FYI. We talked, we played some songs, and at the show, I played some songs that are featured in There Was A Time. Enjoy.
May 4, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Live Tonight On Internet Radio

Tonight at 8:30pm, I'll be talking with Cameron G. Lee and David Childers about the book, as well as another book I have coming out, on Plaza-Midwood Community Radio, live on the internet at www.pmcradio.org. Tune in, call in and say hello.
May 13, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Book Is Now For Sale!

Hello All-

Here's the link to the book. It will be available next week on Amazon.com, and will post the link when that is available. Print copies should start hitting stores later next week. Email me, or post a comment for any questions. Thanks very much.
May 8, 2013


PS, my work on this book is dedicated to my grandfather Donald Coston, who passed away on Monday, my grandmother Jean Coston, and everyone else who was a part of this book. More updates soon.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Abbadons reunion!

Here's the first photo of the Abbadons since 1967, at their first rehearsal since 1967! Left to right, Gaines Brown, Jim Charles and Bob Robinson. The guys already have a setlist together, and will be ready to Rock on June 28th, with original Abbadons drummer Larry Duckworth. Photo by Daniel Coston.
May 6, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

It's A Book Proof!

Hello All-

Here's what the NC 60s book will look like. Some more corrections to be made, and the book will be for sale. Stay tuned. The book will hopefully be available online sometime this week.
May 5, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Here's The Book Cover!

Here's the cover of the book, with the Young Ages looking their best. Photo is courtesy of the Young Ages. Once again, the book is copyright 2013 Jake Berger and Daniel Coston. More shortly.
May 2, 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Our first booksigning!

Hello All-

The last week of June is looking to be a media blitz! We'll be holding our first booksigning for the book at Park Road Books, in Charlotte, NC on June 26th at 7pm. Come by, buy a book, and talk to us about There Was A Time, which is the first book of its kind on the history of Garage Rock and Psychedelia in North Carolina during the 1960s. The signing will also get you hyped up for the big release party and show on the 28th.

Park Road Books, in Charlotte, NC, June 26th, 7pm. See you there.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Layout Is Done, And The Book Is At The Printers

Hey There-

I've finished the layout, and am awaiting copies of the proofs. Final corrections will be made, and then the book will be ready, and available to buy. Stay tuned.
April 27, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

June 28th book release party!

Hello All-

I'm proud to announce that we'll be holding a release party on June 28th for "There Was A Time: Rock & Roll in the 1960s in Charlotte, and North Carolina". The location is Neighborhood Theatre, in Charlotte, on June 28th. Doors will be at 7pm, and show will start at 8pm. The bands will be Good Bad & The Ugly (first show since 1994), Young Ages, Abbadons (first show since 1967), Bobby Donaldson & The Ravens/Premiers reunion revue, and the Mannish Boys (featuring book co-author Jacob "Jake" Berger). The show will be MC'ed by yours truly, Daniel Coston. Tickets will be $15, and copies of the book will be available for purchase at the show. You can get more info about the show at www.neighborhoodtheatre.com.

The new issue of Ugly Things Magazine, which will be out in May, will feature one of our chapters from the book. More news coming soon. See you all again soon,
April 22, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Upcoming Ugly Things issue that excerpts our book

Here's the cover of the new issue of Ugly Things Magazine, which will feature an excerpt of our chapter about the Paragons, and "Abba". The issue (30th anniversary!) should be on the shelves in the next few weeks. More news coming soon,
April 18, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Tamrons, and the Huns, Concord, NC

In honor of some friends of mine from Concord, NC, here's a double-shot of music from the Concord area. Despite being smaller than nearby Charlotte, the town of Concord had a thriving music scene. Several bands emerged from Concord High School,  and several venues popped up to cater to both local and regional acts.

Both the Tamrons and the Huns recorded singles in 1966 for the Pyramid label. Pyramid was owned by Arthur Smith, and operated out of Greensboro, NC. Many of the Pyramid acts recorded at Arthur Smith Studios, in Charlotte. The Tamrons recorded "Wild Man" at Arthur Smith, and there's a good chance that the Huns recorded "Shakedown" there, as well.

You can read more about the Concord scene, and the real Battle Of The Bands that almost happened between the Tamrons and Huns, in There Was A Time. Until then, enjoy these two slices on '60s Garage Rock, Concord style.
April 14, 2013

Tamrons, "Wild Man"

Huns, "Shakedown"

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mountain Xpress series on the Asheville scene

In doing some additional research for the book, I discovered an amazing seven-part series done on the Asheville scene. Ironically, it was done by a magazine that I sometimes contribute to, Mountain Xpress. Miles Britton has tracked down several of Asheville's top bands of the 1960s, and gotten a wealth of information. I really wish that more writers and media outlets would do things like this. This not only leaves an important document about the music of that time, but also informs those about their hometown's scene was really like.

Here's a link to the first part of Miles' series, which also allows you to listen to the Satyrs' 1965 single. Turn it up!
April 12, 2013


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sites for Soul and Beach Music

As I have alluded to in previous posts, much of the book deals with the Garage Rock, and psychedelia scene in Charlotte, and North Carolina during the 1960s. We do touch on some of the Beach Music, Soul and Frat Rock (i.e. bands on college campuses), but much of our focus is on that section that was influenced by the British Invasion, and the bands that came after that initial wave.

That being said, there are some fantastic sites that cover Beach Music, R&B and Soul throughout the Southeast US during the '60s. Check out the book, and resource site for Beach Music-


I also just discovered this site for Soul music. An amazing site. Check out their page on the Soul Set, a great NC soul band.

Our book is now in layout. More updates are coming soon. Stay tuned,
March 31, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Outcasts photo, Charlotte, NC 1966

Here's a band that never recorded a song, but left behind some cool photos. This is the Outcasts, formed in Charlotte in 1966. The band featured Gill Vanderlip, who went on to play in the Loose Screws, who are featured in the book. Our thanks to Gill for this photo.
photo copyright 1966 Gill Vanderlip

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sacred Irony, "I See Love"

Let's go to Winston-Salem, which had a thriving scene in the mid to late 1960s. One of the most popular bands during that time was Sacred Irony. Led by Chuck Dale Smith and a young Mitch Easter, they played throughout the region, opened up for the Yellow Payges, backed up Bobby Sherman, and looked and sounded like a very cool band. The band did a series of recordings in 1969 and 1970, with the song "I See Love" getting airplay in Winston-Salem, and the surrounding areas. Mitch Easter is one of the many featured interviews in There Was A Time. Until then, enjoy "I See Love."


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Barry Stacks/Grifs excerpt from book

Barry Stacks: A couple of days before we recorded “Catch A Ride,” the Stones released “Satisfaction.” And I heard that fuzztone, and I went to a music store, and I said, “What is that? Whatever it is, I want one.” And they said, “We just got one in. It’s called the Fuzztone.” On the way to the studio, sitting in the back of our van, I worked out that little guitar part in the beginning of that song. We rehearsed it a couple of times, and Manny Clark, who was a DJ with WGIV, produced the song for us and got the sound just right. Just where I wanted it, which was balls to the wall on it, when the song opened up.  We actually did the music take in two takes, and then we added the vocals on top of it. And then we did ["In My Life"] for the other side.

We had booked [Arthur Smith Studios] for four hours, eight o’clock till midnight. The guy that was running the board for Arthur Smith said we had to be packed up and out of there by midnight. I said, “What are you talking about?” He said, “We’re booked all night, after midnight.” We did what we had to do, but as we were packing up, this other band comes in to start setting up, and it was James Brown and the Famous Flames. And Manny knew James, he’d interviewed him many times. And James said, “Why don’t you and your boys sit up in the control room while we record.” They recorded eight or ten songs, then they headed out on the chitlin circuit. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Sadly, we don't know that much about what the Rock scene was like in the Western NC in the 1960s. It does seem like Rock & Roll was slow to come to the Mountains, with folk-pop and beach music bands ruling the roost. One group that straddled the folk-rock fence was the Ron-De-Voos, a popular band from Asheville. The group was popular for a number of years, and graduated from Lee Edwards High School in 1969.

Their sole single is definitely worth a listen. Here's both sides of their single, via the fantastic Spin The Groove blog. The A Side, "A Trip So Wild", can also be found on Youtube. Do you have more information about this band? Please drop us a line,
March 6, 2013


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Young Ones, Lumberton, "Big Teaser"

Part of my enjoyment in doing this book was discovering the music that was happening throughout North Carolina in the 1960s, and the towns and cities where Rock & Roll. Take Lumberton, NC, for instance. Lumberton had a thriving scene in the mid to late 1960s, which included the Young Ones (who later changed their name to Psychic Motion), and the Cykle. The Young Ones' second single, "Big Teaser" is just a fun romp of a Rock & Roll song. Big choruses, a well-produced recording, and a mighty two-minute glimpse into what was coming out of Eastern NC.

Check out this Youtube clip of the song, complete with photos of the band in their heyday. Of all the bands of that time that I wish I could've seen live, this is one of the highest on my list. Enjoy!
March 3, 2013


Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Grifs, "Catch A Ride"

Collectors of garage rock and psychedelic music like to espouse about who got to a certain sound first. The first to play punk rock, or what is sometimes referred to "proto-punk", something that influenced the punk and rock sounds of the future. Sure, the scenes of New York, California and London have their places as having the first bands that carried a fuzzy, punk-like sound. But would you believe that Charlotte, NC produced a record that led the charge of the Fuzz Brigade, months before the rest of the country tuned in?

In the early summer of 1965, the Grifs entered Arthur Smith Studios, and recorded "Catch A Ride", which opens with an absolute wall of fuzzed-out guitar. The single would become a hit in Charlotte, and then catch on in the Midwest US, and Canada. There Was A Time is proud to feature the first-ever feature interview with Grifs founder Barry Stacks about this influential band.

You'll be able to read all about the Grifs when There Was A Time is released. For now, dig the Grifs, in all their fuzzy glory.
Feb. 23, 2013


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Paragons, "Abba" and Ugly Things Magazine

Hello All-

Any discussion about North Carolina music in the 1960s has to include the Paragons. Formed in Charlotte in 1965, their lone single, "Abba/Mister You're A Better Man Than I" now sells for upwards of $1,800 in collector circles. "Abba" may be the best-known garage rock/psychedelic song to emerge from North Carolina, an intoxicating blend of guitar hooks, and sing-along choruses.

In 2010, our friend Mike Dugo of www.60sgaragebands.com found the Paragons' 1967 appearance on the Village Square TV show. This invaluable find is a rare document of bands during that time looked, and sounded in North Carolina. This song is so important, we've dedicated an entire chapter to the song, and its creation. The fabled Ugly Things Magazine will be excerpting this chapter in their next issue, so check it out. In the meantime, enjoy the Paragons on the Village Square show. Seeing and hearing is believing.
February 21, 2013


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Where To Check Out The Music Of NC In The 1960s

Hello All-

A source of both inspiration, and research for this book came from Ken Friedman's Tobacco A Go Go series, which chronicled the 45s of many North Carolina bands during the 1960s. Ken released Volume One in 1983, and released the second volume in 1986. In 2008, he released the third volume as a free download, which can be found here-


The great record label Paradise Of Batchelors reissued Volume One a couple of years ago. They are now sold out, but you listen to it to their website here-


This is all great music, and I highly recommend it all, and am happy to acknowledge Ken for the work that he's done over the years. Many of the bands featured in these volumes can also be found separately on Youtube, and I'll give you more of these links shortly. 

The book is currently in the layout stage, and I'll post more updates, and photos as we get closer to having it for sale. Until then, safe travels,
February 17, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hello, and welcome

Coming this spring....

There Was A Time: Rock & Roll in the 1960s in Charlotte, and North Carolina.

Written by Jacob Berger and Daniel Coston

The first-ever book on the Rock & Roll, garage rock and psychedelic scene in North Carolina. The book discusses music throughout the state, while using Charlotte as a homebase for the book, allowing the reader to follow a group of kids throughout the decade. Their ups, their downs, and what it meant to be a young musician during that time. Interviews with members of the Paragons ("Abba"), Grifs ("Catch A Ride"), Stowaways (Justice Records), Don Dixon, Mitch Easter, Phil Lee (of the Bondsmen), Bob Hinkle (of the Good Earth), New Mix, Young Ages, Hodads, TC Atlantic, and much, much more. The book also features the complete story of the Paragons' "Abba", and a full listing of Rock & Roll bands that were playing throughout North Carolina in the 1960s, as well as extended coverage of the Triangle (Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham) scenes, Asheville, and Winston-Salem.

Email Daniel Coston at danielcoston (at) aol dot com for more information. Check this site often for more news, and links.