dinner and dance music, 50's, 60's, doo-wop, rock & roll, gospel, pop, comedy, country
The Alison Wonderband is an amazingly versatile variety showband,
with full-production costumed
stage shows, as well as dance sets and dinner music.
They're veterans of countless corporate conventions,
state and county fairs, auto rallies, private parties.
a perfect act for any event that calls for a
professional, family-oriented, self-contained show!
Their music includes
Nostalgia, Pop, Country, Gospel, Patriotic and Comedy
Vocals, guitar, keyboards
At the age of four, Alison was acting out a fantasy. Alone in her room, she'd stand on top of her bed and dramatically sing "made-up" songs to her reflection in the mirror, imagining a band playing behind her.
The daughter of a Methodist minister, Alison grew up singing. Dad sang tenor, Mom took the alto part, and Alison (with her brothers and sister) sang the melody- fun songs at home, and hymns at church.
She'd been taking piano lessons, but in junior high talked her folks into letting her switch to vocal lessons, which later helped her earn seats in both the District and State Chorus competitions. She taught herself to play guitar, took on solo work in church and coffee houses, and began to write her own material. She played professionally all four years at Lycoming College, where she graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. In English.
It was only after joining forces with Richard (musically and romantically) that the fantasy became reality. Now Alison's singing her "made-up" songs in front of the Alison Wonderband all over the country, not just in her dreams.
Guitar, vocals, trumpet, mandolin
Richard has taken formal lessons on all manner of instruments- except for his favorite one. When he was a small boy, his Dad started bringing home musical instruments for him to try out, hoping he'd ask for lessons. It was an accordion that lit up Richard's eyes, and he studied for several years.
In junior high school, he took drum lessons, but when the band director found out that he could read music, he convinced him to study trumpet and french horn as well. So Richard's Mom bought him trumpet lessons.
It wasn't until he was a senior that a neighborhood buddy showed Richard an old acoustic guitar he'd found in his attic. It turned out to be the instrument he'd been waiting for all his life. Playing in bands paid for his four years at Lycoming College, where he graduated with two majors, art and biology.
Guitar is Richard's only self-taught instrument; but it's the one that took him on the road as a full-time professional, and inspired him to begin writing his own songs. He has won songwriting awards from several American Song Festival and Billboard Song Contests.
Writing became so important to Richard that with his own hands he remodeled his 125-year-old barn into a professional format recording studio, where he then mastered the art of audio engineering.
Offstage Richard is the technical and creative heart of the Alison Wonderband. Onstage it's obvious that picking guitar was the perfect decision.
"Joe G" sure comes by his talent honestly- his Mom is second cousin to the DORSEY BROTHERS!
When he was only six years old, his grandmother showed him where to put each finger until he could play "The Johnson Rag" note for note. It was the first of many lessons, including seven years with Ken Lawrence of Langhorn, PA.
At age 12, "G" couldn't believe his eyes when his dad stopped the car in front of a taproom (his Dad would never take him to a bar!), but in they went to hear a friend of the family who was playing piano. During a break, G says they "tricked" him into playing a song. The audience sang and clapped along and when it was over, G got a big hand- to match the big knot in his stomach!
At 14, G started playing in the first of many local bands, and after two years in college as a music major, began touring the United States with top acts like "The Big El Show (recording two albums), The Orlons ("South Street", "Don't Hang Up", etc.) and The Coasters (Charlie Brown", "Poison Ivy" etc.).
We think G's grandmother would be proud of the work he does in The Alison Wonderband - no more knots in his stomach, and does he ever know where to put those fingers.
Les' grandfather played the accordion. His grandmother was the singer on the original Hiawatha Paddlewheeler during Williamsport's lumber boom. All his uncles played guitar in bands. His mom yodeled and sang on the radio. His dad was an accomplished harmonica player.
Then there was 7- year old Les, clanking and banging on pots, pans, and books, driving the whole family crazy!
They gave him accordion lessons, harmonica lessons, guitar lessons; they got him to sing in the church choir. But that's not what Les wanted to do. He just wanted to play the DRUMS. When Les was 14, his dad finally bought him a drum set!
In Christian Academy, while captaining the soccer and basketball teams and winning awards for softball, he
began his career as a professional drummer.
Today Les is winning field and show awards from the Pa.
Beagle and Gundog Association. And he's winning FANS as
drummer in THE ALISON WONDERBAND - just doing what he's
always wanted to do.