A group of teenagers got together to make a little music in about 1965.
The boys took on several names and started honing their craft. When Bucky Cherry (keyboards) left for greener grass, Otis Harris came on as guitar player and Fred Amos moved from guitar to keyboards.
Otis had played with a group called the Collegiates that had disbanded. Otis suggested taking the name and with it came some immediate bookings. The true Collegiates were born!
Singers Mike Difoggio and Danny Pierce decided to play wind instruments and the horn section was born. Other horn players during the 5 years included Steve Neal, Skip Henderson and Wilson Brown.
The Collegiates played until the end of 1970 up and down the eastern seaboard as headliners and also as the backup band to many recording artists including:
Major Lance The Showmen Jr. Walker & The Allstars
The Platters The Dixie Cups Clifford Curry
The Shirelles The Drifters The Tams
At the end of 1970 the young men followed different careers. Danny Pierce remained playing music until today.
Danny Pierce’s band, The Part Time Party Time Band (originally started by Otis Harris in 1978) was playing a 50 year reunion for the old Castaway’s Club. The Collegiates had been the Castaways’ house band for 3 or 4 years in the 60’s. Danny asked if we could get together and play several tunes at the reunion.
The Collegiates played about 8 songs at the reunion in 2014. Immediately they were asked to play for another 50 year reunion.
The Collegiates have remained together playing weddings, reunions etc. Their main focus being on fundraising events.
Original players that remain with the Collegiates are: Danny Pierce (vocals and saxophone), Mike DiFoggio (vocals), Otis Harris (bass), Fred Amos (keyboards). Steve Neal (saxophone) joined a little later in the 60’s and has now rejoined the Collegiates with his gifted saxophone playing. Also now with the Collegiates are Ron Tilly (drums) and Randy Rich (guitar). Ron and Randy were originally with Changed Heart.
Other former Collegiates and whereabouts are:
Don Rose (original bassist) now in Alabama working on Black Hawk helicopters
Danny Burns (original drummer) retired
Terry York (drummer) retired
Wilson Brown (saxahone) retired
Skip Henderson (saxophone) plays with the Greensboro symphony
Mike Rowe (keyboards) retired
Bucky Cherry (guitar, keyboards) deceased