Back in 1961, a Roanoke folk and folk-rock band called The Vikings formed. The act, which made its name early in popular gigs at the long-gone Rathskeller (in the American Theater basement), in its heyday played the Coffee Pot most every weekend for about nine years. It drew the attention of Nashville, Tenn., heavyweights before splitting up in the early 1970s but continued to play reunion shows till 2003.
Read more about the band and other elements of local music history at http://www.wrovhistory.com/main.htm.
The band was of course very popular and remains so with the people who were into live music back in the day. In that spirit, band member Tommy Holcomb has recently put together a CD, “By Request.” It includes clips from TV and radio, plus recordings from 1967, 1970, 1972 and a 1982 reunion of 11 members, including Holcomb, local radio legend Fred Frelantz and singers Joy Ellis and Ann Janney-Schultz.
The band did mostly popular covers, such as “Frankie and Johnny,” “Mr. Bojangles” and “Rocky Top,” but it did record a couple of covers.
The CD is an interesting slice of Roanoke pop music life from an earlier time, and the recording quality is strong. You can order it via http://www.tommyholcomb.com/vikings.html. Holcomb wrote in an e-mail: “this is a whole ‘nother generation but we actually had a lot of very passionate fans and still do.”