published Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Curtain Call: Drummer still rocking with The Beaters

  • photo
    Terryl Greene has been drumming with The Beaters since the dance/party cover band’s first gig in 1985.
    Contributed Photo

Terryl Greene had more or less put away his drum kit for years when he suggested to Randy Clark that it might be fun to get together and play the songs they’d played together back in high school.

It was supposed to be just for fun, or at least it was in Greene’s mind.

That was 26 years ago and The Beaters, the result of that conversation, are still going strong, playing mostly parties and special events. They also performed at this year’s Riverbend Festival.

“That was fun,” Greene said. “We had a huge crowd, and they were into it.”

Q: Is it fair to say that most people would know you through The Beaters?

A: Yes.

Q: How long have you guys been at it, and how did the band come about?

A: Our first gig was Good Friday 1985, so 26 years. I did sound a couple of times for Overland. We were up at Ocoee Outdoors, which became Grumpy’s ... Randy and I were sipping a beer, sitting on a picnic table, and one of us suggested that it’d be fun to put together a group to play the old songs, the ones we played back in high school.

I was not playing really, so I just wanted to have some fun. Randy was always about business. He booked a gig [at the Brass Register], so we had five weeks to get ready, and we didn’t even have a band. From the first note, though, we were a hit. Everybody loved us.

Q: Who were the original members?

A: Me, Randy, David Turner and Tommy Blevins. Rick Jacobs replaced Tommy after about six months, so most people think of that as the original lineup.

Q: Who is in the current band?

A: Me, Randy, David, Randy Johnston, Rick Lane, Rance Whitworth and David Brown.

Q: What were you doing musically before The Beaters?

A: I played with Danny Shirley in his first band before he made it big. I played with him for six or eight months. Before that I had more or less quit playing drums for a while. I was in a duo with Randy before Overland started [in the early ’70s]. Keith [Sherman] and Rick [Williams] were singing as a trio with a guy from Wisconsin. What was their name? Oh yeah, Canyon. Man, they were good. Randy and I went to hear them at a club where Buds is now, and we thought we could do what they were doing as a duo. Then Randy got together with Keith and Rick, and Overland started. I played with them a few times early on, but it didn’t fit at the time.

I worked at the Record Bar in Eastgate in the mid-’70s, and then I worked for my mom at Hickory Farms. We owned that for years. Then I went to work at Cat’s Records. I played with Danny in ’80 and ’81, and then I had a little mini studio for awhile.

Q: The Beaters do a lot of parties and weddings, so you’ve been a part of a lot of marriages, right?

A: Yes. A lot of marriages. For some, even more than a couple of times. We are now doing weddings for children of people we played for. That’s cool though.

Q: You also promote music locally through social media and email blasts. What is that all about?

A: Me and a couple of friends — Kimberly Hendrickson and Jim Neal — have done a couple of house concerts. We’re calling our production company Musicworks. We brought Kieran Kane and his son Lucas and David Francey to Barking Legs.

We figured it was cheaper to have people that we like come to town rather than drive to see them. You get someone else to pay for it. It’s about covering our expenses more than anything.

I also do send out email blasts or Facebook messages all over town when I hear about a good show. I really try to get people out. It is so important to support these shows. It’s a tough business.

Music is so important to me and always has been. It’s the one thing that has never let me down.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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