Biography: The Catalinas
Since THE CATALINAS formed in Charlotte in late 1957, over 60 accomplished guitarists, keyboardists, trumpet players, drummers, bass players and singers have been a part of the band. Most have come from communities along the Interstate 77 corridor from Statesville to Charlotte.
THE CATALINAS have filled The Myrtle Beach Pavilion more times than its members can count. The Catalinas have been the warm-up band for such acts as the Temptations, The Four Tops and even The Monkees in the summer of 1997.
Gary Barker, a Statesville, NC resident, who plays guitar, sings and owns the band, started with THE CATALINAS in 1965 and is still with the band to this day. "I just did not get into my head that I was getting paid to do something I love."
Barker attributes THE CATALINA’S long success to the ongoing popularity of beach music and the tunes the band has composed, particularly "Summertime’s Calling Me" in the 1970s.
Alan Eisele & Don West of Statesville have been fans of the Catalinas since the group’s inception. They loved heading to Statesville’s Grace Park Recreation Center on weekends in the ‘60s to hear the band perform. Eisele, Statesville’s most recognized Elvis impersonator, credits the band’s success to its appeal to ’50 nostalgia; its "excellent musicians over the years"; its unbeatable lyrics; & the fact that the tunes are easy to dance to. "The music is good, so it endures," said West, who now owns West Properties in downtown Statesville. "I like to see them because they’re fun."
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