|Bill Turner and the Blue Smoke Band
Web site: http://www.myspace.com/billturnerandbluesmokeband
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BLUE SMOKE band was founded by Guitarist, Bill Turner, and Bassist, Eric "The K" Knutsen, who was fresh out of the Army in February 1972 in an attempt to recapture the Country and Rockabilly roots of a "post-Woodstock" music industry so completely dominated by, and lost in a haze of Psychedelic Rock. The band began working almost immediately in local Brooklyn clubs, and began building its reputation gradually but steadily. In the ensuing years, the band developed into a highly polished, professional and widely known nightclub and stage attraction, appearing at fairs, concerts, conventions and all types of public and private events throughout the northeast and even into Canada. The original Blue Smoke band members, in addition to Bill and Eric were: Tony Benson on Drums; Jimmy Maloney on Guitar; Richie Luca on Tenor Sax and Steve Robkoff on Guitar and lead vocals. Due to personal commitments and school, Jimmy and Steve stayed with the band only a brief period during the band's first year, and for the first several years, the band continued on as a quartette. Through the years to come, the band would use a succession of Keyboard players, and utilize female vocalists, Pedal Steel Guitar and a full Brass section, for many of its larger concerts at outdoor fairs, concerts and conventions In 1974 Bill divided his time between Blue Smoke, and a two and a half year stint with Bill Haley & His Comets, playing lead guitar with this Inventor of Rock & Roll, a gig which took him around the world. In July of 1996, MTV hired Bill and the group to record the soundtrack music for the four 30 second commercial spots heralding their new M-2 Satellite Network which made its worldwide debut on August 1st of that year. Bill and the band recorded the instrumental "C.C. Rider" chaser heard in each of the spots, which featured a cast of 24 Elvises acting out poses and dancing. Since the late 1970's, Blue Smoke became the 'band of choice' for many of the country's top Elvis Tribute performers, which led to their being discovered by MTV at a convention in Wildwood NJ where they were the backup orchestra for an Elvis Competition which drew over 4,000 in attendance. Soon after this, the band released its first CD "Mississippi Maserati Breakdown" on the independent MANSION RECORDS label. In the past year Bill Turner & Blue Smoke won two film industry awards; a 2004 Bronze Telly Award, and a 2005 Platinum Aurora Award, both for "Best Use of Music" in an independent film "The Crusaders", a spy film with a soundtrack heavily laced with retro-surf and jazzy lounge music...a Blue Smoke specialty, and in March 2006, appeared in concert backing up Jim Belushi in a NYC appearance! Since 1999 Bill Turner & Blue Smoke have been appearing regularly in Atlantic City at Bally's Wild, Wild West Casino.
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