Lenbw02

Lenny Wilde Piano, Synthesizer, mandolin, vocals

 

Lenny started playing guitar in bands at the age of 14. These were mostly basement bands that played at some local teen dances. At age 16 he was asked to join one of the top Rock bands in the area, The Exotics, where he first met future Whisky Hollow member, Guy Wilkes.

After the Exotics, Lenny again formed his own group, The Ascots, and started playing saxophone. The group played many of the teen dances in the Brantford area for about a year. At that time a classmate, Jim VanSickle, who was the leader of another teen rock group The Chevrons, asked Lenny to join his group.

This is when Lenny teamed up with future Whisky Hollow member, Bob Silverthorn. The group went on to become one of the most popular rock bands in Southern Ontario and performed with many future Hall of Fame musicians and singers.

Lenny left the group when he got married in late 1966 and didn't play for a year. He was then approached by several former members of the Chevrons, including Bob Silverthorn to form another group. This was Birmingham Manor and they played many high school and teen clubs around Southern Ontario for about a year.

Around 1969/70 Lenny switched to playing keyboards and teamed up again with Guy Wilkes and future Whisky Hollow member, Jim Windle to form Sargeant House. Jim and Lenny discovered they were both writing music, a rare thing in those days, and they started a songwriting partnership that still exists today.

After Sargeant House, Lenny joined The Brasstette, a 40's and 50's big band orchestra as an organist to learn more structured playing. Around 1973 he left to join Danny Alonzo and Twilite, a popular weekend rock/pop band, where he re-united with Bob Silverthorn and met future Whisky Hollow drummer, Jerry Ammerman. Twilite was also well-known for their "50's greaser" act - Danny and the Diddlers- and had a lot of fun performing at many Heavy Metal concerts around Southern Ontario with Metal cult legends,Warpig.

Several years later, Lenny left the group to persue a songwriting career with Jim Windle. Jerry Ammerman and Bob Silverthorn left the group shortly after and teamed up with Jim and Lenny to help make demo tapes of their original songs. This combination eventually led to the formation of Whisky Hollow.

Whisky Hollow was together from 1975 to 1984. They recorded three albums, released 14 charted singles, made many TV appearances, co-hosted and were house band for the internationally syndicated TV series Lively Country, had several nominations for " Best Performing Group of the Year". They headlined many major concerts, tours and appeared with many major Nashville stars, such as Tammy Wynette, Faron Young, and Freddy Fender. Lenny also took on the duties of Music Director of the Lively Country series.

Whisky Hollow also started their own nationally distributed Record label, Shotgun Records, and formed their own publishing companies.

During the Whisky Hollow years, Jim and Lenny wrote well over 100 songs which the group either recorded or performed on their TV series and several other artists recorded. Lenny was also known for playing a variety of instruments on stage and in the studio. These included : piano, organ, synthesizer, guitar, mandolin, and banjo.

In 1983, Lenny opened Shotgun Music Corp., a multi-track recording studio with fellow musicians Steve Beach and Ron Nadrofsky. When Whisky Hollow folded in 1984, the studio continued with recording, publishing, record labels, and production work on album projects, commercials and jingles until 1992 when Lenny left for the United States.

It was then he started performing with Pancho Gonzales and the IBEW Monster Band, made up of electricians who were former professional musicians. They played all over the United States at IBEW functions and opened for many major headliners such as, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Earl Thomas Conelly, Bobby Bare, Stella Parton, Janie Fricke, Jimmy C. Newman, Jerry Reed, T. Graham Brown, John Conly, The Kentucky Headhunters, The Bellamy Brothers, and Confederate Railroad.

During that time period Lenny moved up to Michigan and also spent two years playing piano with his cousin's blues band, Goldrush, in and around the Detroit area.

In 2005 while back in Canada, Lenny got together with Bob Silverthorn and Jim Windle to form Old Friends to play small venues and have some fun for old time sake. This lead to the Whisky Hollow Reunion Concert, which included all members who played with the band over the years; Lenny, Jim Windle, Bob Silverthorn, Jerry Ammerman, Pierre Maher, Guy Wilkes, Pat Brousseau, RJ Nellzy, Vern "Fatty" Smith, and Joey Allain.

The Reunion Concert was sold out and spawned a "Best of Whisky Hollow" CD and a documentary DVD which chronicles some of the groups career and parts of the evenings performance. Due to popular demand the group decided to continue with it's current line up.

Prior to the concert, another television documentary credited Whisky Hollow with being "one of the first, if not the first Country Rock band, in Canada" and a pioneer in alternative country music.

During the introductions at the Reunion Concert hosted by CKPC announcer David Georgeff, on behalf of the band, Lenny accepted citations and certifcates of appreciation from Mayor Mike Hancock, Provincial Member of Parliament, Dave Levec, and Federal Member of Parliament, Lloyd St. Amand for the band's achievements over the years.

In 2007 Lenny was given the prestigious, American Federation of Musicians "Member of the Year" award which he dedicated to his parents. Mayor Hancock, MPP Levec and MP St. Amand were also on hand to present citations praising his contributions to the music scene.

Lenny is currently writing and recording a new Whisky Hollow CD with other band members and performing with Whisky Hollow. He resides in Michigan with his wife Marnie.

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