HARRISONBURG — When Steve Strosnider set out to write about the local music scene during the 1960s, it was soon clear that he was in over his head.
Although a musician himself during that time, the sheer amount of bands he started discovering when he began doing his research was overwhelming. He turned to friend and fellow musician, Charles Mathias, for help.
Mathias didn’t believe Strosnider when he said he was writing a book. In fact, it took Strosnider awhile to convince his friend that he wasn’t pulling his leg.
But together they started doing the research back in 2016 and through extensive interviews with musicians, and family and friends of the those who died, Strosnider put out “Tales from the Bandstand,” and just released the third edition, which is a collector’s edition.
Strosnider held a book signing at the Smokehaus on Friday. He said there was a lot of interest, but things went a little slower than book signings have been recently.
His past editions of “Tales from the Bandstand” have sold out, Mathias said. And each edition includes bands that got left out accidentally in previous editions.
The book features such local bands and artists as the Big Beats, Crafton’s Park, the Top Hats, Eddie Lee and the Corvettes, Ralph Sampson Sr., and Wallace Red and the Red Dots. The latter is 92 years old and still playing today, Strosnider said.
“The music in the ’60s, there were a lot of different genres,” he said. And the time was influenced by many things, including political upheaval and the British Invasion.
“Vietnam took a lot of musicians away and many never came back,” he said.
If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of “Tales from the Bandstand,” they can be found at the Smokehaus, Hometown Music, and on Amazon.