A great bunch of musicians, known as ‘Doze Guyz’ make up an Algoma band that tours in and around Sault Ste. Marie. Their tour stops include Retirement and Longterm Care residences all year long, save for a few weeks off in the summertime.
‘Doze Guyz’, formerly known as ‘The Goulais Geezers’, have been together as a band since 2007. Ken Stafford, Ken Dinardo, Joe Otero, Doug Radford and Alfred Johns bring their sense of humour and easy listening musical style to folks living in many of the senior residences in The Sault community. The members of the ‘Doze Guyz’ are some of the finest musicians found in the District of Algoma and have been making music for well over 50 years with their chosen instruments.
Ken Stafford plays guitar, banjo and harmonica. His distinctive green guitar is legendary. Joe Otero is a skilled mandolin and banjo player, always ready with a good story and joke. Alfred ‘Alf’ Johns brings his wonderful musical stylings to the band with the bass and rhythm guitars. Doug Radford keeps the beat with percussion brushes and sticks on his drum set. Ken Dinardo rocks his style on keyboards, offering up-beat accordion music as well to the talent pool found in the band.
The line-up of songs includes favourites like “Red Roses for a Blue Lady”, circa 1948, written by Sid Tepper. The song was covered many times, including by Paul Anka, Dean Martin and ‘The Vaughn Monroe Orchestra and the Moon Men’ (1948 RCA Victor). Famous Canadian and iconic Band leader, ‘Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians Orchestra’ also recorded ‘Red Roses for a Blue Lady’ in 1948, a recording, released by Decca Records, that went on to become a Top 10 Billboard Hit in 1949.
‘Amarillo by Morning’, a song made famous by George Strait is a crowd favourite. Many of the residents enjoying the performance can be seen tapping and singing along. ‘We’ll Sing in The Sunshine’ recorded by Gale Garnett in 1964 is another favourite song on the ‘Doze Guyz’ set list.
Ken Stafford and Alf Johns are both retired from The Algoma District School Board. Ken Dinardo, retired professional photographer, spent many years taking the pictures of school classes and individuals, as a portrait photographer. Doug Radford retired from Algoma Steel (Essar-Algoma). Joe Otero is a retired research scientist with a mind that holds a treasure trove of jokes. He also has a lovely style on the mandolin, banjo and percussion instruments like the tambourine and bells.
‘Doze Guyz’ perform instrumental music with and without vocals during their performances. Their easy listening music is very much appreciated at Extendicare Van Daele where ‘Doze Guyz’ was performing on Tuesday, June 30th, 2015.
Shellie Cavaliere, programme and recreation staff at Van Daele shared “We’re so lucky to have talented groups and individuals come and play (music) here.” adding “Music brings back memories, and provides therapy, especially for individuals who can no longer speak. When you see their toe tapping or fingers tapping, it’s a wonderful thing.”
A wonderful thing indeed. The band ‘Doze Guyz’ bring a light-hearted and easy tempo style to retirement and longterm care residences throughout the community. Their gifts are shared freely as they carry in and out of buildings in all kinds of weather, the equipment, instruments, amplifiers and microphones they need to bring their music to life. The band is taking the summer off from touring the senior circuit. But you can catch them again in the Fall. You might want to check ‘Downtown. Downtown.’ (shades of Petula Clark)
‘When you’re alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go downtown
When you’ve got worries, all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know, downtown
And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you
Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to
Guide them along
So maybe I’ll see you there
We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares
So go downtown
Things will be great when you’re downtown
Don’t wait a minute more, downtown
Everything is waiting for you, downtown.’