THE TYGERS IN 1968 CRAIG, LANNY, TONY
The year was 1968… Five Milwaukee teenagers recorded a single with record producer Jon Hall for his local Teentown Records. That song was “Little By Little” , written by sixteen-year-old Tony Dancy and Dennis Duchrow. Within a few weeks, it was number one in the Midwest, receiving heavy airplay on WOKY, and WRIT. It wasn’t long before all the excitement caught the eye of A&M Records president Herb Alpert, who quickly signed them to his fledgling label.
Based on the success of their hit single, Tony’s Tygers recorded their only full-length album, which was released in summer of 1968. The band performed nonstop, traveling around the U.S. and locally at Wisconsin venues. Remember the CYO dances? The trademarks of a Tony’s Tygers show were the band’s five-part vocals and high energy.
The summer of 1997 saw Tony’s Tygers reunite for a special Milwaukee reunion concert at Maritime Days. The magic was still there. For 45 minutes, Tony’s Tygers, with their amazing vocal power had a crowd of over 25,000 people dancing in their seats. That incredible response motivated Tony to put the band back together. The Tygers regrouped and performed locally from 1998 thru the summer of 2002, then it was time for Tony to return to Los Angeles.
After the original Tygers disbanded, guitarist/vocalist Tony Dancy and keyboardist Craig Fairchild moved to LA, where they became staff writers for Wednesday’s Child Productions. Here they wrote music for such national TV shows as “The Brady Bunch” and “The Flintstones”, and became accomplished studio singers. In the mid 1970s, Tony returned to Milwaukee to assemble the vocal group Quiffy, which he took to LA. Quiffy became one of the hottest nightclub bands in the area and worked with Three Dog Night producer Richard Podolor as well as shooting a TV pilot with William Shatner before calling it quits in 1978. After stints with such groups as Ambrosia and El Chicano, and lots of studio work, Tony returned to Milwaukee, where he re-formed Tony’s Tygers and recorded his first solo CD, “A Hopeless Romantic”, released in February 1999. His second CD, “Midnight Dancing”, was released in 2004. After a long stint in Hong Kong, and several months traveling, Tony is back in Milwaukee working on some cool new tunes.
Original member Craig Fairchild’s story pretty much parallels Tony’s, thru the early 70’s, when they were a songwriting team in LA. At the same time they were writing for TV, Craig became an engineer at Larrabee Sound in Hollywood, where he did sessions for such artists as Sonny and Cher, Liza Minelli and Johnny Mathis. In the mid 1970’s he founded the group Quiffy, with Tony, but left the group before it moved to LA. He was a member of the popular Milwaukee group Rocket 88 for many years, where he acquired a large female following, drawn by his slightly risque take off on Roy Orbison. Today you’ll see him perform with the Doo-Wop Daddies.
Lanny replaced the Tygers original drummer Dennis Duchrow when Dennis left for Vietnam in 1969. There was a caveat with his joining the band, however, that being that he was planning to go to medical school and unless the band had made it by then he would have to leave. Although the band did fairly well, they never got over that hump and in 1971 Lanny left to continue his education. Now a practicing ophthalmologist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for several decades, he had never given up his desire to continue the group, and has helped spearhead this reunion of spirits and musical desire.
THE TYGERS IN 2009 TONY, CRAIG, LANNY
The 2009 Tygers want to thank a number of fine musicians who contributed significantly to the “Second Album”. First of all, Mike Murphy on drums and various percussion instruments. Mike is a well-known studio and performing musician in the Southeastern Wisconsin since the 1970’s, playing with several popular bands of that era and others since. Also, Tom Malta, who played bass on the album. Tom is a little younger than the rest of the boys, and did an admirable job providing the bass drive we needed. A special thanks go out to an old Tyger member from the late 60’s, Joe Turano, who is currently the music director for Al Jarreau. Joe added all the horn tracks on tunes and it was good to play with Joe again. And another new friend Jason Goldsmith, who provided the clarinet and banjo tracks on Never Too Late. Jason added that great Ragtime feel we wanted on that tune and we hope to be playing more with Jason in the future. And last but not least, we want to thank Kenny Knoll, pedal steel guitar master, who added that special touch to How Long Does It Take. All that Nashville feeling came through that steel guitar. We thank all those that helped us with this work. We weren’t sure that people could handle an album with such various styles of music wrapped around vocal harmony and we hope you will let us know if it brings back the memories it does for us.