out of Tampa Florida, The Tropics began as a seven
piece horn band featuring Mel Dryer on lead vocals,
Buddy Pendergrass on guitar and Spencer Hinkle on
drums, with Wayne Guida on Trumpet and Ronnie Ferrer
During 1965, in the wake of the British Invasion, the
band changed from their basically R&B style to become a more
Beatlesque type band, adding Eric Turner on guitar
and Charlie Souza on Bass, dropping the horns and
hiring a new drummer, Bobby Shea. They then added
manager, Margie Sexton, owner of the famous "Surfer's
Club," at Madeira Beach, an extremely popular
teen-age night club in the mid-60's.
Tropics with James Brown
In 1966, The Tropics, AKA "The Bitchin' Red Band" when
playing on the Pier in Cocoa Beach, Florida, won
The International Battle of the Bands held at the
famous McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. The
Band took first place over more than 1000 bands,
which included such names as Chicago and Tommy James & The
Shondells. Out of that came a recording contract
with Columbia Records in New York and the single "Take
the Time," produced by Teo Macero, which made
it to the top of the charts and got a 92 on Dick
Clark's American Bandstand!
May 7, 1999, the Tropics reunited for a 30-year reunion
at the St. Petersburg, Florida, Coliseum in a benefit
show for All Children's Hospital. The reunion was
a tremendous success and many good friends were reunited
in a free-spirited, fun-filled nostalgic evening,
reliving the innocence of those wonderful times. "It
was Fabulous" says Margie Sexton, the bands
former manager. It was also the time to get back
in the studio and re-record some of thier favorite
tunes, some of these recordings are available now
on the 7 song CD, "The Tropics then & now
'Still get a Chill'" including the title song
especially written for the occasion, "Still
get a Chill!"
include Charlie Souza, Eric Turner, Buddy Pendergrass,
Mel Dryer, and Bobby Shea.
Bacchus, and other Charlie Souza projects are avaliable
from cdbaby.com .
A Tropics documentary video is available for viewing
at the official Tropics website, charliesouza.com.
This site was created and is maintained by Carl Chambers for Dizzy Rambler Productions
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