January 17, 2017
To our extraordinary family, friends, and fans,
It is with much sadness, many tears, and fond memories, that I have to announce that
The Manny B. Group played it's last performance New Years Eve at The Black Bear Casino in Carlton, MN.
It seems that the band business in casinos are directing their attention to newer and younger talent and also to bands that draw consistently big crowds, and have huge followings. Over the 18+ years we have been together, we have enjoyed a wonderful following of loyal fans, including family, old friends, and new friends that jumped on The Manny B. Group bandwagon. I reminisce back to our humble beginnings at Floyd's Steakhouse and Lounge in West Dundee IL, for several years, to Six Flags Great America Gurnee IL, for 7 years, and since then, casinos, festivals, corporate parties, special events, weddings, and theaters, from the East Coast to the West Coast, North and South, and everywhere in between. We have performed in many unbelievable locations and met thousands of people over the years, and we are forever grateful for every awesome person we met along the way, every venue that invited us to perform for their patrons, and every mile traveled.
So, where do we go from here?
With much anticipation and excitement, I have joined forces with my friend, B.B. Secrist and his Rockin' 88's, and have already performed with him this past weekend in Larchwood, Iowa at the Grand Falls Casino and Resort. After several meetings and auditions, B.B. has decided to bring Papa Phil into the group as well. So, a new chapter has begun in our lives (Papa Phil and I, we're two peas in a pod). (More info about B.B. Secrist below)
Before I turn this page on my musical career, I would like to thank the throngs of fans that have given their support, loyalty, friendship and love to The Manny B. Group. Without you, the band would not have existed for 19 years. I also give very special thanks to past members of my band, some very long time friends, and some new friends, in no particular order ~ Donnie Watts (Don Borsnik), Dave Guyer (Brett Brandon), Burl Hibbler (Kevin Cox), Brian Collins, Curtis Allred, Danny King, Kenny Anderson, Sheldon Wheaton, Kimmo Bajamundo, Mike Sweeney, Robert Edwards, Peter Menucci, Dave Hernandez, Bobby Doyle, Benjy Kruser, Ronnie Dot Dot, and anyone else I have forgotten to mention. Thank you guys for your dedicated time, talent, and travels with me.
the most current of my band mates ~ Papa Phil, Miguel Madrid (Mike Vallejo) and Eli Azaña ~ you were my Filipino brothers in crime and so dedicated and loyal to me and The Manny B. Group for our final year in action. Thank you!
Without you, and all these musicians along the way, there would not have been Manny B. & The Rhythm Nights OR The Manny B. Group. I am grateful to you all for sticking by my side, for helping me get through my transplant and recovery, and being the professionals you are. We made great music together.
Now, it's time to turn the page and rock on with B.B. Secrist and his Rockin' 88's! B.B. performs at many of the same venues that I and The Manny B. Group performed at. So, to our family, friends and fans, come see me and Papa Phil rockin' out at familiar locations, just a different genre of music and players. Go to B.B.'s website, www.bbsecrist.com, and view his schedule for upcoming performance dates. Come to a venue near you and witness the energy and excitement of B.B. Secrist, the best Jerry Lee Lewis performer around.
Hope to see you soon!