Inducted in 1999
Roger Rotoli was born April 7, 1949 in Rochester, NY.
A working professional since 1965, he played drums, and eventually added
lead vocals, electric bass and washboard to his outstanding talents.
He was influenced by his parents, his father Joe, a well known,
Rochester local, played blues and jazz trumpet, and his mother, Bernice,
an Eastman School of Music graduate.
His godfather Tony Corona, molded Rogers playing, and taught him the art
Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones, and Jimmy Cobb were major influences.
Roger liked the boxy sound of the "snares" off!
His first bands, Friends and PLayers,
The Angry Men, Gamble, Six Feet Under, and Portable
People, toured the country in the late 60's, appearing in "show case"
clubs, from coast to coast and Puerto Rico. Texas, was "the meeting of
the Blues" a career niche for the rest of his life.
Wally Granowski (owner at the time of NBT, and a few years later, Warsaw Wally's) persuaded
Roger to relocate permanently to Phoenix in the late '70's. Wally was
looking for a back-up band for Hans Olson at the time. This is when he
met Bill and Suzy Tarsha, presently of The Rocket "88's.with Dave
Forrester on guitar. Nancy Dalesandro (Sistah Blue) was formerly with
the '88's on guitar!
After a four year stint with Jimmy Peyton (Midnite Blues),1976-1980, Roger and Bill
Tarsha hooked up with Buddy Reed to form "The Rocket 88's". Roger
left in late 1989 to form 'The Blue Dynamos", and later, The Dynamos.
Country blues, swing shuffle, and slow blues, were Roger's brand of
In 1990 he reunited with Buddy Reed and his new band "The Rip It Ups".
Roger has been under contract with record companies, including Roulette,
Crystal, LeCamm, Big 12-Inch, Polydor, Chess, and other independent
He toured the western states and Europe, also appearing on drums for an
NBC Movie made for television "Desert Rats", also recording with The
Rocket "88s, Big Jay McNeeley(Az. Bootin' received 5 Grammy nominations)
Roger appeared with such greats "as Eddie Brigotti, of The Rascals',
Chet Cotello of Spyro Gyra, Johnny Carrol, George "Harmonica" Smith, Pee
Wee Crayton ,Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Clarence "Gatemouth Brown", Jimmy
Witherspoon, Charlie Musselwhite, Joe Houston, Smoky Wilson, Bo Didley
,Luther Tucker, and Muddy Waters.
Roger remained with 'The Rocket '88'S , until his passing on Nov. 2,
" We will forever miss you"
Some info derived from the Phoenix Blues Society "Blues News" 1995
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