Original band members formed the group in high school toward the end of the 1950s and continued rocking the southeast for almost a decade. But by the end of the 1960s other responsibilities – growing families – military service – other career opportunities – drew original band members in separate directions.
In 1988 most of the original members reunited for a one-time class reunion celebration. Afterward, three members chose to remain and regroup with some new faces and a revitalized sound.
In the years since 1988 growth and change were inevitable. Song lists that once consisted of the biggest hits from the 50s and 60s now expanded to include some of the greatest melodies from the 70s, 80s and 90s.During this era the Ascots had the privilege of warming up such legendary acts as Billy Joe Royal, The Platters, Gary Puckett, The Beach Boys, The Forrester Sisters, Montgomery Gentry, Confederate Railroad, Steppen Wolfe and performing at such coveted venues as Dalton Georgia’s Historic Wink Theater, Nashville’s Maxwell House Hotel, Chattanooga’s Riverbend Festival, Chattanooga’s Fall River Cruise, UTC’s McKenzie Arena, Denim & Diamonds Gala and Asheville’s Bel Cher Festival .
The guys have been honored to play the annual Groundhog Ball at Shelbyville, Tennessee, a town renowned for its “Champion Tennessee Walking Horses”. And they are already scheduled for their 20th appearance at the event in February of 2018. They were also regulars on the stage at the Alhambra Shrine Temple in Chattanooga, Tennessee for many years.
Other changes that ensued since 1988 saw the departure of all but one of the original Ascots. Today’s outstanding lineup including original member and current band leader Mickey Caradine on guitars and vocals, Tom Condra on guitars and vocals and Mark Strickland on drums and percussion. Newer additions to the ensemble include Darren Crosby, formerly with the “Steve Azar Band” and local Chattanooga band “Thunder River”, on pianos, keyboards and vocals and Bob Smith, formerly with “Thunder River” on bass guitar and vocals.
The Ascots musical history and heritage began in the late 1950s and has spanned five decades. Moving into its sixth decade with an unwavering passion, energy and drive, the Ascots are continually adding to their catalogue of material and have never lost their love of great music and live performance.
Currently, the Ascots are celebrating the recent release of their new studio CD “One More For The Road”. A collection of classic cover songs with a fresh yet faithful sound and are working on song selections for their next venture into the studio.
The Ascots unique blend of vocal styles and musical genres add a special touch to every show and they are available to bring the songs that have become the sound track of our lives to your next event.
Old time rock ‘n roll never fades away, never grows old and never dies; it remains loud and clear, young at heart and living on in the Ascots.