Big Daddy Dupree's
Broke and Hungry Blues Band
FRONT ROW-JOHN DEGROFF, KEN BROWER, SCOTT CROTHERS, BERNIE WILSON. BACK ROW- DONN MAY, RONDA JORDAN SCARLETT, JOHN MCCORKLE, RALPH LUCE.
Donn May- Guitar and Vocals
Donn May started playing the pedal steel at the age of 6 and switched over to electric guitar at the age of 9. By the age of 12, Donn was already playing in a band. Many of his musical influences include: Chuck Berry, Led Zepplin, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix , Lynyrd Skynyrd and more. I learned most of the songs by playing records or tapes in my room
and picking them up or by jamming with friends and learning them.
Some of the bands that Donn has played with include: Simon Genesis, Midwest, Apostrophe, Boomer Rockwell, Mixed Review, Class Act, Rip Chord and now living the Blues With Big Daddy Dupree's Broke & Hungry Blues Band.
When he is not playing his guitar Donn enjoys spending time with family and friends and enjoys fishing, camping and riding his Harley.
Bernie Wilson- Trombone and Vocals
I don’t remember when I started with music, but I feel it has been around me for a long time, since my mother was always involved musically. I started playing trombone in the 6-7th grade and played through junior high and high school, taking up acoustic bass in my jr.- sen. years.
1960-61 I went to Indiana University where I studied trombone with Edwin (Bud) Baker, whose methods and teachings I still use even now. Late 60’s- early 70’s I played with the Shaky Joe Trio, mostly bass and some trombone. Late 70’s I played with a group called Flight mostly trombone and some bass.
Through most of the 90’s I played with the Bobabalooys which included John Larson. From the 90’s to this year, I have had the privilege of playing with John and consider our camaraderie to be a major influence in my musical career. Late 2000’s I have had the pleasure of playing rock with Short Term Memories and The Blues with Big Daddy Dupree.
Throughout my years I have played with several community concert groups (Grace Community Concert Band, Lake Area Concert Band, Grace Wind Ensemble, Elkhart Symphonic Choir) which have allowed me to sustain my chops and have given a certain amount of stability in an otherwise unstable existence. I thank God for whatever talent HE has allowed me and will continue to use it as long as I can.
John McCorkle- Keyboards
I began playing piano at 4 years old. I started taking lessons at 12 years old and participated in concert band during my junior high years. Once in high school, I joined marching band, concert band and also jazz band.
After high school I attended Chaffey College in Alta Loma, CA. During that time we played numerous jazz festivals and competed, placing 1st and 2nd at Berkeley Jazz Festival.
I left college to return home where I studied classical music at IPFW in Fort Wayne. From there I went on the road to tour the country with the band Ground Zero.
Today, along with playing with Big Daddy Dupree's Broke and Hungry Blues Band, I'm also a member of Unlikely Disciples, and aslo Salt.
I continue to learn all the time, all that I can regarding not just piano/ keyboard, but music in general.
We are so thankful to have John in our Blues family. John adds so much with his skills and knowledge of music.
Ken Brower - Drums and Vocals
John Degroff - Bass Guitar
John Degroff was one of the original members of the Christian rock band Petra in 1972, along with Greg Hough, Bill Glover and Bob Hartman. He played Bass guitar on the band's first two records ("Petra" and "Come and Join Us") before leaving in 1979.
Petra has been inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame (2007), the Gospel Music Hall of Fame (2000), and the Hard Rock Cafe (1994).
After leaving Petra, John has played in several bands in the Fort Wayne area, and also did some session work. In 1987 John moved to Nashville Tennessee and dedicated himself to songwriting and other musical activities. He has had some songs recorded on independent records and does some occassional studio work.
John is back in our area and he has joined up with our Blues Band and has added so much to our sound already with his talent and experience. We are really excited for what's coming up next.
John has many projects in the works and we are just blessed to have John include us as one of his projects.
Ronda Jordan Scarlett - Vocallist
Ronda hails from a very musical family and developed an appreciation for many genres at a very early age. Taking lessons on multiple instruments, she eventually decided playing was not for her, vocals were where her passion was. She says, "I'm fairly certain I was singing in utero." Through school she was a member of the school choir, church choir, and many stage productions.
After graduating, she continued to perform and indulge her passion for song by doing some vocal coaching and found herself hosting Karaoke shows and occasionally guest performing with a variety of bands for eight years. After more than a decade she returned to hosting for the last couple of years. Enter Big Daddy Dupree at one of her shows following a performance of their own and the rest is, as they say, history.
We are very fortunate to have Ronda as a member of our Blues family. Her soulful sound is a gift that needs to be shared with our friends, fans and family.
Scott Crothers- Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Vocals
Scott, the eye candy of Big Daddy Dupree's Broke and Hungry Blues Band, is a graduate of East Noble High School.
He started playing music in 6th grade. He took lessons from Max Greer of Hicksville , Ohio. Scott plated in East Noble's Concert, Marching, Pep and Jazz bands. He was the trumpet section leader as a senior, and claimed the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. Maynard Ferguson was a major influence and the music of the band "Chicago". Scott's uncle Phil Trowbridge aka "Aaron Aardvark" played trombone on CTA's first album.
Scott has filled in for the late John Larson, of Ides of March fame and the late Rob Johnson for another band "Short Term Memories" and now finds himself as they both did, playing trumpet and flugelhorn with Big Daddy Dupree's Broke and Hungry Blues Band.
We are truely blessed to have Scott playing with us and look forward to, in the future, having Scott be featured in singing some songs for our family, friends and fans.
Ralph Luce - Saxophone/ Guitar and Vocals
Ralph played Cornet in his High School band and started learning Guitar soon after school.
After not doing much with music, at the age of 47 he took on guitar seriously. Soon he started playing in his own oldies band, Short Term Memories, and ended up playing Guitar, Tenor sax, and singing for 20 years with that band. He also played Guitar for a Gospel group,The Living Word, and still plays at his church. He always had a love for the sound of the Tenor sax solos in the oldies songs of the day, so at age 65 took up the Tenor sax and started taking lessons.
He joined up with Big Daddy’s Blues Band in 2019 as they put together the present horn section with Bernie Wilson on Trombone and Scotty Crothers on Trumpet. The three of them had played together for a few years previously and enjoy playing together for Big Daddy.
Ralph thoroughly enjoys being a part of the Big Daddy Band and says he learns much from the talented musicians in the band.
He also contributes with guitar and vocals on a few songs. We are proud to have Ralph with us. He contributes so much to our Blues sound with his talents and experience.