Welcome to the Contenders web site, a place for their fans, both new and old, to share in the legacy of this great rock&roll band. We hope you enjoy your stay and please sign our guestbook before you leave. Above all, thanks for listening!
Sept.24, 2002: The long-awaited release of the Contenders' CD has finally happened. Gadfly Records of Burlington, VT has reissued the band's 1978 LP and included three tracks from the followup sessions produced by Don Dixon but never heard until now. The sound quality on the disc comes as a pleasant surprise to many who are already familiar with the vinyl version but the real revelation is in the three new tunes.
Sept. 28, 2002: A CD release party at the Nashville night spot and listening room The Basement draws a full house of friends and fans to welcome the availability of the new disc. Contenders Tommy Goldsmith and Jimbeau Walsh are both on hand for a romp through a set of the old tunes, helped along by David Ball (of Uncle Walt's Band), David Olney, Mark Wingate and John Owen. The joy of the occasion is tempered by the bittersweet knowledge that Walter Hyatt, Champ hood and Steve Runkle are present only in spirit for this affirmation of the wonderful music they all made together.
Oct. 28, 2002: Atlanta singer and longtime Contenders friend Elise Witt announces a concert scheduled for Saturday evening Nov. 23 to be called "Celebrating the Songs of the Contenders". The lineup will include Tommy Goldsmith, Elise, her sister Mary Witt, and Ben Runkle. The event will be part of the Trinity Concerts Series at Trinity United Methodist Church in downtown Atlante, next to the Capitol building.
Nov.17, 2002: Issue #42 (Nov-Dec, 2002) of No Depression magazine appears on the shelves at Borders Books in Raleigh, NC. Check out p. 112! Al Maginnes' insightful review sketches the story of the band, discusses a few of the reasons why the Contenders are worthy of attention and the Gadfly CD is a rewarding listening experience. There's even a photo of our boys in action at The Gin, a regular stop of theirs in Oxford, Mississippi.
Nov. 23, 2002: The Atlanta show is a hit, with a full house of happy listeners a good time had on both sides of the microphones. It was alot of fun singing some of our favorite songs, learning a couple of new ones and sharing it all with an appreciative group of listeners. We met a bunch of nice folks, sold a bunch of CDs and greatly enjoyed the evening as a whole. Thank yous go to Trinity UMC and to Mick for providing the sound system. Thanks also to Six Feet Under, the oyster bar on Memorial Drive for doing a late-night crankup of their steamer just for us. Highly recommended. Topics of discussion at the midnight meal included the possibility of repeating the show in places like Raleigh, Spartanburg or Nashville. Who knows?
Dec. 18, 2002: The "Celebrating the Songs of the Contenders" concert with Tommy Goldsmith. Elise Witt. Mary Witt and Ben Runkle is on the book to be repeated at the Six String Cafe and Music Hall in Cary, NC. the date will be Sunday, March 30 at 7 PM. The kitchen will be open so come early for a nice dinner and stay for the music. We hope to see many old friends, lots of Elise and Tommy's fans, those who remember the mighty Contenders from their many area appearances and some new faces, too. Contenders CD's will be available. Over the last year and a half or so The Six String has become the area's venue of choice for acoustic music. Check out www.sixstringcafe.com for details. See you there!
Jan. 9, 2003: NEWS FLASH! Today this website passed a milestone by logging visitor number 1001! Thanks to everyone who has been by and we especially appreciate those who have taken the time to sign the guestbook. There are plans afoot for new pages, lots more photos and maybe a song clip or two so be sure to check back in. It has been great seeing the Contenders legacy revived through the reissues of their recordings and through this site; it's wonderful hearing from many of the original fans but even more gratifying to see how the music can reach those who never heard the band and, in some cases, weren't even born when they were together!