Ronnie & the Savoys
**LIMITED QUANTITY AVAILABLE**
Orders will ship the first week of December 2023. This EXCLUSIVE BRAND NEW 7" Vinyl is available only through Wicked Cool via Cleveland International Records. Originally recorded in 1958. Preorder your copy today.
Slappin' Rods & Leaky Oil
Writers: S. Popovich, R. Zupancich/Pub. : West Side Publishing House ASCAP)
Slappin’ Rods & Leaky Oil
Writers: R. Zupancich/Pub. : West Side Publishing House ASCAP)
Both songs were recorded in 1958
Recorded at Cleveland Recording Company in Cleveland, Ohio
Steve “Poppy” Popovich: Lead Singer, bass
Ron Zupancich: Drums, background vocals
Bernard Zupancich: Piano
Jim Sellers: Lead guitar
Tim Tokish: Saxophone
Mastered by John Naclerio @ Nada Recording
Produced by Rex Dennis
Ronnie and the Savoys worked hard, something which reflected their blue collar roots. Drummer Ron Zupancich grew up in a coal mining town in Pennsylvania and quickly grew to love polka music -- especially the albums of Frankie Yankovic, but also, big band -- and before long, rock and roll, thanks to James Brown and Little Richard. In his teens, he formed an important musical bond with bassist and vocalist Steve Popovich, himself a product of another coal mining area elsewhere in PA. As Zupancich recollects, it was a crucial meeting -- Steve had been playing Croatian music in a Tamburitza band while also singing in a high school quartet, The Satellites. With the addition of Popovich, the drummer’s band, initially known as The Polka Kings, finally had the versatility to move into playing rock and roll -- and eventually, rhythm and blues. Whether he was playing electric bass or the more traditional acoustic stand-up bass, there was nothing Popovich couldn’t handle.
Paired with Zupancich, they were a devastating rhythm section. The Polka Kings, eventually to become known as Ronnie and the Savoys, were loaded for bear and then some. By the end of the ‘50s, they had relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. They had already performed on Yankovic’s Cleveland-based television show, Polka Varieties and were attracting label interest. The five-piece band entered Cleveland Recording and laid down tracks for two songs, “Domino” and “Slappin’ Rods and Leaky Oil.” Largely instrumental, “Slappin’ Rods and Leaky Oil” is infectiously energetic, driven by a swaggering piano part and relentless backbeat that makes the running time, barely two minutes in length, all too short. “Domino,” on the other hand, has both a story -- and a serious groove. “We were just thrilled to hear it on the radio,” Popovich later told author Carlo Wolff, regarding the airplay that “Slappin’ Rods” received. Ronnie and the Savoys built a solid profile in Cleveland, performing nearly every night at Leo’s Cafe, a blue collar bar in a local Polish neighborhood. Larger venues would follow and although long-term success proved to not be in the cards, the group’s important output has now been preserved thanks to Cleveland International Records and Wicked Cool Records.
Executive produced by Steve “Poppy” Popovich & Ron Zupancich