The Original Rhondels Perform in Monterey October 8


The Highland County Arts Council’s Second Saturday @ 7 concert this month features The Original Rhondels.  The group is coming to Monterey for its second appearance.

Steve Ambrose is the lead vocalist and saxophonist in The Original Rhondels.

“We play a pretty wide variety of music,” says Ambrose.  “We do a lot of beach music, obviously, as that is pretty much our heritage, but we do a lot of dance music from the 70’s and 80’s and we do some even more current tunes from 2000, 2020.  We have some rather new tunes on the books as well.  We run the gamut from say, maybe, early 60’s to 2022.”

Music cut – You Are The One

“The band began, for all intents and purposes, somewhere around 1965 with William “Bill” Deal and Ammon Tharp getting together at some of the clubs on the oceanfront in Virginia Beach,” says Ambrose.  “They added people along the way.  They kind of tweaked their sound.  They started adding the very powerful brass and horn sections, very accomplished back ground vocals and some choreography.  So, along about 1969 they had become one of the most sought after local bands in the Virginia area, between Carolina, Virginia, up in Maryland, that sort of thing.  They released their first recording in 1969, that was May I, and from there the band just took off.  They recorded three or four more national and some international hits.  Now Bill Deal, William as we called him, passed away in 2003, I believe it was.  That was a little difficult for us, but we were able to keep the band together and through some very powerful and meaningful management we kept things moving forward.  The band still has, let me see, three of the original players that go back to the early 60’s.”

Music cut – May I

“I would like the audience to see how much fun we have doing what we do,” says Ambrose.  “And hopefully that fun will be contagious. I hope they enjoy that and have that much fun themselves and realize that after all this time we can still do it.”

The Original Rhondels perform Saturday, October 8, at 7pm at The Highland Center in Monterey.  Donations will be accepted for admission, to benefit the Highland County Arts Council.

The Highland County Arts Council is a supporter of Allegheny Mountain Radio.

To learn more about The Original Rhondels, visit

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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