Danny Watkins



1956 - Mommy, can I have piano lessons?

1964-1966 - High School Stage Band - Student Director of Euclid High Talent Show

1966 - Joined my first dance band (The Bershires) and got my first portable keyboard. A Farfisa Duo from Sodja Music on 185th street. It was my high school graduation present from my parents. They had no clue how that would change my life.

1967-1971 - Worked as the piano teacher at Master Music on West 25th street.

1967-1969 - Joined a very active band called the Popcorn Patch that was headed by the former lead singer from Larry and the Avengers. This got me hooked in the band business.

1970-1974 - Started a four year run with The Guy George Jazz Quartet. A great musical experience in creativity.  I bought my Hammond B3, Fender Rhodes and first synthesizer with this group. And small world that it is, Bob Chiancone, drummer for Abbey Rodeo, was our drummer, and Walt Viewig, player of every musical instrument known to man from The Girls was adding is musical genius also.

During this time I also spent five years with the music department of the Cleveland Supplementary Education Center of the Cleveland Public Schools. I specialized in the 4th grade electronic music department building synthesizers and teaching music composition.

1974-1986 - I formed the group Take Five. This was a long run. We worked 13 years together and 10 of those years “on the road”. We worked the hotel and nightclub circuit from Maine to Texas playing six nights a week.

1988-2001 - I joined the band Masterpiece. This was a heavy funk/Motown dance band. We spent 12 years together rockin’ the house. We worked often in Madison at The Wagon Wheel. Benny Jackson from The Jackson Brothers lead that band and we worked with some great musicians including singer songwriter B. Lloyd Taylor, from Earth Wind and Fire.

2001-2004 - Formed the Magic trio. Magic is a nice presentation for small venues and parties. Lead singers, Benny Jackson from Masterpiece and Mary Ann Luster from Take Five, are out front and me doing the musical backup. Heavily sequenced keyboards for our arrangements and to great lead singers carried me through the next couple of years until I was lucky enough to be invited to perform with The Girls.

The Girls I have found to be a lot of fun and I am meeting some great musicians along the way. The bonus is the three talented girls.


My journey into music started in third grade when I decided I wanted to learn the piano. This was a time when people were starting to sell their black and white TVs for color sets and there was no such thing as a synthesizer. I kept practicing and playing until I got into the school jazz band in Junior High and was hooked from there. I played in the school bands and talent shows all through high school and started playing a small clubs in 1966. I played with rock & rolls bands until spending about four years with the Guy George Jazz quartet in the early 70s. During that time I was also teaching at Master Music on Cleveland’s West side, working as an instructional aide in the music department of the Cleveland Supplementary Education Center and a music major at Cuyahoga Community College. It was at the Supplementary Center that I built my first synthesizer (which looked like an operators switchboard from the 20s) and received my inauguration to the world of electronic music.

I left college early to find my fortune on the road and traveled around the country with the band “Take Five” for about 12 years. We were playing the lounge circuit back when every place you went had live bands and you pretty much worked six nights a week. We played from Maine to Texas and all points in between. Then somewhere in the 80s I came back and started playing mostly in the Cleveland area. I eventually joined the band Masterpiece with Benny Jackson and stayed with them playing Motown and funk. Masterpiece was together for 13 years and played all through the Cleveland area and often at the Wagon Wheel in Madison.

The last few years I have been working with a great oldies trio called Magic. This was a unique arrangement of two vocalists and me on keyboards. It gave me time to work on full midi arrangements that were all keyboard based. I keep some of my music history on my website, www.danwatkins.ws.

I was introduced recently to “The Girls” by my great friend and musician Dr. Walt Viewig. When you talk about things going full circle, Walt and I played together in the Guy George Jazz quartet about three paragraphs and 30 years ago. The music just never stops.

The Girls Musicians Danny Watkins Bio
Blossom ** Back to Home Page ** Friends and Links
The Other Musicians

Tom Foster

Danny Watkins

Eric Winfield

Bill Kovatch

Dan Rose

Caylee Watkins

Dan's Daughter and Trumpet Player Extraordinaire,

Performing at some of The Girls shows, Caylee plays as our 'horn section'. You'll like how this girl plays - Her tone is Right On!!