Sunday, June 23, 2002
WHAT THEY DID
Before and after Brainchild
Bill Bodine: A Wilson High School graduate, Bodine composed a Grammy-winning song for the jazz group Manhattan Transfer; has written scores for more than 300 TV commercials; penned theme songs for TV programs; and recorded and played on tours with such musicians as Van Morrison, Melissa Manchester, Joan Armatrading, Peter Criss and Cher. He's also a founder of the Tony Leonardi Memorial Jazz Scholarship at Youngstown State University.
Joel "Odie" Crook: Always a Youngstowner, Crook started singing in 1968 with The Soulsations, predecessor to Left End. After Brainchild, he hooked up with local bands Talisman, The Lawrence Brothers, Mojo, You and I, and A.R.B.
Ronnie Lee Cunningham: The Youngstown native led his own band, The Ronnie Lee Thing, before he joined Brainchild. After Brainchild, he recorded three albums and toured with the band Law. He's played keyboard and bass with The Who, Yes, Earth Wind & amp; Fire, Santana, Bad Company, Bob Seger, Stevie Wonder and Al Jarreau, among others. He also worked with comedian Michael Winslow, the guy with all those sound effects in the "Police Academy" movies.
Dave Freeland: Originally from Conneaut Lake, Pa., Freeland had already toured with Three Rivers Blues Band and opened shows for Chicago, The Allman Brothers Band and Ted Nugent by the time he joined Brainchild. Then he joined Gravel, which evolved into The Corbin/Hanner Band, which produced three Top 40 country music singles. He also wrote the song "If You See Kay," which was recorded by Canadian band April Wine on Capitol Records. Today he's a salesman with Willis Insurance Group in western Pennsylvania.
John Grazier: Campbell's own studied at YSU's Dana School of Music, played in Brainchild and other local bands, worked at Peppermint Productions in Youngstown (where he co-produced albums by Blue Ash and Left End) and migrated to Nashville in 1978. He worked for 20 years as a recording musician, arranger and songwriter with Brenda Lee, Roy Clark, J.D. Sumner and The Stamps, Wilson Pickett, John Conlee, Bill Medley and more. Now he's supervisor in active processing for Vanity Fair Corp.
Dan Marshall: After seven years of playing rock and roll with New Hudson Exit, Roadshow and Brainchild, among others, the Hubbard man quit the music business and pursued a career in education. He's taught at schools in Ohio, Michigan, Texas and Australia. Marshall, who earned a doctoral degree in 1985 is a professor of education at Penn State University and the author of three books on curriculum studies.
Larry Paxton: Son of a retired school band director, Paxton grew up in McDonald and Marion, Ohio. As a student at YSU, he met Freeland, Marshall and Pizzulo by performing in pre-Brainchild bands. Post-Brainchild, Paxton played in a "Holiday Inn lounge band," the jazz trio Mirage and the Jaggerz. He found work in California as a musician, arranger and eventually, songwriter with CBS Records. He moved to Nashville and landed gigs with Emmylou Harris and Suzy Bogguss and as leader of Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam band. He and his wife, Kristin Wilkinson, worked with Marty Stuart on the score for the movie "All the Pretty Horses," which starred Billy Bob Thornton.
Joe Pizzulo: This Ursuline High School alumnus moved to California and got his big break in 1979, when he was hired as a background singer on Alice Cooper's tour. He recorded vocals for "Never Gonna Let You Go," the 1983 song by Sergio Mendes that got as high as Number 4 on nationwide music charts. He's recorded commercials, television theme songs and film scores as well. He's also a co-founder of Salami Studios, an audio and video post-production studio that specializes in animation and has Columbia TriStar, Warner Bros. and Nickelodeon as clients.