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Presenting the Dynatones

For nearly two decades Gloucester and Mathews were home to a groundbreaking R&B band known as the Dynatones. Though many residents today are unaware, the Dynatones defined local R&B and shared the stage with numerous nationally-recognized acts like Gladys Knight and the Pips, Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield and Chuck Berry.

Thirteen different musicians played with the band throughout its existence but only four members are alive today. Three of these men—Herbert Carter, John Carter and Sam Vogel—live in Mathews. A fourth, Charles McClendon, lives in Hampton.

The band was formed in 1954 by several musicians including Herbert Carter. Carter had just returned from a tour as a communications operator in Korea and served as the band’s manager and drummer until 1964.

The band’s name, though thought by some at the time to be derived from Greek, was the result of sheer coincidence. “I had a ’53 Oldsmobile 98 and I had just put a new Dynatone muffler...

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