Steve King & The Dittilies

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Steve King & The Dittilies
Steve King and the Dittilies.jpg
Michigan's Official Band
Background Information

Origin

Livonia

Genre

Rock, Pop

Years Active

1976 - Present

Members

****

Steve King - Lead Vocals, Trumpet, Percussion Founding Member
Paul Johannes - Saxophones, Flute, Keyboards, Lead Vocals
Rob Packer - Bass, Lead Vocals
Bill McCord - Guitar, Lead Vocals
Mark Seyler - Drums, Vocals
Bubba Gump - Keys, Vocals, Harp
Don Miller - Trumpet, Fluegelhorn
John Miller - Trombone, Lead Vocals

Website

skatd.com

About

The Dittilies began in the 1970's as a talent show skit at Bentley High School in Livonia, Michigan. From that humble beginning, the band grew through the decades, from bars around Detroit to international concerts in Canada and Bermuda and event stages in New York City and Nashville. Many fondly recall the Dittilies as a staple on Boblo Boat moonlight cruises and on Mackinac Island for the Port Huron to Mackinac boat races. In 2002, the legislature of the State of Michigan declared Steve King ("The Wayne Newton of Wayne County") and the Dittilies as "Michigan's Official Band".

Biographies

Steve King

Lead Vocals, Trumpet, Percussion Founding Member

Steve King.jpg

Steve King's own roots as a band leader started in an educational environment. Today Steve is known in the Livonia community as far more than a legendary entertainer; he is a certified school teacher, a former member of the Livonia School Board, and a popular athletic coach. In 2012 King ran to to be an independent voice and bring many new ideas to help positively impact the business climate and quality of life in Michigan to serve the remainder of former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's (R-Livonia) term representing Michigan's 11th Congressional District in a September 5th special election only to lose to David Curson.

 

Paul Johannes

Saxophones, Flute, Keyboards Lead Vocals - Member since 1995

Paul Johannes.jpg

Paul is grateful for the opportunities the Dittilies give him to offer up his diverse musical skills, cobbled together over the years in a desperate attempt to keep working, as well as other elements of his shadowy background (and the chance to work with a swell bunch of guys). Career highlights include performing a solo (alto sax) rendition of the National Anthem at the Palace of Auburn Hills, and (with SKD) playing at Detroit's historic Fox Theater.

 

Rob Packer

Bass, Lead Vocals - Member since 1998

Rob Packer.jpg

Olympic weight lifter, in line for the gold medal in 1984 until felled by a freak accident involving a Swedish swimmer and a bathtub full of lime Jello. Now lives quietly as a gentleman farmer somewhere in Livingston County. Rob is the band's designated driver.

 


Bill McCord

Bill McCord.jpg

Guitar, Lead Vocals - Member since 2001
After rescuing a mysterious chinese monk while hitchhiking through central Asia, Bill was granted the power to play the cowbell better than any other human being on the planet. This was cool for a while, but he eventually switched over to guitar. After all, babes don't generally hang around the cowbell player, no matter how good he is. And the rest is history...

 

Mark Seyler

Drums, Vocals - Member since 2014

Mark Seyler.jpg

Influenced by his dad's dashboard-drumming-while-driving and his early childhood neighbor Nick Palise (sax player for local Detroit legends George Young & the Youngsters) Mark began his drumming career performing avant garde jazz noise fusion percussion compositions with his mom's kitchen utensils. He eventually transitioned to actual drums and moved on from jazz noise fusion to other styles of music as well.

Having paid his dues playing at parties and high school dances, the underage Mark got his first bar gig playing at the west side dive bar The Lighthouse Lounge with the house band Cory & The Midnight Train.

He continued to hone his craft when he moved to California playing in a variety of bands which included rock, country, reggae, R&B, and of course New Wave (hey, it was California in the 80's). Upon returning to Michigan 10 years later with $50 bucks and a degree in physical therapy he commenced to make music in the Detroit area once again playing with the likes of Mark Barrett & Shooting Star, Thornetta Davis, Ralph Koziarski, Randy Volin, Mark Falconberry, and the sister lead country group Joe's Girls. His longest tenure to date was a Dittilieesque 17 years with the iconic Detroit area blues band The Alligators.

After taking a few years off from the music scene for purposes of child raising and psychic realignment Mark returned with a bang joining the historic Steve King & the Dittilies where he has been able to utilize his jazz noise fusion skills once again!

 

Bubba Gump

Keys, Vocals, Harp - Member since 2011

Bubba Gump.jpg

Bubba started playing piano at the age of four, picking out melodies he heard on the radio. By age six he was reading music, playing and singing on the baby grand in the living room.

One day that summer he noticed four of the neighborhood cuties camped out on the front porch, observing his musical efforts and giggling with delight. He thought, "Hmmm, finally the girls are noticing me for something besides my brains and good looks."

Although he was blessed with the animal magnetism of Burgess Meredith and the natural charm of Chester A. Arthur, Bubba remains humble. He has played nationally with Bo Diddley, The Shirelles, The Marvelettes, The Del Vikings, and David Frizell, as well as locally with Scoot Magoo, Sherman Arnold, The Killer Bees, and Five Wheel Drive.

 

Don Miller

Don Miller.jpg

Trumpet, Fluegelhorn - Member since 1989
Don has been performing in various bands for 35 years. He is a graduate of the Wayne State University School of Music.

Don is married with 2 children. When not playing music, Don works as a locksmith. If you lock your keys in your car at a Dittilies gig, see Don.

 


John Miller

Trombone, Lead Vocals - Member since 1989

John Miller.jpg

From humble beginnings playing Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears with high school buddies in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, gifted trombonist John Miller worked hard to develop his skills. While at Wayne State University, his rare talent and versatility were recognized and rewarded. He was selected to tour China, and later performed in other international venues including Germany and Japan.

Joining the Dittilies with his brother Don on trumpet, the core was formed of a horn section of awesome power and excitement that must be experienced to be understood. The years have not muted that power, but refined and focused it. From sweet lyrical tones to hard-hitting improvisations, the Dittilie horns knock audience's socks off with a sound that is rarely heard, never equalled.

Recently, John has been asked to showcase his abilities as a lead vocalist, bringing into the venerable Dittilie set list some newer and fresher material. His uncanny vocal impression of Louis Armstrong remains a highlight of the show.

 

Videos

External Links

Website
The Concert Database
2002 Legislative Tribute officially signed by Michigan Governor Engler