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Tue, Feb. 18

Prescott Playboys will carry on despite loss of key member

Courtesy photo<br>
The Prescott Playboys.

Courtesy photo<br> The Prescott Playboys.

PRESCOTT - For 13 years, the Prescott Playboys have entertained with a mix of honky-tonk and Western swing music, but with the passing of frontman Fred Spears, Sr. this month, the band is dealing with the loss of more than just a singer and musician.

Spears was 77. He formed the band in 2001 and performed regularly until November 2013.

The current line-up - Jerry Johnson, Ray Gardner, and Teddy Fernandez, plus teens Jordan Brambila and Bix Glidden - will continue on as the Prescott Playboys, Brambila said.

"Jerry Johnson and I are going to take co-ownership of (the band)," Brambila said. "Jerry will be writing most of the arrangements for our songs."

Brambila said, "(Spears) and I talked before he passed, and he wanted it to keep going."

He said the band would continue to play the same traditional country swing they've been known for in the past. "We're going to change the arrangements of the songs and refine the music even more," he said.

They may add to the group's repertoire, he added. "We might add some newer Western swing-type music. More of a Texas swing, but it'll still be the same music."

Brambila said he knows there will be expectations to be met, especially given the fact that, at 16 years old, he's one of the group's leaders.

"We've got big shoes to fill, but I think we can do it. Not only because Fred would have wanted it, but because we all have the same love for the music," he said.

Former Playboys member Ken Heide said, "The Prescott Playboys have had good name recognition in this town. As far as I can see, (the band is) not going to fold up and go away."

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