Even though no one could put an actual date on it, one could
say "The Sites 'n' Sounds" actually began the day that Jimmy Ward taught Danny Blankenship, now known as Danny Reese, his
first guitar chord. First cousins, who were close in age, these two shared one major interest, The Beatles. They
would spend hours teaching themselves chords to all of the Beatles and British Invasion tunes of the day.
After a few months and many hours of practicing, Ward and Blankenship
heard a rumor that Sherry Van Hart had gotten a set of drums. So they grabbed their guitars and little amps and headed
up Main Street. They set up the drums and amps in the Van Hart's living room and started. It was if the heavens
had opened up. They were playing rock 'n' roll. They were starting a band.
Word began to spread through the Delta area teens and Randy
Taylor bought a bass guitar. He was in the band immediately. Then a mail order tambourine showed up at the Blankenship
house and the younger of the Blankenship boys, Dick, tagged along to rehearsal. He could sing the high harmonies with
his older brother and became the fifth member of the band.
There first appearance was at a birthday party. They didn't
get paid but they played their Rock 'n' Roll. Next came a major goal. It was a paying gig at the Delta carnival.
Six songs and $15. They each walked away from the set with $3. You would have thought they had just played on
the Ed Sullivan TV Show.
At the carnival that evening, was another Delta teen. Mike McFadden was bound
and determined to become a part of the band. He approached Danny Blankenship about joining. Blankenship told
him to get a combo organ and take some lessons, but he wouldn't make any promises. McFadden bought the organ and proceeded
to take lessons from Enid Lewis on Main Street in Delta. Soon he was in.
The band started to jell and the jobs took them from Hershey, PA to Baltimore, MD.
Changes also occurred. Leon Williams became the band's second drummer. A record was recorded on the CEI label.
Then came an appearance on Baltimore's Kirby Scott TV Show. Then Uncle Sam came calling for Williams to serve in Vietnam.
Enter, Tom Smeltzer, a young kid from Collinsville, Pennsylvania who played
drums like they had never heard before. Smeltzer became an immediate hit with the band and they continued on as that
unit. Jim Ward left the band.
The Sites 'n' Sounds continued until around June of '69' when Mike McFadden joined
the Air Force. It had been a wonderful time for a bunch of Delta boys.
They never played together again until April 2009 when they gathered for a reunion.
Some had not played an instrument in 40 years, but, somehow, they made music and they knew that back in the 60's they
had formed a bond that had never been broken.
Now with the passing of founding member, Jim Ward, "The Sites 'n' Sounds" reunited
for one night to honor their friend and bandmate on May 22, 2010. The event was a sell-out and started something all
over again. The band now plays approximately twice a year to keep that
bond in place.