The Bushmen

John Adams        Tommy Kennerly        Joey Adams        Rodney Mills        Harry Aldridge

   John   Adams                  Tommy Kennerly               Joey Adams                 Rodney Mills               Harry Aldridge

The Bushmen
got their start in their hometown of Douglas, Georgia in early 1962 as The Revelons. Their love for both white and black Southern roots music, as well as most good Top 40 radio tunes, helped to enable them to perform pretty much anything that hit the airwaves.

Early on, when they played for dances and teen functions all over the southeast, they consistently broke the attendance records for those venues. They were five nice looking lads who looked like they had arrived as part of the British Invasion of 1964. They not only had great vocals and harmonies, but were also fine musicians whose shows were fun and exciting, for both them and the audience. Their musical and visual chemistry was very special and crowds everywhere loved them. They were equally at home doing great Beach Boy's harmonies, the latest Beatle's future classics, Wilson Picket screamers or the sophisticated sounds of Motown. They were a sponge-like human jukebox and having a live band perform was so much more exciting than a DJ playing records!

They were very innovative for the Sixties, using echo on their vocals, strobe lights with their lighting systems, and film projectors showing clips, cartoons and the group themselves projected on screens at the back of the stage. In 1964 - 65 The Bushmen had to design and build their own oversized PA system to properly cover the larger crowds they were now performing for (including rack systems). Large, quality systems were just not available during that period. It took a while for the music companies to catch up with the demand.

Not all of the artists that The Bushmen did concerts with were consistently strong live performers. In fact, The Bushmen were the underdogs who quite often upset the headliners!

For example: The Rolling Stones appeared in concert at Georgia Southern in Statesboro. The Bushmen opened the show for them and gave the Stones more "Southern Home Cookin' " than they bargained for. The thousands of people in the audience that night gave The Bushmen an overwhelming response. The opener's became the headliners that night!

A concert with the The Kingsmen ("Louie, Louie") and others once again had the same outcome. After that show, Norm Sunnholm (The Kingsmen's bass player) made a deal to supply The Bushmen with the first Sunn Amps ever produced by his new music company! What happened with Sunn later on is another story that we will explore in greater depth later. See link at right to an excellent Sunn site.

The Bushmen enjoyed the same results in Albany, Georgia with Del Shannon, Ronnie and the Daytonas, Johnny and the Hurricanes, Ace Cannon and others. The Bushmen won over the audience completely each and every time! Del Shannon took The Bushmen out that night and said he couldn't believe how great they were. (Good form, Del.)      During 1964, in Savannah, Georgia with Bobby Vinton, The Diamonds (Little Darlin') and others, it was "No Contest", once again. Thousands of kids mobbed The Bushmen for autographs (looking for all the world like a Beatles concert aftermath!) This kind of concert reaction had become commonplace.

1967 saw the group's home base become Atlanta, Georgia. They acquired their own recording studio, publishing company and booking agency. They also acquired a Trailways bus for touring. Before this move the group had been recording in such places as Jacksonville, Florida; Jackson, Mississippi; Rich Hall's in Muscle Shoals, Alabama; Bill Lowery's Studios in Atlanta, Georgia; Columbia Studios in Nashville, Tennessee; Memphis, Tennessee and others.

The Bushmen appeared on the following labels:
1. Smash Records - Mercury Subsidiary (National)
2.SSS International - New York/Nashville Label (Owned by Shelby Singleton)
3. CGC Records - New York (Independent) This was Bob Crewe's lable (Also the producer of the "4 Seasons")
4. Shurfine Records - Atlanta (Independent)
Total Recording Output - The Original Bushmen recorded four singles. The reformed Bushmen, with various line ups have recorded three CD's.

Rodney Mills, the bass player, has already been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame for the success he later achieved as a Producer and Engineer.