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The Mystery of Atlantis Symphony

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11justsomekid View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 30 2019 at 11:00
I'm a new student at a university in NE Ohio, and I've been working at our school's archives, specifically the school paper. While going through the many stacks, I found a paper that caught my eye. It was dated November 16, 1979, and had this illustrious picture on the front. Upon further inspection, it was for a septet of musicians by the name of Atlantis Symphony. According to the article, they were well known throughout the area, and were extremely popular on the campus radio station to the point of wearing out the tape. Keep in mind that this is 1979, well after the heyday of prog, and this band was that popular, so it must be amazing. On top of that, they were with Hammond-wizard Brian Auger in a Youngstown concert, so they might have some pedigree.

I wanted to learn more. I went back to my dorm and looked all over for this Atlantis Symphony. Nothing. Zip. Nada. I couldn't find anything about them. What I DID find, however, was the band Atlantis Philharmonic, a duo (and later trio) who released one album in 1974. This Atlantis Philharmonic was from Cleveland, so they must be connected to this mystery band. So at least five years after their first(and only known) album, they more than doubled in group size, became region famous, and have zero record of this band's iteration online? Hmmm..

I'm going over to the radio station on Monday to see if they have an aircheck of the time, any documentation, or maybe even a limited release album with this band. I wanted to come here to see if anyone who was in NE Ohio at the time remembers this band, and maybe they can give a hint toward what this band was. I can only find members of the preceding Atlantis Philharmonic (Royce Gibson, Roger Lewis, & Joe DiFazio). Maybe they might have some info on this? Any help is appreciated.

Pic of paper in question: https://imgur.com/a/rF6Nly2
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dr wu23 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 30 2019 at 11:13
Found this @ Discogs...
and this...

Perhaps the 'Symphony' name was a misnomer...or they changed it..?


Edited by dr wu23 - August 30 2019 at 11:18
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dr wu23 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 30 2019 at 11:17
That same Atlantis Philharmonic have a page here
One does nothing yet nothing is left undone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 30 2019 at 11:38
I've heard of Atlantis Philharmonic but not symphony. One of the obscure US 70's bands I remember hearing about. There were more than most people realize I think. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 11justsomekid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 30 2019 at 12:05
Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

I've heard of Atlantis Philharmonic but not symphony. One of the obscure US 70's bands I remember hearing about. There were more than most people realize I think. 
I checked all those pages in my research. The picture on the paper is supposedly the "album art" so unless the artist also got it wrong, then they must have changed names. Their whole (released) album is on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scQUjrVE6LE). I think they just fell off the radar and no one could find any other record of their existence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2019 at 06:39
I must confess I didn't know anything about them, so thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will certainly check them out. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ForestFriend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2019 at 11:58
Looks like the cover artist is still around; maybe he might have an idea of what happened?


I'm wondering if they did manage to release an album - obviously they made some sort of recording, but who knows if that was a proper studio recording or just a demo. Doesn't seem surprising to me that in 1979 a new prog band would have troubles getting support from a label. I could see a 7-person band collapsing quite easily if they were having troubles pushing forward.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 11justsomekid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2019 at 18:31
Originally posted by ForestFriend ForestFriend wrote:

Looks like the cover artist is still around; maybe he might have an idea of what happened?


I'm wondering if they did manage to release an album - obviously they made some sort of recording, but who knows if that was a proper studio recording or just a demo. Doesn't seem surprising to me that in 1979 a new prog band would have troubles getting support from a label. I could see a 7-person band collapsing quite easily if they were having troubles pushing forward.

Just sent him an email, so we'll see if he remembers anything about the band/members/label/whatever. Went to see if he had any other album-art credits that might tie it together, but all that they have for him on Discogs is a 1983 album called "Aces" by a band by the name of Jonah Koslen & The Heroes. Can't seem to find any connection to that band's members and Atlantis Philharmonic/Symphony.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ForestFriend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2019 at 19:31
By the way, I did some googling and found the digital version of that paper. There's another article about them from a few days earlier which names the band members:


You'll find it on page 6 of the PDF (which is actually page 10 of the paper).

"The versatility of percussionist, vocalist, and keyboardist Dave Kucera, vocalists Barb Begin and Tom Colls [Colis? Not a very good scan], bass and Taurus pedal player. Tom Lonitro, guitarist Joe Lonitro, percussionist Royce Gibson, and lead keyboardist Mark Kucera define the overpowering dynamo of the group."
(sorry if there are typos - it's copy and pasted from the article which was scanned and presumably transcribed by a computer)

Royce Gibson was in fact a member of Atlantis Philharmonic, but that seems to be the only link.

Another short article on page 9 here (PDF page 5):

It looks like there might be a few articles of the Atlantis Philharmonic from the mid 70s if you search for "Atlantis" (a not so positive concert review from 1975-03-11). Apparently nothing from after the concert for quite a few years; haven't checked all the results to see if they have anything to do with the band (most seem to be about different uses of Atlantis).

I also searched the band members' last names on that website... Nothing new seems to pop up.

Doing some cyber-stalking, Tom and Joe Lonitro seem to have been involved in this band later on, which doesn't really sound anything at all like prog (although it's not half bad either):


Edited by ForestFriend - August 31 2019 at 20:20
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 11justsomekid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2019 at 20:59
Originally posted by ForestFriend ForestFriend wrote:

By the way, I did some googling and found the digital version of that paper. There's another article about them from a few days earlier which names the band members:


You'll find it on page 6 of the PDF (which is actually page 10 of the paper).

"The versatility of percussionist, vocalist, and keyboardist Dave Kucera, vocalists Barb Begin and Tom Colls [Colis? Not a very good scan], bass and Taurus pedal player. Tom Lonitro, guitarist Joe Lonitro, percussionist Royce Gibson, and lead keyboardist Mark Kucera define the overpowering dynamo of the group."
(sorry if there are typos - it's copy and pasted from the article which was scanned and presumably transcribed by a computer)

Royce Gibson was in fact a member of Atlantis Philharmonic, but that seems to be the only link.

Another short article on page 9 here (PDF page 5):

It looks like there might be a few articles of the Atlantis Philharmonic from the mid 70s if you search for "Atlantis" (a not so positive concert review from 1975-03-11). Apparently nothing from after the concert for quite a few years; haven't checked all the results to see if they have anything to do with the band (most seem to be about different uses of Atlantis).

I also searched the band members' last names on that website... Nothing new seems to pop up.

Doing some cyber-stalking, Tom and Joe Lonitro seem to have been involved in this band later on, which doesn't really sound anything at all like prog (although it's not half bad either):

Holy investigation, Batman! This is why I looked to this forum for help. Thumbs Up

Yeah, those scans are pretty crap. That's in part the reason why I've been told to go through these papers, so we can organize & catalogue toward a better system. I'll go ahead and see if I can get some better scans going and get a better transcription. I'll be down there on Tuesday, but maybe I can finagle my way down there tomorrow or Monday.

Interesting how they shared a stage with Bruford @ the Agora. Can't be too bad, right?

...Right?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ForestFriend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2019 at 23:39
I wonder if there's an issue between the 11-16 and 11-30 issue with a review of the concert, although the first article implies that there was a Thanksgiving break so it would make sense if the school paper also wasn't published that week.

It seems like the author of the article was also in charge of putting on the concert, so I wonder how much the popularity of the band was exaggerated in order to generate interest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 11justsomekid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2019 at 19:00
Alright, just got in contact with the radio station. They're not sure if they have any airchecks from that far back, but one of the station's administrators has been there for over 50 years, so he'll most likely be the one to know about them. He wasn't there today so I'll check tomorrow before I head down to the newspaper archives again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2019 at 02:25
Atlantis Philharmonic released a second Album in 2008 as Atlantis Philharmonic II
it's called Grand Master and can be found on Youtube.
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