McNett Country Band Members
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Lead guitar, lead vocals, harmony, accordion, piano, clarinet, bass
Gear: Ibanez electric guitar - Fender Stratocaster (sunburst) electric guitar - Peavey Special 112 amp - Crate GLX120 amp
Timothy played bass at age 15 in the Rita Rose Band when they fronted for Ricky Nelson near Allentown.
I started playing
bass with McNett Country right after high school. I was extremely shy and very
quiet on stage and there was NO WAY I was going to be singing! Dad gave me a few
lessons such as the basic progression patterns and a few fret identities and I
took it from there. Didn't really study the theory or commit myself to hard-time
practicing any instrument but I did enough to learn the ropes.
Growing up around traditional country music was, and still is, a great value. Dad had an abundance of experience behind him that he effortlessly brought with him where ever we played. That is what makes a real stage show. I've gained so much respect for his lifestyle that it's virtually my own as well. The corny humor is REALLY where it's at. Delivery is also one of the biggest parts, which he has down to an art.
Uncle Bob (Bunkle) was still on the road with the Drifting Cowboys, Hank Williams Sr.'s band, and had played with Hank for a number of years up until his death. He was home more at this time and was able to teach me some standards on playing lead. Bar chords, chord position, fingering etc. I never got to learn as much from him as I would've liked but what I have is priceless. My biggest hump was trying to learn Fingers On Fire. Like learning to play lead was hard enough now dad is asking for this?! I'm still working on it, though have played it quite a lot on jobs and the response is overwhelming, due to the fact that Bob & Dean left a big mark in a lot of people's hearts around the world.
I wouldn't trade any of this history for the world and I plan to keep it alive in my family as well.
Bass, lead vocals, harmony, piano, sax
Gear: "Stinger" bass - Framus bass - Hartke 2500 bass head - Hartke 410 bass cabinet
Shawn sang with 8 of his fellow classmates at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City as a senior in high school.
Dave Preston (The Fearless One)
Dave is Vice President of Canton National Bank.
When John Ellis
decided to retire at the end of 1996(?), Dave Preston decided to "unretire".
Dave stopped playing regularly in 1981 to spend time with his children. When the
opportunity to join the legendary Dean McNett appeared, the time was right, and
Dave jumped at the chance.
When asked what changed his mind after the long layoff Dave said, "I've always loved to play along with good musicians, and Dean, Karen, Ray, Shawn and Tim are among the best. My boys are pretty well grown, and the time was right. I was honored to be asked to join McNett Country, and we have a ball playing! I made the right decision."
Born in 1952, and raised in Canton, Pa, Dave learned his craft from George Lyon, the instrumental music teacher in the Canton Area School District. Dave says he started taking music lessons in the third grade "because they told anyone interested to go to the auditorium. Since I didn't have my math homework done, it seemed like a good time to leave the room!" When he was 12, an older brother of a family friend gave David his first drum set. "One cymbal, a snare, and a bass drum with a torn head. I used the set until I bought my first and only new set in 1967. I kept the snare though and still use it every job. I gave the bass drum and cymbal to a family friend to continue the tradition. When I'm done with the snare and the rest, I'll give them to some young
drummer too." said Dave.
Like most kids playing music in the 60's, the first groups he played with were trying to play Rock and Roll. Dave played for school dances starting at age 13, with groups such as "The Rock Riders" and "The Green Mist". After college (a psychology/sociology major) Dave started his career in Banking. Along the way he played with "Buck and the Country Wranglers" from 1975-1981. Sometime in the early 80's, Dean McNett showed up for a block dance in Canton. Dave tells the story.
"My father had talked about the McNett brothers for years, since he went to school with Bob. I wanted to meet Dean, and tell him Dad said Hi, so while they were setting up for the block dance, I introduced myself. Dean was his usual gracious self and asked about Dad. I didn't see anyone setting up any drums, so I asked who was playing. Dean said that the drummer couldn't make it. When I told him that my drums were in the car, and that I'd be glad to fill in, you could see the doubt in his face. Here was this kid he knew nothing about, telling him he needed a drummer! I said, how about if I set my stuff up, play the first song or two, and if it doesn't work, just say so; I'll pack up and go home! I guess I did okay, because I played the whole job, and he started to call me when he needed a substitute."
Dave still lives and works in Canton and is a proud Grandpa!
Gear: Emmons double-neck with 8 floor and five knee pedals through a Peavey NASHVILLE™ 1000 amp.
I began playing with Bob McNett and Bill McNett in 1960. In 1961 Dean came back from Wheeling, WV, where he worked with Doc & Chicki Williams on the WWVA Jamboree. Bob, Dean, Bill and I reopened the Radio Corral and also played throughout PA., NY, NJ, MD, VA and WV. We played as many as 20-25 dates per month through the summers. In the late 60's or early 70's Bob's daughter, Robin, and Bill's two daughters, Carol and Karen, joined us and we were soon called "The Country Rockers". We remained together through 1977, at which time both Bob & Dean joined the Drifting Cowboys back in Nashville. In the meantime, I attended Lock Haven University and received my bachelors degree. In 1968 I went back to Penn State and was awarded a masters degree in science. From 1977 through 2000 I worked with various area bands. Then in July 2000, Dean called and ask me to play a date around the 4th of July. I have played with The McNett Country Band since then. During the winter months my wife and I spend about five months in our Florida home. While in Florida, I work with a country band known as the Heartland Country.
Don will return to Florida for the coming winter and come back to PA next April. He is involved with a band in Florida also and has been handed some recent hurricane devastation.
Jimmy Lee Fletcher
Lead guitar, vocals, harmony
Gear: Gretsch Country Gentleman & Gretsch Falcon (both with a Bigsby Tremolo) and a Peavey Nashville 400 amp.
Jimmy says his favorite hobby is playing music, THEN eating.
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