Members of the 60s Survivors Band at the Rex Center Park in downtown Ottawa last Thursday. The members of the band are local performers performing in public for the second time. (Putnam Sentinel/Steven Coburn-Griffis)
Members of the 60s Survivors Band at the Rex Center Park in downtown Ottawa last Thursday. The members of the band are local performers performing in public for the second time. (Putnam Sentinel/Steven Coburn-Griffis)

OTTAWA — If you were near downtown Ottawa on Thursday evening, you might have thought you had stepped back in time about 60 years. Well-known songs from the 1960s filled the air as a six-member band performed during a “Jammin’ In July” concert at the Rex Center Park.

The 60’s Survivors Band, were performing at their second official concert on Thursday. Their first concert had been in Pandora in June.

Paul Nusbaum, Pandora, said all six members of the band had played in what was referred to as ‘garage bands’ in the 1960s. “Over the past several years, whenever I would see Rolf Haenisch, he would tell me I ought to get a drum set since I had played drums,” Nusbaum said. Haenisch had been collecting amplifiers and PA systems over the years. He plays rhythm guitar and also provides vocals.

Nusbaum knew a Pandora resident, Megan Gibson, who had a set and told her if she ever decided to sell her drums to give him a call. Then last year, when Gibson was moving to New York City, she called Nusbaum, and he purchased the set.

Nusbaum told his friend, Lenny Core, also a Pandora resident, about his purchase. Nusbaum, Core, and Don Etter had played together in a garage band in the 1960s.

Core, Nusbaum, and Haenisch began rehearsing music together in Nusbaum’s garage. Core played lead guitar. Then Nusbaum ran into a friend, Paul Baransy, and told him about the band. Baransy, who plays bass guitar, said it sounded like fun and came over to practice with the group.

Nusbaum called another Pandora resident, Paul Quint, and invited him to join the group and play keyboards.

“We ended up renting the front of the former George’s Electric building,” Nusbaum said.

Nusbaum invited Etter, to also join them. Etter now provides rhythm guitar and vocals for the group.

“We found learning songs that we had played 50 years ago has been challenging, but we are having a good time,” Nusbaum said. “We all have our favorite songs from that era and suggest them for the group.”

On Thursday evening, the group took baby boomers down memory lane. They playing songs such as “Falling in Love” from Elvis Presley, “Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison, and “Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head” by B.J. Thomas and “Sweet Caroline” by Neal Diamond.

Nusbaum said those attending the Pandora concert donated food for the county food banks. “The amount donated was amazing,” he said. Nusbaum said the amount they received in the tip jar during the Ottawa concert was also incredible.

The band is available for private parties by calling Baransy at 419=615-8544 or Haenisch at 419-516-3007.

Last Thursday’s concert was the first of four “Jammin’ in July” shows planned by the Ottawa Cultural Committee. The July 9, July 23 and July 30 concerts will begin at 7 p.m. Aaron Hertzfeld, a singer/songwriter, will perform July 9.

July 18 will be “Food Truck” Thursday with the O-G Jaycees providing a movie night at the Rex Center Park.