Rick Adkins - Guitar/Vocals

Ed, guitarist/keyboardist, was born in the late 50's in Clarksburg, WV.  Receiving his first guitar from his parents when he was 12, he began several years of guitar lessons. Adding piano lessons at age 14, his love of music, music theory, and music history continued to grow.  Through his love of music, Ed has been able to perform with many great musicians, see places he would never have seen, and made many lifelong friends and wonderful memories.

The Players

The Songbirds

Ed Layman - Guitar/Keyboards

A native of Ashland Kentucky, Ben was born into a spiritual family with strong Christian values.  His father was a talented musician that could play any song that he heard.  It's no wonder that Ben was destined to become an accomplished musician himself.  Ben's instrumental background started at a very early age.  At age 10 he started taking piano and drum lessons, which he continued with through high school and college.  Ben played in his first "garage band" when he was in 7th grade.  After playing for a school "sock hop" he was hooked on music performance.  Ben has continued his passion for live music by playing in several quality bands in the Tri-State for much of his adult life.

Mike Adkins - Bass/Vocals

Ben Clark - Drums

Mike was born in 1951 in West Hamlin WV.  He spent his teen age years living in Barboursville WV until he entered military service in 1969.  Completing tours of duty in Germany and Vietnam.  Mike became interested in learning to play bass guitar in the early 70's after his discharge from the US Army. Mike started his musical career in a gospel group and later played in several regional bands as well as a traveling show group touring the eastern United States.  His first love has always been classic rock but he likes playing other genres as well. 

Sandra Byrd-Chapman

Left to right:  Ben Clark, Mike Adkins, Rick Adkins, Ed Layman

YesterYear  Rock & Roll Oldies Show

Rick was born in Columbus, Ohio, and was raised in the suburbs of Cleveland.  He started playing bass guitar in the mid 70's at the age of 17.  Playing with some of northern Ohio's top bands in the late 70's through the early 90's.  Rick has played in major venues in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and other major cities.   He switched from bass guitar to lead guitar in 2012, and has played with several regional bands. He has written songs for several entertainers in the Cleveland area, has had songs recorded in Nashville studios, and is an active member of the BMI music performing rights organization.

 Left to right:  Lisa Thompson, Sandra Byrd-Chapman, Shannon Drown

Shannon grew up in the coal fields of Wyoming County in southern West Virginia. She began singing at age 3 in church, and sang in her first wedding at age 5.  She grew up in a country church singing Sunday mornings along side her mom, who also taught her to play piano. She often sang the National Anthem at local sports events and even several years at the State Basketball Tournaments. She began doing shows at the West Virginia State fair at the age of 13, and continued until she was 21. She also recorded with record producer Dick McVey in Nashville at age 17, but decided to go to college to pursue a psychology degree, then a Master's in School Counseling.  She has sung tenor with the River Magic Chorus Sweet Adelines. Shannon is currently a School Counselor at a school in Cabell County, and enjoys spending time with her daughter. She enjoys all genres of music, but also has an obsession with Elvis Presley.

Sandra was born and raised in Huntington WV.   As a family they sang to entertain themselves on long trips before there were interstate highways.  They would work out close harmonies in their songs.  Sandra and her sister spent their summers sitting on their porch singing harmonies, often entertaining their neighbors’ requests.  They sang in talent shows in grade school.

When Sandra was in her early 30's she started singing with area bands.  Her longest professional association - 25 years - was with Bill Spurlock's Orchestra.  They performed music of the big band era and the 50's, as well as some country.  She also sang with a 17 piece big band called The River Cities Big Band Project.  This band performed music of the big band era as well as many show tunes.  Sandra is a member of the Huntington Blues Society,  performing the music of many past and present blues artists.  She has loved music all her life, and says “music puts living in my life and soul in my spirit.”

Shannon Drown

Lisa grew up in Southern Ohio listening to country, bluegrass, and gospel music, but soon grew to love all genres of music.  Raised in a little country church filled with aunts, uncles and many cousins, she began singing in the choir at an early age.  As a teenager, Lisa began playing the piano and leading the youth in music programs, continuing to do so in her adult life while raising her two sons. Singing with her sisters and cousins,  Lisa traveled about the community singing at special events.  She currently teaches 5th grade in the same community where she grew up and raised her two sons. “At every opportunity, I attempt to incorporate music into my classroom because I believe that music is the universal language with which my students can make a connection.  It also makes my job of teaching more enjoyable by adding something that I love.”

Lisa Thompson