Chapter Three
The Middle Years
June 1970 - May 1972

In June 1970 Sons of Thunder took the first steps toward expanding the band and modernizing its sound even more. Burnett Thompson, a highly talented recent high school grad from Springfield,Virginia, joined as keyboardist. Though he stayed only through August, he added considerably to the band’s performances that summer. (He left to study music in Vienna, Austria, and today is one of Washington, D.C.’s most respected jazz pianists.)

In August of that summer Sons of Thunder performed for several evenings at “The Upstairs,” a Christian coffeehouse in Virginia Beach sponsored by Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, and situated in a converted nightclub one block from the boardwalk. (SOT returned to the Upstairs each August for the next four years.) The band also performed every Thursday evening during July and August for a coffeehouse in Salisbury, Maryland sponsored by local churches and held at Asbury United Methodist Church, near Salisbury State College (now University). More . . .



Sons of Thunders Middle Years -- Photos


SOT June 1971 (L to R, B to F): Steve Halverson, vocals, bass, guitar; Phyllis Wade, vocals; Ed Weaver, keyboard, vocals; Don Williamson, drums, vocals; Charlie Ruh, lights; Donna Gadling, vocals, keyboard; Robin Woodhams, vocals, bass; Blaine Smith, lead guitar; Hendricks Davis, vocals

Next 11 photos from fall 1970. Shown here (L to R): Leslie
White, Donna Gadling, Phyllis Wade
(L to R) Leslie, Donna, Hendricks Davis

(L to R) Hendricks, Robin Woodhams, Blaine Smith

(L to R) Donna, Phyllis, Robin

Donna Don Leslie
SOT performing at Northgate Mall, Raleigh, North Carolina
Robin Blaine
Doug Kay ran sound for Sons of Thunder from Jan. 1970
till May 1971

Remaining photos on this page from Jan. 1971 to May 1972. SOT's full lineup during this period shown here: Ed Weaver, Robin, Blaine, Phyllis, Don, Hendricks, Steve, Donna


Ed Weaver joined SOT as keyboard player Jan. 1971.
Shown here at his Farfisa organ
Ed at the piano

Steve Halverson joined SOT in Feb. 1971 as bass player, guitarist, and singer. Shown here in several early performances


Debbie Halverson joined SOT in June 1971 as sound engineer.

Charlie Ruh joined SOT in February 1971 and performed his light
show at most of the band's events after that.


Charlie's magnificent light show loomed large behind the band.

SOT at Truro Episcopal Church, Fairfax, Virginia, summer 1971
(next 4 photos)

(SOT at Kennedy Center (next 4 photos), March 1972,
 for event sponsored by D.C. Baptist churches, and also
featuring evangelist Nicky Cruz (far left)

Marquee of The Upstairs Coffeehouse, Virginia Beach, Aug. 1970,
where SOT gave multi-day performance every August, 1970-74.
SOT on band retreat in Annapolis, June 1971
SOT with friend at Philadelphia Christian Endeavor
conference, Aug. 1971

Sons of Thunder
P.O. Box 448
Damascus, Maryland 20872


Celebrating America's Pioneer Christian Rock Band

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