Noah “Butch” Hendricks
I had the privilege of spending an entire Saturday with Butch Hendricks. He drove down from upstate bringing with him boxes containing precious artifacts of South Carolina musical history which I very carefully prepped for your viewing and listening pleasure here on this showcase page. To say that Butch is an integral part of our state’s musical tapestry and history is an understatement. After talking with him and listening to the stories, the adventures, he had to share I was left in awe witnessing a life lived for the love of music.
Butch left an impression on me of a kind man who is proud and very happy having lived a life dedicated to his craft, his instrument, his friends and band mates, and his family. All this and he served his country bravely when called to do so which to me speaks of honor and integrity. Thank you Butch for re-energizing my passion for chronicling South Carolina musicians and bands, stories like yours must be preserved and told.
Bio provided by Chris Jones
Butch Hendricks always liked music. Growing up in the 1960’s in the Greenville, South Carolina area, he learned to play guitar and would strum and sing along with the songs played on the radio. Naturally, he found other like minded teens and a band was soon in the making. Of course, changes in the lineup inevitably occurred as members moved on to other schools, colleges and military service. His first band formed in 1964 was called the Caveliers. But after finding out there was another band by that same name nearby, they changed the name to the Traveliers.
The Traveliers played all musical styles from American Top 40 to Beatles/British Invasion hits to big band ballads. You would find them playing beauty pageants, proms and cotillions. Venues frequented included Cleveland Park Teen Center, the skating rink, and store openings for Minute Marts and BBQ restaurants.
The band went through several name and personnel changes touring as The Stepps in 1965-1966, then the Knights in 1966-1967, The Six Pack in 1967, and The Vegas in 1969. In-between band incarnations Butch served in the Army and was deployed to Vietnam. After serving his country overseas Butch returned home and discovered a local band that he enjoyed so he promptly volunteered his Father to fill dates with bookings, they agreed, and the Tikis were off and running.
At this point it is important to mention Butch’s father, Noah Lee (Soupy) Hendricks Sr., who was himself a force to be recognized in South Carolina and south eastern music, radio, and entertainment. Perhaps in the future I can put up a showcase for him as well.
The Tikis mainly performed beach music. The group was talented but went through a lot of changes as personnel moved in and out of the band. It was the metamorphosis into the Tikis going into 1969 that the adventures of touring and recording began to be realized.
The Tikis opened for many bands such as the 1910 Fruit Gum Company, The Monkees, and The Hollies. They did shows with ZZ Top, Black Oak Arkansas, The Drifters, Dee Clark, Roger Martin, The Delfonics, The Allman Brothers, and The Charlie Daniels Band. They performed in Atlanta, Georgia showcases with artists from that area including Joe South, J. D. Souther, Ray Stevens, and James Brown. The Tikis recorded in Greenville, South Carolina at Mark V Studios which included sessions with Jim Stafford and Sunny Threat.
The Tikis became a well-traveled touring act but strangely played least in their home state of South Carolina. After playing every University in the southeast from VMI, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Florida State, University of Florida, University of South Florida, all around Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee. Eventually the Tikis became The Carolina Tikis after discovering another band called the Tikis existed out of Tennessee.
Hit Attractions, which later rebranded as East Coast Attractions, became The Carolina Tikis representation agency. Ted Hall was their agent and the owner of the agency itself. Bill Lowrey of Atlanta, Georgia booked The Carolina Tikis constantly in conjunction with the Lowrey Agency’s concerts featuring Joe South, J.D. Souther and Ray Stevens.
It wasn’t long before The Carolina Tikis caught the attention of Major Bill Smith, a record producer in Fort Worth, Texas. The Carolina Tikis began a relationship that resulted in many recordings being produced by Smith who often used alternating fictitious band names for what was basically his “house band”. Various recordings over the years were released under such names as “T-Keys”, “Tikis”, “The Carolina Tikis”, and “Wilshire Express”.
In 1974 Butch made a career change decision to pursue a different direction, hiring a new manager he began performing in a Las Vegas style stage show for a time. Butch also played from 1975 to 1980 with The New Union Gap featuring Garry Pucket.
1965 - 1966
Butch Hendicks - Vocals, Guitar
Ronnie Swafford - Guitar, Vocals
Robert Jones - Piano, Saxophone, Vocals
Bobby Wyatt - Bass, Vocals
Micheal (Snuffie) Ward - Drums
Mark Penland - Vocals, Drums
Butch Hendricks - Guitar, Vocals
Glen Rice - Guitar, Vocals
Mike Fisher - Keyborads, Vocals
Ben Littleton - Saxophone, Vocals
Danny Ellenburg - Trumpet, Vocals
Randy Mathena - Bass, Vocals
Ken Miller - Drums
1969 - 1974
Sam Brooks - Vocals
Wendell Roach - Vocals
Kirk Walker - Vocals, Trumpet
Butch Hendricks - Guitar, Vocals
Rick Whitten - Guitar, Trumpet, Vocals
Marshall Whitten - Keyboards, Trombone, Vocals
Joe Robins - Keyboards, Trumpet
Jerry Merritt - Keyboards, Trumpet
Randy Morgan - Trumpet, Vocals
Jimmy Boling - Trumpet, Vocals
Rick Thompson - Trumpet
David Byars - Saxophone, Vocals
John Cell - Trombone
Crawford Vaughn - Bass, Guitar, Saxophone, Vocals
Doug Atkins - Bass, Vocals
Jerry Hendricks - Bass, Vocals
Bobby Wyatt - Bass, Vocals
John Walker - Drums
Steve Carnes - Drums
Bob Edsal - Drums