The Killer Whales
Band

Band promo shot for the cover of their 1981 self titled debut EP — with Jim Blakeslee, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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Another band promo shot for the cover of their 1981 self titled debut EP. — with Jim Blakeslee, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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David behind the mixing console during recording sessions for debut EP. — with David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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Serious thought during session work. — with David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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Producer/Engineer Don Dixon. localmusicscenesc.com

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Working through the parts. — with David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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Murphy strikes a pose during recording sessions. — with Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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Murphy and Jim during recording sessions. — with Murphy Pitts and Jim Blakeslee. localmusicscenesc.com

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Captain Harry's Blue Marlin Bar on the corner of Cumberland and State streets in early 1980. localmusicscenesc.com

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David with his Strat. — with David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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Is that thing loaded? — with Jim Blakeslee. localmusicscenesc.com

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Murphy strikes a pose for the camera. — with Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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Early days. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee. localmusicscenesc.com

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With David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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With Jim Blakeslee. localmusicscenesc.com

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Now that's a hat! — with Jim Blakeslee. localmusicscenesc.com

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Jim concentrating on some awesome bass licks. — with Jim Blakeslee. localmusicscenesc.com

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Murphy breaks for a shot. — with Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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With Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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With Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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Band photo shoot. — with Jim Blakeslee, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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Band photo shoot. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee. localmusicscenesc.com

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With Murphy Pitts, Jim Blakeslee and David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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David delivers his trademark vocal live. — with Murphy Pitts and David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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With David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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With Jim Blakeslee. localmusicscenesc.com

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Murphy doing what he does best! — with Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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With Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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With Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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With Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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The Killer Whales live with Tom Lentz on bass. — with Tom Lentz, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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The Killer Whales live. — with David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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With David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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With David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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With David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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With David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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Tom Lentz live with The Killer Whales. — with Tom Lentz. localmusicscenesc.com

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Tom Lentz live with The Killer Whales. — with Tom Lentz. localmusicscenesc.com

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with Tom Lentz, and David Bethany

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with David Bethany

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A rare recent live performance. — with Jim Blakeslee, Murphy Pitts and David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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With Jim Blakeslee, Murphy Pitts and David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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Still delivering a heartfelt vocal performance! — with David Bethany. localmusicscenesc.com

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One awesome bass player! — with Murphy Pitts and Jim Blakeslee. localmusicscenesc.com

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With Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

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The Windjammer 45th Anniversary Celebration

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC

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The Windjammer in Charleston, SC

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson — with Tom Lentz, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts.

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson — with Murphy Pitts, Tom Lentz and David Bethany.

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson — with Murphy Pitts.

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson — with David Bethany.

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson — with Tom Lentz.

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson — with Murphy Pitts.

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson — with David Bethany.

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson — with Tom Lentz.

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson — with Murphy Pitts.

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson — with Murphy Pitts, Tom Lentz and David Bethany.

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson — with David Bethany.

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2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson

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Set list for the 2017 Reunion show at The Windjammer in Charleston, SC. Photo by Carrie Livingston Grayson

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The Killer Whales are inducted into the Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame in 2017. — with Bobby Gladden.

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Bobby Gladden inducts the Killer Whales into the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame. — with Bobby Gladden.

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David Bethany speaks to the audience in attendance on behalf of the band and it's members. Tom Lentz was not present but also was inducted into the Hall of Fame. — with Jim Blakeslee, Murphy Pitts and David Bethany.

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David Bethany thanks the Hall of Fame, Charleston, and the Killer Whale fans for their love, appreciation and support over the years. — with Jim Blakeslee, Murphy Pitts and David Bethany.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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The Killer Whales performing live at the 2017 Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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After the show. — with Murphy Pitts, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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I finally got that picture I've been wanting for years with one of the FIRST and BEST Pop/Rock bands to ever come out of South Carolina - The Killer Whales. — with Murphy Pitts, Jerry Axson, David Bethany and Jim Blakeslee.

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2017 Super Goo Jam presented by The Blue Dogs with guests The Killer Whales at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC on December 28, 2017. — with Jim Blakeslee, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee, Murphy Pitts and David Bethany.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee, Murphy Pitts and David Bethany.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee and David Bethany.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee and David Bethany.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee and Murphy Pitts.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee and Murphy Pitts.

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The Killer Whales live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC for the 2017 Super Goo Jam presented by the Blue Dogs. Photos by Jerry Axson. — with Jim Blakeslee, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts.

Promo Materials

Classic promotional photo for the 1981 EP release. localmusicscenesc.com

Promo Materials

Promo Materials

Publicity shot for the 1986 release "Emotional Geography". localmusicscenesc.com

Promo Materials

The Killer Whales had a part in the 1988 movie "Satisfaction" starring Justine Bateman, Liam Neeson, and Julia Roberts. — with David Bethany, Murphy Pitts and Tom Lentz. localmusicscenesc.com

Promo Materials

Band promo shot with Murphy Pitts, Tom Lentz, and David Bethany

Promo Materials

The original lineup reunites. — with Jim Blakeslee, David Bethany and Murphy Pitts. localmusicscenesc.com

Articles and Write ups

Post - Courier show review. localmusicscenesc.com

Articles and Write ups

New York showcase announcement for The Killer Whales. localmusicscenesc.com

Articles and Write ups

The News and Courier band write up. localmusicscenesc.com

Articles and Write ups

Post Courier article by Lisa Dennis

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Early show poster. localmusicscenesc.com

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Early show poster. localmusicscenesc.com

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Early show poster. localmusicscenesc.com

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Early show poster. localmusicscenesc.com

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Early show poster. localmusicscenesc.com

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Show poster. localmusicscenesc.com

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Show poster. localmusicscenesc.com

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Show poster. localmusicscenesc.com

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Show poster. localmusicscenesc.com

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Art by Peter Bethany, Son of David Bethany

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

Show poster. localmusicscenesc.com

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

T-Shirt design. localmusicscenesc.com

Flyers-Posters-Calendars

5th Annual Homecoming and 29th Anniversary show hosted by the Blue Dogs with special guests The Connells and The Killer Whales at the historic Charleston, SC Music Hall.

Releases

1981 debut EP release "The Killer Whales" front cover.

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1981 debut EP release "The Killer Whales" rear cover.

Releases

1981 debut EP release "The Killer Whales" Side 1.

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1981 debut EP release "The Killer Whales" Side 2.

Releases

1983 release "Emotional Geography" front cover art by Elizabeth Hall.

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1983 release "Emotional Geography" rear cover art by Elizabeth Hall.

Releases

1983 release "Emotional Geography" Side 1.

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1983 release "Emotional Geography" Side 2

Releases

1986 cassette only release "Big Bang". Insert cover art. Special thanks to Tom Lentz

Releases

1986 cassette only release "Big Bang". Insert cover inside. Special thanks to Tom Lentz

Releases

1986 cassette only release "Big Bang". Side 1. Special thanks to Tom Lentz

Releases

1986 cassette only release "Big Bang". Side 2. Special thanks to Tom Lentz

Releases

2011 solo release by David Bethany titled "True Love" localmusicscenesc.com

I clearly remember the first time in my life that I felt proud of my state of South Carolina as a musician – the first time I heard “Marlene” by The Killer Whales on the radio. Having made my way back home after a stint in California where I was exposed to a whole new world of music, I was so excited because in my mind I felt we had arrived. South Carolina bands have always struggled to break it big (or break through) and make it on a national level, something I hope will change for us in the near future. But the Killer Whales did just that, and they did it first, obviously no small feat and one worthy of gratitude and respect.

 

I am so proud to be able to showcase this band, and the fact that they are my first showcase on our new official site and the first for the newly added "Lowcountry" page just makes this even sweeter for me. My thanks to David Bethany and Murphy Pitts for allowing me to do this, two really nice guys! My advice to you the reader is to go back and listen to this band – the production, the musicianship, the songs – it’s all there and yes, just as good today as it was then! Thanks guys for giving us such great music and for setting the original bar for all South Carolina musicians and bands that followed.

 

Singer/songwriter/guitarist David Bethany formed the Killer Whales in 1979 with bassist Jim Blakeslee and drummer Murphy Pitts. They played their first show at Captain Harry's Blue Marlin Bar on the corner of Cumberland and State streets in early 1980, and after that the power trio could be found regularly performing at places like Myskyn's Tavern on South Market Street and the Windjammer on the Isle of Palms. Playing a mixture of old and contemporary pop rock and blues, Bethany began writing and the band injected their own original songs into the mix which quickly caught on.

 

The band released their self titled 4 song EP, “The Killer Whales,” in 1981 on a small North Carolina label called Moonlight Records which included the infectious pop hit “Marlene.” So began a regional love affair with the band that started in Charleston, SC and eventually spread across the southeast.

 

1983 saw their first full length studio release titled “Emotional Geography” on Ripete Records, which continued their momentum and attracted interest from major record labels. As their fame grew, the Whales were tapped to open shows for acts such as Men at Work, Culture Club, Huey Lewis and the News, REM, Bonnie Raitt, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, and Cheap Trick in some of the biggest concert venues in the area. The band played showcases in Manhattan and Los Angeles, and appeared on Ed McMahan’sStar Search” TV show, all the while continuing a grueling touring schedule in clubs from Texas to New York.

 

In 1985 original bassist Jim Blakeslee stepped down and bassist Tom Lentz took over in time to see the band return to the studio and record their 1986 final release “Big Bang,” which is hard to find but hailed by some as their best work. You can visit the band's Reverb Nation page if you would like to hear and purchase digital downloads of both the debut EP and Big Bang. Emotional Geography can be found on iTunes for purchase.

 

The Killer Whales continued to tour heavily then finally broke up near the end of 1987. The members parted as friends, leaving behind a solid legacy of original material and a dedicated fan base that continues growing to this day. The original members regrouped in 1990 and were received with great anticipation and excitement. Since then they have gotten back together about once every 4 years or so for special performances or to lend their name and support to regional and statewide causes of good worth.

 

The killer Whales produced a solid body of work with clever pop song writing and brilliant musicianship so tightly executed you forgot it was 3 piece, all signatured with a unique vocal voice, making it easy to see why they occupy such a singular place in South Carolina music history, and why there will never be another quite like them.

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