The Mad Hatters
It only takes one great song to leave a mark, a placeholder that tells the world you were here and that you created something worth being noted, heard and remembered. The young men who formed The MadHatters from the small town of Gaffney, SC did just that in the early 60’s. A very limited pressing of a perfect pop song, “Who’s That Girl”, as fine a song as anything being released from that time period in North America.
I want to thank Edward Gault, Bob Cooksey, Roger Maglio, Vance Pollock, Ken Friedman, and a special thank you to Jeff Gossett who kept pressing me to pursue the task of gathering the data and information to put this showcase page together for The MadHatters. It only takes one really cool song, thanks guys!
The MadHatters story began in late 1963 in Gaffney, SC when, while watching the Evening News with Walter Cronkite, teenage Jeff Gossett and Billy Whisnant saw a report on a new musical phenomenon in England - The Beatles. From that point forward their dream was to become professional musicians. Neither owned an instrument, much less knew how to play one, but within a few months of teaching themselves they went from plucking rudimentary chords to forming a band. When they recruited Bill Bonner and Chuck Bernstein, The MadHatters had begun.
From that point on the band grew and changed, honing their craft as they did, until November 1966 the group won a “Battle of the Bands” (featuring names like Mose Dillard and The Dynamic Showmen) in Greenville, SC and signed a recording contract with Kama Sutra records of New York. The group's songwriter, Jeff Gossett, was signed to a three-year songwriting contract. The biggest act on that label at the time was The Lovin' Spoonful. The band recorded the single “Who’s That Girl” at Mark V Studios in Greenville, SC to be released nationally, however, due to legal issues the record was never released by Kama Sutra.
The group then pressed 500 records on the Mastertone label and it sold out quickly in local record stores. These singles are still a rarity today. The MadHatters spent most of 1967-1969 on the road touring until members Gault and Gossett joined the Air Force and Army respectively during the Vietnam conflict, marking the end of the band. The record was “re-discovered” in 2022 and is being included in a compilation on Gear Fab Records of Carolina bands of the 1960s called Psychedelic States: The Carolinas In The 60's, Volumes 1, 2 & 3. It can be purchased from ZT Records as of Oct. 28, 2022, and contains 80 songs by SC and NC groups of the 60s.
Two members of the group on the record, Billy Whisnant and Boyce Lee Brown are now deceased. Edward Gault owns a very successful auto repair business in Gaffney, SC. Dr. Bob Cooksey retired from an executive position at the CDC in Atlanta, GA. Jeff Gossett owns a consulting company in the Greenville-Spartanburg area of SC.
Jeff Gossett - Vocals, Rhythm guitar
Chuck Bernstein - Lead guitar
Boyce Lee Brown - Vocals
Bob Cooksey - Keyboards
Larry Blanton - Keyboards
Billy "Slick" Whisnant - Bass, Lead guitar, Vocals
Mike Wright - Bass
Edward Gault - Drums
Bill Bonner - Drums
Amiel Patterson - Drums
We make it to the great states of North & South Carolina to document the fantastic bands that graced these states in the 60's and 70's. 80 tracks in all, many of which have never before been compiled. A triple CD jewel case with a 24 page color booklet chock full of band photos, original 45 scans, and biographies of these bands!!
CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW...