Chairmen of the Board
General Normal Johnson passed away on October 13, 2010, leaving behind a true legacy in the world of beach music.
After a period of mourning the loss of the General, the Chairmen of the Board has returned entertaining thousands of beach music fans on the east coast all while honoring the legend, General Johnson.
Ken Knox grew up on the streets of Detroit, Michigan. Inspired by some of Detroit’s great musicians, Ken taught himself to play the saxophone by mimicking King Curtis records. Ken received his first sax from his brother, purchased for $50 during the Detroit riots.As his friends went to work in the automobile factories, Ken had other ideas for himself. He began playing in nightclubs and in 1972 was discovered and asked to join Chairmen of the Board as a member of the brass section for a European tour. When General Johnson reformed the group, he chose Ken to fill the third position fronting the group due to his unequivocal talent on the sax and his magnetic personality on stage. Over the years his duties increased to include running the business affairs of Chairmen of the Board, Surfside Records, and General Entertainment along side General Johnson.Ken is a member of both the N.C. and S.C. Music Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Carolina Beach Music Awards Hall of Fame in 2010. Ken continues to embody the spirit and the values upon which General Johnson built Chairmen of the Board.
Richard Carey Figueroa, also known as Richie Rich, is originally from the lower east side of Manhattan in New York City, but now calls Charlotte, NC home. During his 30 years on the stage and in the studio, he has become known as “the humble entertainer”. Richard has shared the stage and provided vocal studio work with platinum selling and grammy award winning artists such as Grover Washington Jr. and Layla Hathaway. Richard has worked with a host of L.A. producers like The Dust Brothers (Beck & Beastie Boys) and Andre’ Cymone (former bassist for Prince). Richard brings a wealth of energy and showmanship to the Chairmen of the Board experience.
Thomas Hunter, originally from central Florida, now calls Charlotte, North Carolina home. As a classicaly trained songwriter, vocalist, and pianist, Thomas has spent most of his life mastering his craft. Influences in Thomas’ musical development include Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross and Donny Hathaway. Thomas has worked with many influential and accomplished industry individuals including Grammy nominee Rodney Shelton, Joe Lindsay, guitarist Calvin Edwards and choreographer Barry Lather.Recruited in 2010, prior to the commencement of the General Johnson Tribute Tour, Thomas adds a boyish charm and a polished performance to Chairmen of the Board.
There are many bands or groups today yet few that are considered a musical
institution. The Embers have solidified their position as a thriving musical
entity leaving their mark on listeners for decades.
The Embers boast
numerous albums and single releases that span decades and all the crazes
continuing to exhibit top quality showmanship, musicianship and professionalism.
Having been inducted into the South Carolina Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame and
most recently the South Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame, The Embers are
honored to carry the moniker of North Carolina's Official Ambassadors of Music.
This group has traveled the country and the world and have performed for every
event imaginable from the highest dignitaries to the hottest back yard frat
parties. The Embers were also honored to travel throughout South Korea to
perform their Christmas special 'Christmas with the Embers' on American
Military bases for America's troops in December of 2007 and 2008. The Embers
were awarded Military Coins of Excellence for their distinguished service.
Though Ember members have changed throughout the years, one common denominator
has remained the same. Bobby Tomlinson is the groups founder, band leader
and drummer and still performs every show today. He is the last remaining
original member. THE EMBERS of today consist of: Bobby
Tomlinson (Founder/Band Leader/Drummer), Wayne Free (Lead
Vocalist/Musical Coordinator/Trombone), Jeff Grimes (Guitar/Sax/Vocals), Stephen Pachuta (Trumpet/Auxiliary), John Ray (Bass/Auxiliary) and Jimmy Weaver (Piano/Vocals).
THE EMBERS are truly
one of the finest entertainment experiences of our lifetime. If you see their
show once - you'll undoubtedly see them again!