All About Toyzz (and then some!)
Toyzz was formed in 1980 by bass player and founding member Charley Whyde.
Columbia, SC has been the band’s home base since its inception, and the Toyzz boyzz have played thousands of shows throughout the Southeast. They were invited to rock the SC Governor’s Mansion in 1990.
Toyzz is a very “live” band, consisting of four seasoned players who know their way around their instruments. On guitars, Barry Shirley and Rick Carr carefully work out tasteful guitar parts to complement their songs. They call it “the ancient art of weaving.” Charley Whyde and drummer Rick “Apollo” Wilson combine for a rhythm section that’s solid as an anvil!
One of the band’s greatest strengths is its vocal abilities. Toyzz is lucky to have two very talented lead singers in Charley and Rick. Singing since they started playing guitar, both leads have developed healthy and powerful vocal ranges that allow them to cover a variety of different artists. Not only can Charley and Rick sing lead, but both provide strong harmony vocals as well. (Charley “pitchmeister” Whyde is the best harmony singer this side of the Mississippi!) Barry adds a third harmony that really puts the icing on the cake.
Toyzz covers a variety of rock music, but specializes in the music of the ’70s and ’80s. (Click here for an idea of what's currently in their repertoire.)
Every time out, their goal is to keep people on the dance floor and send them home having had a good time.
Meet the BoyzzRick Wilson
I started playing saxophone in junior high and continued playing throughout my high school years. During that time, some friends put a band together for a talent show. They needed a drummer, so I borrowed a set of drums and joined the band. (We won the talent show.)
It wasn’t long after that some other friends and I started a band called Rock Candy. We played night clubs, weddings, country clubs, military bases, etc. The band rented a house, moved in together, and started gigging all over South Carolina and in nearby states. After several years of playing and various personnel changes, the band split up, and we went separate ways.
After a year out of gigging, I started to miss it. As luck would have it, about the same time, a friend called needing a drummer. That friend was our current bass player (and founding member) Charley Whyde.
Since forming Toyzz, we’ve played all over the Southeastern U.S., including some opening act gigs for the likes of .38 Special and Delbert McClinton.
25 years and at least a thousand gigs into our friendship, Charley and I are still jammin’ with the Toyzz band.
Thanks for checking out the site and hope to see you at our next gig.Charley Whyde
bass guitar, vocals
I started playing in a trio in the mid-’70s, I guess. Heck I can’t remember! I was playing guitar, and a friend asked me to play bass on some original songs he wanted to record. I said O.K., and I’ve been playing bass ever since.
When I formed Toyzz in 1980, we were the house band at a local club. After about a year of the house gig, we took it to the road, playing in more than our share of hotel lounges, one-nighters, etc. It’s been that way since.
Rick Wilson (the brother I never had) has been with the band almost from the beginning, and we both have been gigging with Barry Shirley for over a decade. It truly has been a lot of fun and a great experience.
Hope to see all you folks sometime at one of our gigs. I think you will enjoy a good band — friends who have a good time playing music.
Be sure to visit us often here at the site, and drop us a note when you can.Barry Shirley
I began playing guitar at the age of 15. After seeing the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, I thought, “Hey, that’s a good job” and the rest was history. I'd go out to night clubs and sit in front of the guitarists to study the licks they were playing. Then I'd go home, get the guitar out, and try to duplicate what I'd seen and heard.
I was hugely influenced by the British bands of the 1960s. Their sound and sense of style had a major impact on my playing and my performances. (My mother was born and raised in the U.K., so surely that had a bit to do with it! I still visit my family in the U.K. often and play a few pub gigs with my friends while I’m there.)
In the ’70s, I played in many Columbia bands, honing my skills. As I improved, I graduated to more challenging bands.
In the early 1980s, I was hired by a Columbia-based band ['bioName']d The Kid, a local and international success. During my stint with the band, we recorded an album (aptly titled The Kid) and toured the world, making stops in Greece, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, Germany, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sicily, Crete, Sardinia, the Azores, Puerto Rico, and Antigua (among other wonderful locales that I'm probably forgetting). That was invaluable road work experience — and such a great group of musicians to travel with! (My fellow Toyzz member Rick Carr was also a member of The Kid.)
I joined Toyzz in 1991 and have been with the band ever since. I’ve literally played thousands of gigs with these guys. They are true Road Dogs! When you play with someone this long, the band becomes like a family. Knowing each other’s playing style allows you a lot of freedom on stage.
Barry also performs as part of the acoustic duo Bullock & Shirley.Rick Carr
Music, more specifically “live music” is my passion. I love to sing it. I love to play it. I love to listen to it. I love to feel it. That’s what good live music is all about, experiencing it with all of your senses. And like many of the finer things in life, music is best when you experience it together with good friends, new and old. I have the great pleasure of doing what I love with a group of guys that feel that same passion and feel a special bond with the folks that come out to share the music with us. "Dude it’s a family, a great big crazy family."
My family is originally from southern Florida, but my pops was a career military man, so most of my growing up years were in the upper Midwest. Music was always in our home, and most of my childhood memories are accompanied by a soundtrack of the songs we loved. From the rock classics to funk and jazz and just about everything in between, it didn’t matter. As long as it had smoking guitars and a potent rhythm section then it was getting cranked up.
I got my first guitar when I was seven, and I’ve never gone more than a few days without playing, even if it was for just a few minutes. I started gigging at the tender age of 16. “Was it good?” Not so sure about that. "Was it loud?" Absolutely!
I got to know Barry when he joined up with local recording artists "The Kid," and we were mighty glad to have him. We toured all over with the USO/DoD, entertaining American and international troops as well as local dignitaries and townsfolk alike. Europe, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Central America — nowhere was safe from our rock ’n roll armada. We’re like brothers on a quest for the ultimate guitar tone, and when we’re not playing music, we’re talking about playing music. I appreciate the Toyzz Boyzz’s confidence in me, and I’m having an absolute blast cranking it up with these talented guys. They’re real craftsmen dedicated to the music and all the folks that come out to share the experience with us. So ya’ll come on out and hang with us for awhile. After all, we’re family.
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