2022 Summer Block Party, July 27
featuring Cape Cod oldies rock icons:
JD, Billy & Ken
6:30-9:30pm, outdoor show under the Big Top
About JD, Billy & Ken
Jon (JD) Aldrich came from Johnstown, NY, to Boston in 1970 to enroll in Berklee College of Music. A self- taught guitarist with an incredible ear for music, a flair for commercial writing, and a talent for singing in a wide variety of popular styles, JD was immediately a standout at Berklee.
JD performed on hundreds of commercials for local businesses like Filene’s, Jordan Marsh, Grossman’s and Friendly’s Ice Cream and even some national brands like Sears, Keds sneakers, and McDonald’s. In 1972 JD met fellow guitarist, Ken Spagnuolo from Framingham, who had graduated from Berklee in 1970 with a degree in music education.
They performed briefly as a duo with Ken on bass at a place called Molly’s in Brighton. A short time later, while playing at the Days End in Revere, they were joined by a former bandmate of Ken’s, Billy Morris, on drums and “JD, Billy & Ken” was born.
They quickly became known as the premier “oldies” band with tight harmonies and an uncanny ability to play nearly any song requested. They immediately started to click with clubs in and around Boston and by the mid-70s were playing regularly at the Scotch & Sirloin, the Pier, the Winery, and the Arc and soon they were playing steadily 6 nights a week!
In the summer of ’75 JD, Billy & Ken ventured onto Cape Cod to play at the Pub in Wellfleet three nights a week and at one of the now infamous “Happy Hours” at Brandy’s in Hyannis. They were an instant hit, so during the summer months they began alternating between the Boston clubs during the week and Cape venues like the Swampfox, the Improper Bostonian and Players on the weekends.
The lines to get in were LEGENDARY. Their crowds may just have shaped a bit of musical history regarding the now familiar “So good, So good, So good!” refrain in “Sweet Caroline,” as many people credit JD Billy and Ken for fueling the fire in that well-known response (although there are other origin stories).
Starting in 1985 there was a need for a fill in on the drum kit, so the call to the bullpen went to Russ Brough, another Berklee guy who met JD by taking his jingle-writing class. A Summit, N.J. native, Russ would get the gig full time in 1999 when long time bandmate Billy Morris retired from playing. Most recently (until COVID) the band had a regular summer Sunday afternoon slot for 13 years on the outdoor patio at the East Bay Grille in Plymouth – STILL playing the same old songs on the same old equipment.