Meet the Band...
Big Ben Atkins – Lead Vocals

Big Ben Atkins was born and raised in Vernon, Alabama, but now makes his home in Huntsville, AL. Ben has been singing to thousands of fans for over forty years. Ben was the first Caucasian solo to sign with Stax Records, a previously predominately black artist label, which was the label of such great artists like Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Arthur Conley, Wilson Pickett and many others during the 60's. He has recorded four albums and fourteen single records. With one album making Billboards's Top 100, and one single in the Top 40. Ben was the co-founder, along with Terrell Hattaway (drummer) , of the Classof65band in 1991. The group has gone through many changes in that time, but one thing remains, the love of making music and pleasing an audience. Ben has a three octave vocal range, and loves to sing all types of music, just whatever the crowd wants to hear. It is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

Terrell Hattaway – Drums & Vocals

Terrell is also from Vernon, Alabama where he still resides today along with his wife Donna, who also sings with the group (pictured below) and not only that, but his son is the group's sound and light engineer. Terrell is also co-founder of the band, and has never missed a gig since the band began performing in 1991. Terrell began playing the drums in the fifth grade of school and really has loved every minute of it. "I can remember it just like it was yesterday, when the band director came up to me and ask if I would be interested in playing in his band, and I said to him, 'only if I can play the drums'". From that moment, some 35 years later, he is still laying down some licks. "I really love the Motown, soul and oldies music that we play, I feel it is some of the best music that also carries over to a wide age-ranged audience, and even the younger age groups are starting to listen to the music, I guess that goes to say...old music never gets old"

Donna Hattaway – Background Vocals

Donna started singing with the group just a couple of years ago, but she certainly enjoys getting on stage with the band. She is the wife of the drummer, Terrell, and the two truly enjoy performing on stage together and making the trips with the band. She is also the wardrobe coordinator for the band, and she does a great job choosing the outfits. And did we mention, she plays a mean tambourine! Not to mention, she really is a great dancer herself, enjoys the oldies and getting the crowd on their feet!!

Billy Collins – Keyboards

Billy is also from Vernon, Alabama, where he has spent over 30 years in the education system as a teacher and a coach. He and his wife Ginger make their home in Vernon, and have two lovely daughters Lindsey and Katherine. Ginger is also a school teacher and has over 30 years of service in the education field. Billy has been playing keyboards for over 35 years and still plays a Hammond B-3 organ with a Leslie tone cabinet amp. "I've tried many different keyboards as a substitute for that Hammond B-3 sound, and I admit there are some that are close, but there are none that can match that sound, it was given to me by my parents back in the sixties and I just can't part with it"

Sydney Young – Vocals

Sydney has been in the band for almost three years now, but has always had a deep love of music of every kind. From piano lessons as a small child, band in elementary, junior and senior high school, to entering college as a vocal major. She has performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Louisiana Symphony Orchestra, and helped earn college tuition singing at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She has also performed with prison ministries in several states through out the southeast, along with recording with various choirs in the state of Georgia. However, the Class of '65 Band allows Sydney an opportunity to do three of her most favorite things in the world...singing, dancing and entertaining an audience!!

Roger Wallace – Trumpet & Horn Section

Roger has been a machinist at a local tile plant in Fayette for 22 years. When the pressure is too great, he picks up his trumpet and forgets it all. Roger has been playing trumpet for 37 years. He started playing Motown and soul music at the young age of 16. Since then, he has played with several groups over the years and has been with Class of '65 Band since 1992. He was a volunteer director for the Fayette County High School Stage Band for several years, currently the lead trumpet for Dogwood Productions, a local production company in Fayette, and also has had the opportunity to perform with the horn section of 'Dennis Edwards and the Temptations Review' several times. Roger plays a Bach Strat with a Warburton 5S mouthpiece. Sharon, Roger's wife of 32 years, always tries to make the gigs with Roger and she has missed very few over the years. "Thanks, Sharon for your support" ~ Roger

Drew Hattaway – Sound & Lighting

Drew began with the band on their very first gig, and hasn't missed a one. You see, Drew is the drummer's son, and he has had plenty of exposure to bands. His dad would take him to gigs long before he could drive a vehicle. He soon became interested in the sound aspect of the band thing, and really paid attention to what the sound engineers was doing. Although at that time he was too young to know, it wasn't long before he could hook up stuff and twist a few knobs himself. Years past and technologies changed, and Drew found himself right there cranking up some mean thumps from the speakers and has become a superb sound engineer for the group. "He basically taught himself", says his dad, Terrell, "I've seen him in some tough situations in rooms with poor acoustics, etc., and he made us sound like a million dollars! Anytime you take a 12 piece band and never have a sound check before a gig , and then make it sound good in a room you have never been in before...that my friend, speaks for itself! We demand a lot out of him, and he always delivers!"

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