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In 1997 Tony Lombardo and Tom Dameron had dinner at Chez Lulu in Mountain Brook and at that dinner The Legendary Pineapple Skinners came to life. Both men had a burning desire to play traditional Jazz and thought a five member acoustic band would be the perfect format to do so. Joining them were their friends Chuck King, Sam Ranelli, Jr. and Mike Cogan. The group experimented with a number of styles of Dixieland Jazz and finally evolved as a group with their own distinctive and eclectic sound. The band plays all styles but with just enough of a twist to be different. On their new CD you can hear traditional jazz, big band tunes and even ukulele and lap steel.
The band's name came from an episode of The Andy Griffith Show that finds Barney buying Thelma Lou a present?he picks her up a pineapple skinner. Tony should know because in the early 1990s he taught a course at UAB about the classic sitcom.
The members of the band all are unique individuals in their own right. Tony teaches school at John Carroll High, Tom is an artist and Hospital Pharmacist at Carraway Methodist Medical Center, Chuck teaches music, performs, and is a professional photographer, Mike works for DHL and repairs and restores instruments, and Sam works for EWTN. Tom and Tony deal with the business end of the group while Chuck and Mike are the real musical directors with Sam being the spiritual adviser. There is a brotherhood shared that transcends the music?they always enjoy and have fun together. Making people happy is their primary job.
The band plays traditional gigs but also has been hired for funerals, weddings and one divorce. Currently you can see the group every Saturday from 12noon until 3:00 p.m. at Classic Joe?s (formerly Original Joe?s) at the Village at Lee Branch.