Photo courtesy of Jim Leach
Charlie and the Tunas - 1991
Charlie and the Tunas
AKA:  The Groove Kings
Seattle, Washington
1980's - 1996


Neil Andersson ~ Guitar
Barney Armstrong ~ Hammond Organ
Bill Avery ~ Drums
Denny Ball ~ Drums
Eddie Bishop ~Bass
Bruce Hazen ~ Guitar
Irv Kellenberger ~ Saxophone
Charlie Kester ~ Guitar, Bass
Marc Lagen ~ Guitar
Mike Lull ~ Bass
Carson Michaels ~ Drums
Andy Parypa ~ Bass
Larry Parypa ~ Guitar
Steve Pearson ~ Guitar
Roy Scimeca ~ Drums
Bob Wikstrom ~ Keyboards

Short-Term Players

Dennis Ashbrook ~ Saxophone, Flute, Vocals
Bob Bennett ~ Drums
Pat Bohle ~ Drums
Mike Cox ~ Bass
Ron Foos ~ Bass
Michael Kinder ~ Drums
Dave Roland ~ Drums
Neil Rush ~ Saxophone
Don Wilhelm ~ Keyboards
Ken Parypa ~ Bass

Charlie & The Tunas on YouTube (October 2012)

In Memory of

Bill Avery
Mike Cox
Ken Parypa
Michael Kinder

Charlie and the Tunas Lapel Pins - Image courtesy of Jim Leach

The title page photo is the next to last version of Charlie and the Tunas (1988 - 1995) ...Comprised of L to R, Bob Wikstrom, keyboards; Marc Lagen, guitar; Denny Ball, Drums; Charlie Kester, Bass; Irv Kellenberger, Sax.  In the last year of this version Roy Scimeca replaced Denny Ball as the Drummer.

Very first version of the Tunas that you used to see up in Bellingham etc. was Neil Andersson, guitar; Charlie Kester, guitar; Eddie Bishop, Bass; Carson Michaels, Drums;  after a couple of years Mike Lull replaced Eddie as the bass player.

Middle version of the band had Larry Parypa, guitar; Andy Parypa, bass; Charlie Kester, guitar; Bill Avery, Drums.  When Bill got so sick he couldn't play anymore I stopped playing for several months.

Then in 1986 I talked Barney Armstrong out of retirement and put a new line up together which lasted for nearly 8 years.  Barney Armstrong, Hammond organ; Charlie Kester, bass; Denny Ball, drums; Irv Kellenberger, sax. When Barney took a job out of town we asked Bob Wikstrom to join.  In about 1994 or so Denny left the band and was replaced by Roy Scimeca, Drums.

In about 1995  I enlarged the horn section, changed the name to "The Groove Kings" and then subsequently got voted out of the band...That nearly same band lives on today as "The Big Dog Revue".  Paul Fessenden played in the Groove Kings and went with the Big Dog Revue for a short time....He was never in the Tunas.

I then put another version of Tunas together which you have a photo of on the site...Steve Pearson, Guitar; Bruce Hazen, guitar, Carson Michaels, drums; Charlie Kester, bass....this band lasted about a year until I quit playing the clubs (about 1996)......

Of course, there were several other guys who played with us for short periods of time (days or weeks), like: Ken Parypa, Don Wilhelm, Mike Cox, Ron Foos, Dave Roland, Neil Rush, Pat Bohle, Dennis Ashbrook, Michael Kinder, Bob Bennett's hard to remember who was in the band and who was just stopping by to visit and "sit in".

I put a special version of the Tunas together for a one time only event for the Millennium New Year celebration at the Tacoma Sheraton:  Barney Armstrong, Chris James, Roy Scimeca, Irv Kellenberger, Scott Guest and myself.

We still get requests for bookings from time to time.....that was then...this is now!

About a year ago I formed a Gospel band called "The Holy Ghost Travelin Band"....we play gospel music concerts in churches....quite the far cry from the boozin, druggin, and carousin Tunas of old.  The band is comprised of Ron McClane, guitar; Jill Frostenson, piano, Dean Richardson, Hammond and guitars; Charlie Kester, double bass; Brian Reding, Drums.

This site is cool....nice tribute to the music and musicians of our area.

Charlie Kester, May 2007

Antimated Photo Courtesy of Jim Leach and George Holt

Image Courtesy of Jim Leach
Some of the other Pacific Northwest music groups represented in this band include: The Sonics, The Regents, Sparky & The Starfires, Sweet Talkin' Jones, Jr. Cadillac, The Kingsmen, The Wailers, The Breakers, Solitudes, Bootmen, King Biscuit Entertainers, Adam Wind, Ice, Tacoma Pops Band, Pearl Django, Lord Charles, Jessie, Dynamic Logs, and many others NW bands.

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Last Update:  2 November 2017
Credits: Andy Parypa, Larry Parypa, George Holt (Photos), Neil Andersson, Jim Leach, Charlie Kester
Band # 1113