Bio Tom Fortener, Keyboard artist
I started taking piano lessons at the age of 6. My first time to entertain a group of people was for a St. Patrick’s Day party when I was 12.
I had a popular group back in the 60’s known as Tom and the Tempests. We played for many school sock hops, dances, proms, and private clubs. In 1964, we were invited to play at the New York Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. We sponsored Sunday afternoon dances at GBU hall in Dayton. We recorded “It’s Over Now” and “Play It Cool” in 1965. The group was considered to be one of the best bands in the Greater Dayton, Ohio area.
I played professionally from 1967 to 1978. I had a duo that worked the motel circuit throughout the United States and Canada. When my children became school age, I moved to the Akron, Ohio area as I booked out of Cleveland. I was the staff organist for the Cleveland Coliseum playing for the Cleveland Barons hockey team and the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers.
In 1978 I moved back to Dayton to join my father in the real estate business which I still do. In 1977, Tom and the Tempests had a 35th reunion and performed at “Belmont Community Days”. After that, several of us decided to stay together. Over the years, we have played at various private clubs and corporate functions. We are known as TEMPEST.
Current members are:
• Johnny Baer, guitar and vocals. Johnny played with various groups in the Dayton area. He went on to work with Joey Dee and the Starlighters, Jack Greene, and Lesley Gore.
• Loren Patten, drums and vocals played with Gary US Bonds and The Dinosaurs.
• Tom Fortener played with several bands before forming Tom and the Tempests. I have worked with The Beau Brummell’s, Brook Benton, Bobby Goldsboro, Ray Stevens, Rufus Thomas, and Danny and the Juniors.