Jimmy Gilmer

The Fireballs featuring Jimmy Gilmer

Performing Saturday, February 5, 2022

Hailing from Raton, New Mexico in the late 50’s, the Fireballs were New Mexico’s first Rock & Roll recording band to become internationally known. The original 1958 line-up included George Tomsco (lead guitar), Chuck Tharp (vocals), Stan Lark (bass), Eric Budd (drums), and Dan Trammell (rhythm guitar).

The group was christened the FIREBALLS® after their standing ovation performance of “Great Balls of Fire” at the Raton High School PTA talent contest in New Mexico, USA…January 1958. By year’s end, they had auditioned and recorded at Norman Petty’s studio in Clovis, New Mexico, where Buddy Holly had previously launched his career.

They reached the Top 40 with the singles “Torquay” (1959), “Bulldog” (1960) and “Quite a Party” (1961).
Billed as Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs, the group reached Number 1 on the Billboard chart with “Sugar Shack”, which remained at that position for five weeks in 1963. The single Sugar Shack” also earned the group a Gold Record Award for “Top Song Of 1963”.

Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs then had another pop hit in 1964 with a similar sounding “Daisy Petal Pickin'”, which reached number 15 on the Hot 100 and “Bottle of Wine” hit number 9 on the Hot 100 in 1968.

The Fireballs have performed during the Surf Ballroom’s Winter Dance Party a number of times, including performances in 1994, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2009, 2014 and 2017.