began life in the Penn
Hills, Pennsylvania, in the 1960s where they performed in
the Pittsburgh area as the popular local band known as
made up on musicians that included Ronnie “Byrd” Foster, Jeff Bobula, Bob McKeg, Joe Santavicca and Jackie Keir
along with the singer Frank Czuri, were often
seen at The Varsity House in Pittsburgh as its house band and gaining a large fan
base with their renditions of the R&B and British Invasion popular
songs of the day.
In 1968 The
Igniters managed to gain themselves a recording contract from Atlantic
Records which gave them the accolade of being only the second white act
taken on by them. However, the
company decided they wanted them to change their name and after the
possibility of Mack’s Factory was shelved, Jimmy Mack & The Music
Factory came to be.
their single “Baby, I Love You”, which was originally a hit for
The Ronettes, backed by “The Hunter Gets
Captured By the Game” in the latter half of 1968 and managed to reach
No. 41 on New Haven, Connecticut’s WAVZ.
This name for
the group only survived for a brief time, however, when their name was
changed yet again. This time
they became Friends and even though recording a single on the Atlantic
Records label in 1970 it was not enough to keep them together and they went
their own separate ways before much time had passed.
In 2003 the
band, returning to their original name of The Igniters, staged a reunion
concert in Harmarville, Pennsylvania.