THE GIGS AND THE HISTORY I
1995-1997

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The Professors in June 1995. Photograph by Barbara Kubey

Professors, The (1995 - present): Academically influenced blues/rock/heavy metal quintet, noted for their "driving melange of Polish, English and American inflections" - Ralph J. Gleason (the official entry in the Rocklopedia Britannicus, 11th edition, 2013, page 613).

The Professors were formed in late 1994/early 1995 when "Colonel" Nick Belkin introduced drummer Robert Kubey (ex-Virgin Forest) and guitar player T-ski and told them of their common interest in blues and rock music. Kubey brought in guitarist Gary Radford (ex-Sosostris, The Alley Cats, The Fabulous Techtones) and the idea for the band came to life over a conversation in the basement bar of "The Corner Tavern," located at the corner of Eastern Avenue and Somerset Street in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The years 1995-1997 were incredibly creative and fast moving. The Professors played their debut show at the Belkin estate on June 30, 1995, only to announce their "farewell show" the following month due to Kubey taking a year-long sabbatical leave at Stanford University in California. However, The Professors came back hard and fast in 1996 with an explosive performance in Chicago with new members Stephen Cooper (ex-Sweet Poison, Tim McLoone and the Atlantic Coast Band, Mangoes, Gildersleeve, Altha Cook, Stockyard, Village Gentlemen, Tom Elliott, Chatter) on bass guitar and J (ex-Blue Streak) on vocals.

From that point on, the sky was the limit for The Professors. The band went on to play at Kenny's Castaways on Bleecker Street in New York City, a dream come true for all the band members. The Professors performed their first college tour consisting of shows at Rutgers University and William Paterson University. The amazing "Mississippi" John Barrows" (ex-Axis Blues Band, Mr. Fun, The Air Band, Bob Chambers Band) joined the band at their Rutgers show in September 1997. John's original music would go on to define The Professors' repertoire for many years to follow.

The sudden rise of a rock/blues band composed entirely of Professors and their students caught the attention of the media. Articles about the band appeared in The Rutgers Focus, the New Jersey Sunday Record and, most importantly and prestigiously, the Chronicle of Higher Education which is read by the entire academic community. Gary Radford and J also appeared as guests on What It Is, a radio show featuring local musical artists, hosted by Ted Clancey, and broadcast into the Northern New Jersey and New York City area.

Finally, the band entered the recording studio in November 1997 and recorded the following original songs: Crap, Foucault Funk, and The Bottle. It seems The Professors had done everything there was to do in just two short years. Perhaps the only low point was Stephen Cooper's decision to leave the band in December 1997 to focus on his Doctoral studies at Rutgers. Steve's bass playing was the rock on which everything else was made possible.

Where it all Began Jamming in the Living Room of Bob Kubey's House, Highland Park, NJ.
March 19, 1995.
This Page contains VIDEO from the jam session
The Founding Fathers The Founding Fathers of The Professors
Robert Kubey, T-ski, and Gary Radford
Highland Park, NJ, June 1995
The Debut Gig The gig that started everything at the home of "Colonel" Nick Belkin
Highland Park, NJ, June 30, 1995
Premiere of Fast Blues with Mean Progression (T-ski)
Premiere of Retro (T-ski/Robert Kubey/Gary Radford)
This Page contains VIDEO from the show
The Farewell Gig T-ski's House, North Brunswick, NJ.
July 22, 1995. Debut of Stephen Cooper on bass guitar.
This Page contains VIDEO from the show
Dress Rehearsals Studio West Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL
May 24, 1996
The Professors' first studio recordings.
The Chicago Gig 46th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association
Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, Chicago, IL, May 25, 1996.
Debut of J on vocals.
Premiere of Unabomber (T-ski)
Premiere of The Bottle (Ian Marshall/Gary Radford)
This Page contains VIDEO from the show
Mid-Atlantic Graduate
Communication Conference
Room 212, SCILS Building, Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ, March 8, 1997
The Professors jam with blues guitarist and Johnny Winter sideman, Jon Paris
Future Professor Meg Radford makes her debut with the band, at six years old!
Premiere of Foucault Funk (Stephen Cooper/Gary Radford/Marie Radford)
Premiere of Breakers (Gary Marsh/Gary Radford)
Premiere of The Sammy Song (Meg Radford)
This Page contains VIDEO from the show
Kenny's Castaways Bleecker Street, New York City, NY, June 19, 1997
An amazing night in the Big Apple!
Premiere of Crap (T-ski)
This Page contains a VIDEO of the show
The Professors: Where
Research Meets Riffs
The Professors receive national exposure in this article which
appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education
July 3, 1997
WPU University Day William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ
September 2, 1997
William Paterson College became William Paterson University, and The Professors were there to rock the party!
Premiere of Dark and Stormy Day (J/T-ski)
Three Sets to Love Busch Campus Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ
September 12, 1997
John Barrows makes his debut performance playing harmonica
Jon Paris plays with the band a second time
The Princeton Jam The Imielinski Estate, Princeton, NJ, November 2, 1997
A five-hour jam with special guests.
This was to be Stephen Cooper's and T-ski's last performances with the band.
Premiere of Treachery (later Zombie* Treachery) (Gary Radford/Marie Radford)
Suite 16 The Professors enter the Suite 16 Recording Studio, Piscataway, NJ, and record a number of original songs
November 5, 1997
What It Is Gary Radford and J chat and perform on the college radio show What It Is, hosted by Ted Clancey, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ
Broadcast WPSC-FM 88.7, December 21 and 28, 1997


This page last updated August 3, 2013 by Gary Radford.
Many thanks to Kurt Wagner, Marie Radford, and Jon Oliver.