1957 ~ 2002
to right: Dennis Pupello, Onelio Ochoa, Manuel Gutierrez, Chuck
Borris, Donna Lynn Baccarella, Wes Young, Roger Menendez. Seated
in front is drummer, Tony Lopez www.FabulousRockers.com
Tampa’s #1 all time band
started in the late 50's at Jefferson High School. They went
on to a marvelous career that still draws large crowds today.
Their recording of “Would I Still be Loving You” has
the fans running to the dance floor for that “Slow Number”.
The following shows who they
are, what they did and what they are doing now:
Dr. Dennis F. Pupello (Leader,
Pianist & Arranger)
Dennis began piano lessons at age 5 with Mrs. Ofelia Yanez,
a popular local music instructor for the very young. He concluded
his formal piano training under Maximo Echegary. After graduating
from Jefferson High School in 1957, he assembled a dance band
and then joined forces with other emerging young musicians
to become composer-arranger... and eventually leader of "The
For the next six years, "The
ROCKERS" were recognized as the most versatile performing
show group in the southeastern United States. This experience
culminated with the recording of two original compositions
in 1961 entitled "Would I Still Be Loving You" and "Stranger".
Following a career decision in 1963, Dennis entered medical
school, graduating with honors from the University of Florida
College of Medicine. He is currently Chief of the Department
of Cardiac Surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. He is
very proud of his seven children. Dennis is married to the
former Lisa Arcuri. They reside in Odessa.
Donna Lynn Caruso (Baccarella)
Donna Lynn joined "The ROCKERS" in 1957, when she
won a city-wide search and competition for the group's female
vocalist. She remained with the group until late 1963, after
marrying Dominic (Dick) Baccarella and expecting her first
child. Donna Lynn has two daughters, Laura and Francine and
four grandsons. She is a lawyer practicing in Tampa with her
husband Dominic under the name of Baccarella and Baccarella.
She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Government
and International Affairs at the University of South Florida
and at Hillsborough Community College.
Onelio Ochoa, Jr. (Vocalist
Onelio Ochoa, Jr. is one of the original "ROCKERS".
His talents include playing the trumpet and vocals. He married
his high school sweetheart, Irene and is the father of three
beautiful daughters (Desiree, Yvette and Jennifer). He is also
a grandfather and has 7 grandchildren. Since his days with "The
ROCKERS" he was lead singer and trumpeter with "The
Renegade Brass" and "Baytown Brass" bands. Onelio
is currently an English teacher at Alonzo High School.
Wes Young (Bass Guitar and
In 1963, after five years with "The ROCKERS", Wes
joined "The 5 Chords" (along with former Rocker,
Manuel Gutierrez). The group toured the United States and Bahamas
with stops in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. In 1969, Wes also played
with a very popular local trio called "Premium Stuff" featuring
blind pianist and singer, Chuck Cusic. In 1982, he joined and
is still performing with Tempo Music Company featuring Joe
and Mary Jane Stagi. Wes feels particularly fortunate to have
played music all these years and hopes to continue playing
for a long, long time. According to Wes, "The ROCKERS'
reunions bring back a lot of great memories for everyone." Wes
is currently living in Dunedin with his wife, Eleanor.
Manuel "The Joker" Gutierrez
(Baritone, Tenor, Alto & Soprano Sax, Flute, Latin Percussion,
Vocals & Stand Up Comedian)
Manuel began his professional music career while attending
Jefferson High School in the late 1950's. He joined "The
ROCKERS" in 1958 and remained with the band until they
disbanded in late 1963. He then toured with "The 5 Chords".
a show group appearing in Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe and throughout
the country, until returning to Tampa in 1968. He continued
his musical career locally with the Vic Roland Trio, Chuck
Boris Trio, Better Days and Omni. Manuel has been married to
the former Yvonne LoCicero for 41 years and has two sons, Wayne
and Glen and two grandchildren, Devon and Nicholas. Currently,
Manuel is a consultant at a medical drug company and continues
his enjoyment of music on a part-time basis, performing with
various local groups."The Joker" knows Kung Fu, Tae
Kwon Do, Karate and several other oriental words.
Roger Menendez (Alto Sax)
Roger joined "The ROCKERS" during his junior year
at Jefferson High School. He performed with the group from
1957 until the group's final performance and later retired
from the music industry in 1965. A subsequent marriage produced
three children. In 1977, Roger and his family relocated to
Jacksonville, Florida to enhance his career in marketing and
sales management. He currently resides in Tampa and is in food
Anthony "Tony" Lopez
Tony started playing drums with local dance bands while he
was attending Jefferson High School in the late 1950's. He
joined "The ROCKERS" as their drummer in 1958, at
the same time as Manuel Gutierrez and Dennis Pupello. He left
the band and retired from performing in 1962 to pursue a career
as a photojournalist. He was a staff photographer at the following
newspapers: The Clearwater Sun, The Tampa Tribune, Florida
TODAY, The Palm Beach Post (Director of Photography) and retired
from The St. Petersburg Times in the year 2000. He worked as
a fulltime photojournalist for 40 years receiving numerous
awards for his outstanding work as a photographer. In 1969
he was named the Region 6 Press Photographer of the Year by
the National Press Photographers Association. Tony married
his high school sweetheart, the former Dini Garcia. They have
two daughters, Andrea and Pam who reside in Georgia and Tennessee.
He is the proud grandfather of two boys, Noah and Jonah.
Two other members of the Rockers
band that no longer perform with the band are as follows:
Chuck Borris (Guitarist)
Chuch joined "The ROCKERS" in 1958, when he was only
15 years old, becoming the band's youngest member. He contunued
with the band until 1963. He subsequently received his B.A.
degree from the University of South Florida in 1966. He formed
a very popular combo, the Chuck Borris Trio, which dominated
the local area from 1971 through 1983. In addition, Chuck was
on-camera spokesperson for Scotty's, Sears and Publix Supermarkets.
Chuck has had original compositions recorded by B. J. Thomas,
Merilee Rush and Tommy Overstreet. He continues to be active
in music performance and production and currently resides in
Post Falls, Idaho.
Artie Alvarez (Vocalist)
Artie Alvarez performed with "The ROCKERS" form their
first rehearsal to their last engagement. He was married for
26 years and his greatest pride is his grandson, Christian
Fleming Alvarez. Artie is now semi-retired and resides in Georgia.