The Combonaires were formed in 1957 by Joe Wojtysiak on accordion and included Sal Danna on drums, Ray Kmoch on bass, John Moscato on guitar, and Tim Nadrowski on Tenor Sax and Clarinet, and a short time later, Charlie Prietz joined the group on alto sax. Sal and Ray attended Patterson Park High School , Tim Nadrowski attended St. Joseph High School and, Joe and John attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.
The early focus was playing for various East Baltimore and Dundalk Catholic Youth organizations including Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Fatima, St. Michael, St. Rita and St. Patrick to name a few. Teen Centers included Hamilton Recreation Center and Glen Burnie Armory. The band also played for weddings, sororities, fraternities, and various other affairs.
A local disc jockey, Jack Gale heard the band and had the Combonaires record two records of their own (“Wicked” and “Hey Mrs. Jones”) and (“Topaz” with the flip side being an instrumental version of “In the Still of the Night”). The band was also the backup band for several singers and groups. During this period the band played at the USO club and entertained children at the Kernan Children’s Hospital with the nationally known female recording artists the “Pony Tails”. [source : BaltimoreJam.org]