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The Salt City Five received national attention after winning the Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts live TV show in 1952 when Arnie Koch introduced them as the Talent Scout. Godfrey enjoyed them so much that he put them on Arthur Godrey and Friends. Originally from Syracuse, N.Y. (The Salt City) the members were students at Syracuse University and, except for Alger, played in the Syracuse marching band. The name Salt City Five was retained even after adding string bass to the band. Eventually they became The Salt City Six.

Clarinetist Jack Maheu and trombonist Will Alger were charter members of the band. Will Alger, being the oldest (29), was assigned "front man" duties in the early days of its inception. Eventually Jack and Will branched off in different directions. Jack went with The Dukes of Dixieland, Bob Scobey and many other notables. Will Alger went into the tavern business in his hometown of Olcott, N.Y. Meanwhile, Nick Palumbo took over as leader of the band which was recorded by Roulette Records.

In the fall of 1961, Jack & Will reunited and reformed the band. The first rehearsal was at the band's original home base, a gay nineties joint called Memory Lane, located on South Salina Street in Syracuse. My father was hired to play piano and I was asked to play drums. At the time I was a junior in high school and all of sixteen years old. Since I was under age it was illegal for me to be working in saloons. I guess I looked older than sixteen so it wasnt a problem. The drinking age in New York State in 1961was eighteen. One Sunday night my high school home room teacher was in attendance (he was a jazz fan, though I didn't know it at the time. He collared me on a break and said, "Aha, now I know why you're never in class on Monday momings." I was busted. He then went on to say, "Don't worry, I'll cover for you." When the band commenced a traveling schedule I, of course. could not be a part nor could my father since he owned a local hotel/tavern. I did tour with the band in my Jr.-Sr.year.

 Back then. Jack and Will were "co-leaders". Jack was musical director and Will was again designated "front man". Their concept of what the band was to sound like clashed. Will wanted to stay with the tried and true "chestnuts and warhorses" while Jack wanted tight arrangements including material fiom the classics like "Granada" & "William Tell Overture". Will eventually won over and Jack once again took his leave. In 1964, I went to Goose Bay Air Force Base in Labrador with "Will Alger and the Salt City Six". While we were freezing our tails off in Labrador for two months Jack reformed as "Jack Maheu and the Salt City Five" and was working in Syacuse. Upon our return Will had once again had enough. He was out. Jack was now at the helm.

Jack retained full control for the remainder of the Salt City Six's existence. In the late seventies Will returned and, to Jack's delight, they recorded an album "The Salt City Six Plays the Classics".

I was in and out of the band between stints in the Army and was not on the album. The Glenn Miller ghost band. Maynard Ferguson's Orchestra, Gap Mangione's Trio, Woody Herman's Band and other temporary, albeit lengthy, Ieaves of absence kept me busy. Jack seemed to always keep the drum chair open to me.  We rernained life long friends up until his death in 2013.