The Swinging Orangutangs


Mood Swings, our hit album.

All About the Monkey People ...

Long ago, in a basement far, far away, The Swinging Orangutangs were born. In 1992, band founder Bill Thompson, III, finally convinced a female lead singer (Julie Zickefoose) to join him in the cultural mecca of the Mid-Ohio Valley with a determination to create music like no one else. The duo's first effort, a folky-Celtic group called the Whipplewills, played scores of freebie and almost-freebie gigs, building a small, but devoted following among the Front Street cafes and flophouses in Marietta, Ohio.

Soon other musicians began sitting-in at the Whipplewills' shows and a few of them never left. This set the stage for the evolution into The Swinging Orangutangs and an expansion beyond the boundaries of traditional music into virtually every other genre.

In 1997 the band recorded their debut album "Mood Swings" which is today a no-longer-available collectors' item featuring all original material written by Bill, his brother Andy, and the other members of The Swinging Orangutangs. Only 500 copies of "Mood Swings" were created.

According to the band's former CPA, if the group sold all 500 copies of the CD at $12 each, they'd only lose about $1,000 on the project. This prophesy turned out to be true but it did not stop the 'tangs from renting limos, running up huge room service tabs, and trashing hotel rooms from Dalzell to Boaz and back.

Through the years, the line-up surrounding Bill and Julie has changed many times, but the band still maintains its commitment to "playing music no one else plays." And to "not playing the music everyone else is playing." And this has kept their loyal listeners coming back for more every time the band makes a public appearance. When they are not performing, the band rehearses at their hideaway in the hills, where they perfect their imperfect sound with only the coyotes to howl along.

Upcoming shows for the band:

July 1, 2006 7 to 10 pm Hotel Blennerhassett, Parkersburg, WV

August 5, 2006 7 to 10 pm Hotel Blennerhassett, Parkersburg, WV

Stop back here to the TSO website soon for more updates, free song downloads, and other food for your ears and brain.