Hailing from Raton,
New Mexico in the late 50's,
The group was christened the
FIREBALLS® after their standing ovation performance of "Great Balls of
Arriving on a Sunday afternoon for
their audition, Petty acknowledged his interest in their basic style,
Buddy Holly and the Crickets were
scheduled for night time recording sessions Monday and Tuesday,
January 1959 found their first record
released on KAPP records. "Fireball",
a guitar instrumental; and "I
Don't Know", a vocal by Chuck Tharp.
Petty soon negotiated a contract for
the group with a new aggressive British based label in the US, TOP RANK records.
Coupled with a new vocalist, Jimmy
Gilmer, the Fireballs savored success in a new dimension.
Besides their own recordings, Petty
recruited the Fireballs as studio musicians for other recording artist projects.
The late 60's found the Fireballs on
ATCO records with more chart singles and albums.
Fireballs recordings and songs are heard in the soundtracks of the films:
Forrest Gump, Mermaids, Congo, Dogfight, From Dusk Till Dawn,
Box Of Moonlight, The Real Blonde, with others being negotiated for upcoming films.
July 28, 1989 the Fireballs were inducted into the Norman Petty Studio Walk Of Fame by Vi Petty,
and headlined the show that evening at the Petty's Main Street Theatre in Clovis, New Mexico.
The Fireballs performed at the Nebraska Music Hall Of Fame induction ceremonies in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2000.
On August 29, 2001, The Fireballs were inducted into the West Texas Rock & Roll Walk Of Fame in Lubbock, TX.
Members present were George Tomsco, Stan Lark, Eric Budd, Chuck Tharp & Jimmy Gilmer.
All performed together at the Texas Tech Stadium that evening.
In recognition of their appearance on American Bandstand
performance 45 years previous, The State Of New Mexico
declared January 20, 2005 "The Fireballs Day".
Stan Lark retired from the band in
2016, after being the group's bassist for 58 years.