Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet Band
Saturday, Jan 9th, 1999 - Late Show
Cafe 210
State College, PA

Tonya Browne - lead vocals
Mark Ross - guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals (tracks 3 & 20)
Jack Wilkinson - drums, backing vocals, lead vocals (track 2)
Rene' Witzke - bass, backing vocals, lead vocals (track 19)
Terry Rowlyk - saxophone, backing vocals

1st set:
1. opening instrumental (5:38)
2. If You Love Me Like You Say (3:55)
3. Caldonia (3:55)
4. What Can You Do (4:06)
5. Let's Buzz (2:49)
6. Walk Right Up to Me Baby (3:15)
7. Every Night and Every Day (9:58)
8. Big Boss Man (4:27)
9. I'm a Queen Bee (4:18)
10. Crazy 'Bout You Baby (4:03)
11. You Can Have My Husband (3:32)
12. I Put a Spell On You (4:22)
13. Baby What You Want Me To Do (4:53)
14. Flip Flop and Fly (4:44)
15. You've Got Me Where You Want Me (3:27)
16. If You're Thinkin' (3:46)
17. C'est La Vie (3:29)

2nd set:
18. opening instrumental (5:48)
19. Little Sister (4:02)
20. I Ain't Drunk (3:28)
21. Rude Mood (1:46)
22. See See Baby (3:55)
23. Let Me Tell You What Love Is (3:38)
24. Running Shoes (3:12)
25. Love Me With a Feeling (5:37)
26. A Man Down in Texas (6:32)
27. audio problems and toasts (4:10)
28. Auld Lang Syne (1:30)
29. Why Get Up? (4:49)
30. Too Tall to Mambo w/drum solo (11:15)
31. Route 66 w/Tonya farewell (10:39)
32. band intros and thank yous (16:03)

final song:
33. I'd Rather Go Blind (5:31)

Total Time: 166:32 (2 hours, 46 minutes, 32 seconds)

Portable cassette recorder w/external stero mic ->
Cool Edit (WAV, filtering & track split) ->
FLAC Frontend -> flac files


Here it is - the final Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet
Band performance. The band had made the decision to
quit months earlier, when it became clear that some
of the band members were ready to settle down, stop
touring and focus on raising a family. Wanting to go
out on top, at the height of their powers as a kick-ass
blues band, they scheduled this final show at Cafe 210
West in State College. Tickets sold out almost
immediately, so they had to add a second performance
earlier in the day. This recording is from the later
show, the absolute last one the band ever played.

The sound quality of the recording isn't the best, but
it's OK for a low budget audience recording. There's a lot
of audience noise because the place was packed wall-to-wall
with people who had come from all over the northeast to
have this one final chance to cheer for their favorite
bar band. The alcohol was flowing freely for both the
audience and the band, so everyone is pretty rowdy.

Towards the end, both the band and the sound equipment
started breaking down. Tonya's been belting out the
vocals all day, and between that and the emotion of the
evening, she gets pretty hoarse by the end. There's also
a nasty buzz that crops up during "A Man Down in Texas",
and while the sound guy worked on fixing it, the band
started telling stories and saying emotional goodbyes,
which eventually led to 20+ minutes of speeches from Tonya,
Mark and the rest of the band following "Route 66". I don't
know how interested most people will be in hearing all that,
but I left it in the recording for historical purposes.

The stories and thank yous went on for so long that my
tape ran out, but just as they started playing their
last-ever song, "I'd Rather Go Blind", I remembered
that there was still some blank space at the end of my
tape of the first set, so I quickly switched tapes and
managed to get most of that last song.

Those with sharp ears might wonder why they're hearing
president Bill Clinton talking under the band at the
very end of the last song. For some reason, the sound
guy kept trying to cue up a parody song about the
Lewinsky scandal - no idea why he thought that would be
appropriate at that moment.

About the band:

For those who never had the pleasure of seeing the mighty
Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet Band, they were a rockin'
blues band formed in State College, PA in the mid-80s who
ruled the bar band scene at Penn State from the late-80s
through the late-90s, gradually branching out to play
bars and festivals all over the northeastern U.S. They
were successful enough to be able to record and release
four studio albums, two live discs and a couple compilations.

The band was formed by guitarist Mark Ross after hearing
Browne, who was tending bar at the Brickhouse Tavern, singing
along with music in the bar. He convinced her to start a
band, and after going through a couple drummers and a few
bassists, by 1993 the band's line-up had solidified around
the rhythm section of Wilkinson and Witzke. I still
remember sitting next to Rene Witzke in Zenos one night and
overhearing him tell someone he was the bassist in Queen
Bee, and I basically told him he was full of crap because
the bassist was a big, burly guy (Ronnie Wasco). From
that night on, every time I'd go see the band Witzke would
spot me in the crowd, smile and point at himself to say
"see, I told you I was in the band". Great guy.

The Blue Hornet Band had a very hard time holding on
to saxophone players - it seemed like it was a new guy
nearly every time I saw them play live, and each of their
studio albums features a different saxophonist. I'm sure
it was Terry Rowlyk at this show though, because I got
everyone's autographs on the liner notes of my copy of
their "Front to Back" CD.

Sadly, Queen Bee Tonya Browne passed away unexpectedly only
a couple years after this show on March 9th, 2001, reportedly
due to complications caused by diabetes. It was a shock - she
was still only in her 30s. She was persuing a career as a
professional singer at the time, but sadly never got the fame
and recognition she deserved.


Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet Band (1987)
Harder Than a Freight Train (1990)
Dealin' The Blues (1993)
Live at the Acoustic Brew (1996)
Live (1997)
Front to Back (half new, half retrospective) (1998)
Honey From the Hive (retrospective) (2010?)



The second half of this page has a nice write-up about Queen Bee:


And here's another rememberance of Tonya Browne and the band:


Do a search for the band on YouTube - there's a lot of
great audio and video out there.

Images for all shows as well as full size images for this show.

Images for this show:

QueenBeeAndTheBlueHornetBand09January1999Cafe210StateCollegePAFinalShow (1).jpg
QueenBeeAndTheBlueHornetBand09January1999Cafe210StateCollegePAFinalShow (2).jpg