Over the years Joe played bass guitar in teen groups, worked as a roadie for local club bands, and hired bands to perform at the Vaccarino's family owned restaurant.
As a record collector since his pre-teens Joe grew up with '60s-'70s rock. His ever expanding musical interests branched out into other eras and various musical styles including Soul, R&B, doo-wop... even some jazz, country, folk and bluegrass. Throughout all the years of collecting he was always intrigued to find records by local artists.
More recently, Joe began a quest to learn more about local artists and their recordings. His research uncovered much more of a local musical heritage than he ever imagined.
In 2004 Joe published his first book "Baltimore Sounds: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Baltimore Area Pop Musicians, Bands, and Recordings 1950-1980." The book was intended to be a living history and tribute to the rich and varied musical talents of the Baltimore regional area. Included are biographies of local bands and individual musicians - regardless of whether they released records or not.
As it is an impossible task to document every single musician in Baltimore, as a result there were omissions (none intentional), Many folks contacted Joe to add information and provide updates or correction. Eventually it was decided to incorporate all the new information into a new edition of the book...
The much expanded second edition was published in 2012. It includes hundreds of additional bands and updates from the original timeframe, as well as a wealth of information about bands/artists of the years up to and including 2000.
The second edition includes the entire updated first edition as well as the subsequent years up to 2000.
For more information, Click here to email Joe
Back of the Vac backbar
Joe with Don Lehnhoff at Jam5 2012
Joe with Tom Carson at Jam5 2012
Joe with Danny Reese of Sites 'n Sounds and radio broadcaster extraordinaire circa 2009
Tommy Vann, Kenny Hamber, Joe V, and Larry Benicewicz at the Patapsco Arena
Joe with Ernie Berger of the Stratfords
Joe with O'Donel "Butch" Levy
Oh No, not another picture of Joe!... Well here he is at the Greetings & Readings book signing December 1, 2012
John Cochran, Joe, and Charlie West (aka Chazz) - three short old guys enjoying the Arbutus Fire Hall Record Show, December 2012