The Buffalo Club was an American country music group composed of Ron Hemby (lead vocals, guitar), John Dittrich (vocals, drums), and Charlie Kelley (vocals, guitar). Before the group's foundation, Hemby was a vocalist in the Christian group The Imperials, Kelley played guitar for Doug Stone, and Dittrich was the drummer in the country pop band Restless Heart from 1984 until the mid-1990s. The Buffalo Club released a self-titled album on the Rising Tide Records label in 1997 and charted three singles on the Billboard country charts that year, including the Top Ten "If She Don't Love You". Dittrich disbanded the group at the end of the year and rejoined Restless Heart soon afterward.
The Buffalo Club was founded in 1997 by John Dittrich, who had left his role as drummer in the band Restless Heart a couple years earlier. Dittrich met vocalist Ron Hemby, formerly of The Imperials, in the mid-1990s after suggesting that he write songs for Restless Heart. After Restless Heart disbanded, Dittrich then suggested that they form a new group, and recruited Charlie Kelley, who had previously been a backing musician for Doug Stone and Tom Wopat. Working with Dan Goodman as their manager, the three musicians recorded a demo, which was sent to Ken Levitan, the president of Rising Tide Records.
Initially, the group was to be called Johnny Ringo, but was renamed The Buffalo Club as representatives of Rising Tide disliked the original name. The Buffalo Club's debut single, "If She Don't Love You," reached a peak of number 9 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts. This song had been previously offered to Restless Heart, who declined it. The Buffalo Club's self-titled debut album, produced by Barry Beckett, was released on March 25, 1997. Following "If She Don't Love You" were two more singles: the number 26 "Nothing Less Than Love", which was co-written by Rusty Young of Poco and originally recorded by Bryan White on his 1994 self-titled debut album. Dittrich left the band in August 1997 for medical reasons, shortly before the release of the band's third single "Heart Hold On", with Hemby and Kelley briefly continuing as a duo. Co-written by Blackhawk lead singer Henry Paul, "Heart Hold On" was The Buffalo Club's last chart entry, peaking at number 53.
By year's end, Hemby and Kelley disbanded. Dittritch briefly rejoined Restless Heart to record new selections for a Greatest Hits album in 1998. He and the other four founding members of the band officially reunited in 2003. Kelley founded the polka duo The Boxhounds with Lynn Marie. Hemby is a worship leader at River of Life in Smyrna, Tennessee.
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