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Musicians remember Mudflaps leader

The leader of a long-running and popular oldies band will be missed, friends and bandmates say.

Samuel Alonge, 71, of “The Mudflaps” passed away Monday. Alonge, of Tamaqua, also performed in popular duo, “It Takes Two,” with Carol Tempest of Barnesville. Their last performance was during the American Cancer Society Telethon held recently at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe.

Alonge’s passing was unexpected, Tempest said.

She was a lifelong friend of Alonge’s, and so was her husband, Ron Tempest.

Ron Tempest met Alonge when he was 11, and Alonge was 17 and looking for a drummer for his band, Brandy. Ron auditioned and made the band.

“I had an extra special connection with him. He very quickly became like a big brother to me,” Ron said.

Alonge would eventually go on to establish “Fat Robbie and the Mudflaps” in the 1970s. And that’s when Carol first started singing with him.

Carol and Ron married, and Alonge wed his late wife, Maggie. The couples became the best of friends, and about 15 years ago, Alonge and Carol formed “It Takes Two.”

“We did everything together,” Carol said. “Sam and I were very similar. We had a lot of quirks and things that we could joke about and make each other laugh, but the singing was the ultimate for me. I love to harmonize, and our voices just blended so nice together.”

“What kept us all together was that we just loved music. We all loved to play,” Ron added of the 50-plus year friendships.

The Tempests said Alonge’s passing leaves a large hole in their lives.

“He was such a compassionate man. He would do anything for anybody and not expect anything in return,” Carol said.

Alonge and Carol volunteered their time and songs for the ACS telethon for many years.

Joe Krushinsky, longtime telethon chairman, said Alonge will be missed.

“Sam is another in very special group of iconic regional entertainers who are passing on, and the likes of whom we are unlikely to see again,” Krushinsky said.

Angela Nardini, a telethon volunteer, said Alonge’s passing is “Such an incredible loss to the community and those who knew him. Deepest condolences and prayers to his family, band mates, friends, and to everyone he touched with his beautiful voice and presence.”

On their Facebook page, The Mudflaps posted “Family, Friends & Bandmates are heartbroken and in shock of this unexpected loss. We are navigating his loss and what it means to the band. We are all grateful for the many years we had making and playing music as The Mudflaps under Sam’s enduring guidance and leadership.”

The invited fans to share their memories.

The band’s April 27 performance at the Lakeside Ballroom in Barnesville has been canceled.

“He was an amazing and kind man. You will forever be missed,” the ballroom posted on Facebook.

Sam Alonge died away Monday. He is shown on this photo with Carol Tempest of Barnesville, who performed with him in the duo “It Takes Two” for the last 15 years. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Sam Alonge, who passed away Monday and founded The Mudflaps, is shown at back left with members of the band, Sarboc. Also shown, at front, are Ron Tempest. At back, are Lee Steigerwalt and Bud Wychulis. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Sam Alonge, who passed away Monday and founded The Mudflaps, at left, is shown with lifelong friend Ron Tempest, who also played in bands with Alonge. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO