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The Buzz: Crush Crusade

Thursday, July 06, 2000

By Adrian McCoy, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

With bands like 'N Sync and Backstreet Boys ruling the airwaves among teen listeners, a local radio station decided to come up with its own version. Meet Crush, a boy band put together by WBZZ-FM (93.7).

Members of the five-member vocal band are all from the Pittsburgh area. They are: Ryan Lynn, 20, of North Huntington; Rogelio Garcia, 17, of Elizabeth; Michael Greer, 16, of Bridgeville; Heath Morgano, 20, of Tarentum; and Andrew Rodriguez, 18, of Murrysville.

Last month, the WBZZ morning show scheduled a one-day audition. More than 100 hopefuls showed up. The morning team selected the five finalists, and a number of area people and companies donated the rest of the ingredients in the successful band recipe -- like studio time, voice coaching, choreography instruction and clothes.

In three weeks, Crush has come a long way. They've recorded and released a single -- "Got a Secret," which is among the most requested tunes on WBZZ. They have a Web site -- www.crushboys.com. And this morning they play their first public gig -- at 7:30 a.m. at the McDonald's on West Liberty Avenue.

The money they raise goes to Candlelighters, a local charity that helps cancer patients and their families.

And the band may last beyond the radio promotion; the five members don't plan to disband just yet. Morgano, in fact, has put his prelaw school plans on hold to pursue this.

Just because the band was assembled by a radio station doesn't mean they aren't serious about what they're doing. They've been working nonstop the past three weeks, with recording, choreography lessons and rehearsals. "We have a lot riding on [today's] show," Lynn says. "A lot of people don't know how serious this band wants to be. We have to prove ourselves before we go anywhere."

For "five random guys," as Morgano puts it, the band has jelled quickly. "We didn't know it would come together so fast. But we're a team. We're definitely a team."

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