7/10/14: Big Time for Big Wheelie as July Senior of the Month

Modified: January 23, 2015 3:01pm

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County Executive Poloncarz Honors Chuck Vicario during M&T Concert Series Appearance

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Commissioner of Senior Services Randy Hoak to honor Chuck “Big Wheelie” Vicario as July’s “Senior of the Month” during a noontime performance by Big Wheelie & the Hubcaps at the M&T Plaza Event Series.  Vicario and his band have been performing 50’s rock and roll locally, nationally, and internationally for more than 40 years, building a huge and loyal fan base while appearing with artists such as Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and many others over the years. In addition to his touring duties with the Hubcaps, Mr. Vicario now applies his lifelong passion for health and fitness as a Certified Wellness Coordinator educating local seniors on the benefits of exercise and proper nutrition.

“It’s an honor to be here with Mr. Vicario and to present him this proclamation as July’s ‘Senior of the Month’,” said Poloncarz. “Big Wheelie & the Hubcaps are known around the world and have been goodwill ambassadors for Western New York since the early 1970’s, and Big Wheelie continues to be a vital presence in our community today. With all the success that he has had onstage, as well as the challenges he’s faced, he continues to use his energy and enthusiasm today as a Wellness Instructor helping area seniors to lead healthy lifestyles.”

Senior Services Commissioner Hoak added, “Chuck is a great example of a person who’s had an active professional life and still finds time in his later years to help others. His energy is infectious and demonstrates to the seniors he works with just how beneficial exercise and proper nutrition are to leading a balanced, active lifestyle. It is an honor to recognize him as the Senior of the Month.”

Vicario’s musical career began in 1969 when he formed “Caesar and the Romans”, a short-lived group that had one regional hit before disbanding. He followed that effort with the formation of “Friendship Train”, which morphed into Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps when the band discovered that their 50’s rock sets were by far their most popular. The group burst on to the national scene in 1972 when they opened a sold-out show featuring national acts at Buffalo’s War Memorial Auditorium. Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps have played at iconic venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and with legends of the music industry including those noted above along with Paul Anka, Dion and the Belmonts, and others. Vicario, who suffered a broken collarbone, broken ribs, and neck injuries in a 2012 motorcycle accident, is on the comeback trail and continues to lead Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps in a limited touring schedule.