I'm posting this for others who may search for this in the future as I have.
Most every discussion group ended up pointing to the same page. http://peltiertech.com/Excel/Charts/BackgroundFill.html It has very good info but I was looking for something quicker. I came up with the following low-tech method to create color bands behind the plot area.
Create your plot as usual. Make sure your page zoom is at 100%. Press ALT+PrintScreen to copy Excel window to clipboard (Excel must be active window). Open Microsoft Paint. Press CTRL+V to paste screenshot.
Move/clip image so you only have the plot area remaining.
Use Paint tools to create your color bands. I found it easiest to delete the grid and then draw a filled box. It doesn't even have to be the whole size of the plot area, just the correct width. Save the new image. (GIF is nice and small)
Go back to Excel. Right click on the plot area and select Format Plot Area. Select Fill Effects and Select Picture.
Edit your image in Paint if you need to move areas around, change colors, etc.