Saturday, November 1, 2014

Taking a break...

Nothing is wrong, really.

All is good.

Just hit a busy patch in life.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cindy Bertram and Her Band

Side One:
Two Finger Joe
Oil Can Waltz
Joe Frank's Waltz
Dulcimer Polka
Yellow Bird
Windsor Special

Side Two:
Onion Lizzie
Waddo Waltz
Hoey Polka
Sunflower Waltz
Pennsylvania Polka
In The Mood

October has me in a polka mood.

Found this LP on a dig in Colorado last spring. Standard issue vanity pressing with no year noted, and no markings whatsoever (but pressed on groovy blue vinyl!).  I really didn't need yet another Colorado polka record, but then I flipped over the album, and saw this pasted picture.

I totally want to hang out with these people.

Back of the album is autographed by Cindy (on accordion), keyboardist Rachel Bertram, Tom Schell on trumpet, and on dulcimer, Paul C. Strickline.

Typical polka numbers here, but I got a kick out of the accordion version of this Glenn Miller standard.

Quick Internet search finds that Cindy attended Adams City High, in Commerce City (the same school that hatched the surf-rockers, The Shelltones), and graduated in 1971 (NOTE:  Commerce City was home to the prolific Infal label).

In 1968 Cindy and her band released an EP on the Band Box label (Band Box 386: “Forever and Ever”/"Shpitzkoph” and “Somewhere My Love”/“Gary’s Polka").  Label on the disc shows "Record #2." The album above indicates "Volume 1." 

Newspaper archive searches show that Cindy and her band were active through 1974, performing at the Blue Willows Lounge (formerly the Dutchman Inn), in Greeley.

Digging around the Internet shows that Rachel passed away in 2005. Can't find any other information on the other band members. Sent a few e-mails to some Cindy Bertrams I located online.  Alas, none were she.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Denver Broncos - Part Two

Super Bowl XLVIII is a distant memory.
Am I in denial of the outcome? Nah, just no sense dwelling in the past. When it comes to the Denver Broncos, for better or worse, I am forever a fan.

The author (right) with a fellow Broncos fan at Mile High

On my last trip home I discovered a Sam Adams-sized (look him up) cache of Broncos-related vinyl.  Just when I thought there were no more odes to the blue and orange, I found more records to add to the collection.

See part one of the stash here.

First up, yet another find from the illustrious Orange Crush years, courtesy of Sebastian Bastian.

You got the touch down, mini pony ridin' high
And the pony express, they're looking their best
And the fans in the stands, you bet you'll be impressed
Get ya some Bronco crushin rock and roll
Let the Bronco mania reach your soul
There just ain't no offense that can win
When Red's Denver Broncos kick a hole in the fence... and run free, running free.

Duane Wilbanks, with help from Tom Gregor (former Cindy Wheeler band drummer, and later the owner and engineer of choice at StartSong Studios in the Springs) penned a disco-tinged song to celebrate the team's 13-3 AFC West Champs, 1984 season.

Supposedly this next record, the overly redundant "All the Way with Elway," by the Boots Band, came as an extra in the Denver Post home delivery (can't imagine how many of these broke when they were thrown on porches).

Reggae-infused, Jimmy Buffett-style tribute to number 7 and his "sons," by the Orange Fanatics. Not sure how Butch Johnson and Steve Watson would feel about the lyrics.

Saving the best for last here.  The Denver prog-influenced band Flucrums Image also got into the Broncosmania wave of 1984, with this I-have-no-words-how-much-I-love-this record.

"You looked like you could have been me, after all we're both 23... 
although I'm not a superstar, a human being is all you are."

Go Broncos!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sharon Smith

Found this very obscure record during the "Great Colorado Record Hunt 2014, "last April.

In all of my years of collecting, can't say that I've run across any songs about twins, let alone one with a Colorado connection.

Folky femme vocals about the joys of monozygotic siblings, "Twinship." Vanity label (1980) with a Lakewood residential address.  Already looked it up - the singer has long since moved.  Flip side is another sweet and mellow folk offering, "Imagine Life to Be."

Sorry about the crunchy sound. It was obviously played (or just poorly filed).

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pat Scott

As is tradition every July, it's fireworks, a big slice of watermelon, and a patriotic Colorado recording featured here.

This year's selection is courtesy of Pat Scott, with backing from Los Bandoleros. Sadly, not much info on this one, minus what's on the Denver-based label.

Happy Independence Day.

Blue America - Pat Scott
Scott Records 806-16

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Emmett Byars

Emmett Byars interviewed March 2014.

Sometime in the early 1970s, Emmett Byars had his fill of playing honky tonks in Texas, in the band Mike Hearn and the Wild Bunch.

"Neal Ford [of the Fanatics] was our road manager, and it was around the time John Denver was singing about Colorado, so I quit the band and moved my family up to Summit County."

Basing himself out of Frisco, Byars soon met up with steel guitar player Ray Sheffield, and gigged with The Rhythm Ramblers.

With several original songs to his credit, Byars decided it was time to record his own music. Enlisting the help of Sheffield, and fellow picker Dick Meese, he released his one and only single.

"Song to Another Life" (flip is "I Sure Know Where I've Been")
Piney Woods 3222

Byars would go on to spend five years in Colorado. "The economy got bad and so we moved back to Texas. Things had run their course and I decided I would go back to working in the oil business, as a draftsman."

He briefly returned to music, and then three years ago he sold all of his instruments and gear.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Sounds of Cheyenne Mountain High School

Taking a page from Dickie Goodman (look him up kiddies), the students at Cheyenne Mountain High enlisted the help of KYSN 1460 disc jockey Mark McDonald to record this 1977 audio memento.

Flipside includes a skit of a drama instructor (not credited) teaching Macbeth, and being interrupted by a lengthy class announcement.

In 1983, KYSN changed to an oldies format and became KKHT.  Two years later the station again flipped to a simulcast of its then sister station KKCS-FM.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy 150th Birthday Fort Collins

You can Google Fort Collins history and its centennial celebration in 1964 (and the controversy over Jack Benny's hand prints...) and find out all you would ever need to know about the city's founding, so I will spare the repetition. As 2014 marks its 150th birthday, I thought it appropriate to feature this vinyl ode to the city's heritage.

According to the history of this recording, it was suggested three years previous by the late Dr. Robert Hayes, the former mayor of Fort Collins.

Recorded in 1964, Heritage is billed as "a dramatic expression" of the city's history.  Lots of pomp and pageantry on here, as evident in the first cut on the disc - a formal 13 minute speech, written by local historian James Miller, and read by Pastor Ray E. Howes.

Ending of "Fort Collins Epic"

Gregory Bueche (the head of CSU's music department since 1937) dips into the school's talent pool, featuring the CSU Symphonic Band and its University Chorus,  for the non-speaking sections of the recording.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Lighter Shades

The Lighter Shades

Formed in 1970, The Golden Tyme were a vocal group made up of Colorado Springs teens, who performed for hospitals, schools, and variety shows up and down I-25.

As singers went off to college, The Golden Tyme found itself in immediate need of a new generation of performers. With that, a new name for the group - The Lighter Shades.

Members (in order on LP credits):
Dave Williams - lead guitarist, 16 years old
Anne Breeding - 18 years old
Robin Ferguson - bass, 16 years old
Floy Greenville - 18 years old
Bruce Klemm - 17 years old
Don Cook - 20 years old
Cindi Atwood - 18 years old
Teresa Atwood - 15 years old
Steve Klien - guitar, 14 years old
Debbie Cleveland - 16 years old
Jim Davis - guitar, 19 years old

While billing itself as wholesome Christian entertainment, the mostly Church of Christ affiliated group members (from various churches in the area), wanted to appeal to a younger audience. So they began to expand their set list to include secular pop hits.

Either due to audience demand, or just wanting to have a memento for the kids, group director Ron Carter decided to get the teens into the recording studio.

Lighter Shades
Garden Sight and Sound 720504

Listen to samples of "Proud Mary," "Ticket to Ride,"
"One Tin Soldier," and "Reason to Believe"

Side One:
Proud Mary
Some Saturday Morning
Follow Me
California Dreamin'
Who'll Stop The Rain

Side Two:
Ticket to Ride
For All We Know
Reason to Believe
One Tin Soldier
Bye Bye Love

Not sure when the group finally disbanded.  Couldn't find anything past 1972.  Hopefully a former member will let me know the rest.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Side One:
Monday Afternoon
The Each of God's Children
Make Me As a Child
Bumblebee Queen

Side Two:
Autumn Song
You are the Lord
Hail Mary

Robert Stallworth interviewed January 2014.

Earlier last month I received an e-mail from a reader of the blog, from the San Francisco Bay Area.  She inquired about a 1978 gospel folk album she found at Rasputin's used record store in Berkeley, entitled Make Me As a Child, by the group Emanuel.  It appeared the group was from Denver.

She sent me pictures, and I immediately noticed a familiar name, Robert Stallworth.

You may remember, back in May 2012, I wrote a piece about a doo-wop group out of Denver (by the way the most-read piece, according to my blog stats).  One of the members was one Robert Stallworth.

Could they be one in the same?

So I found Robert's contact info, sent him an e-mail, and received an almost-instant response.

"I must say, somebody has really been doing their homework," he replied.

I'll let him tell the story:

"The group was organized by Peter Quint, Steve Menhennett and David Roos.  I and Lois Miller were also in the group. These five persons all lived at 1366 Clayton Street in Denver,  in a moderately large but old house. Peter, Steve, David and I were all medical students at the University of Colorado in Denver. Lois Miller was the wife of Freeman Miller who was also a medical student. Freeman wisely chose not to sing. Also in the group were Robin Sievers, Luanne Farmer and Brenda Hicks.

"We were relatively young in our Christian faith. David, Steve and Peter had elements of expertise with the guitar and Peter also played piano. I had some singing experiences even before coming to Denver (with a side from The Five Bucks years earlier). We weren't really a performing group. We may have sung at one or two churches or functions.

"We began rehearsing at the house. David Roos brought in Brenda and Luanne. Eventually, we recorded the songs on the album.

"The record was cut in Denver at American Recording Studios and I have no idea how many copies were pressed.  To my knowledge, the record did not sell well as there was no real promotion of the album. Of the 11 songs on the album, eight were written by Peter Quint and three by Steve Menhennett.

"Four of us graduated in May of 1978. This effectively broke the group up. The entire experience was less than nine months in length."

Robert Stallworth sings lead on three of the songs, "Pilgrims," "To Each Of God's Children," and "Hail Mary."

Listen to a sample of "Pilgrims."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

F&F Records - Homer Fiske

F&F label out of Arvada.
Appears to be the vanity label of Homer Fiske (born 1914).
Active 1962-1963
801 - Bobby Martin (with Eddie Star's Band) "Cotten Picken Relatives" /"Sky Over Memphis"

802-805 ??? - Copyright filings show "Be My Guest" (co-written with Karleen Carley) and 
"Tell Your Troubles to Me" (co-written with Evelyn LeBlanc) were filed on January 1962.

806 - Johnny Stewart (with Eddie Star's Band) "A Little Bit of Heaven" / "It's Only a Token"
807 - ????

808 - Bobby Martin (with Eddie Star's Band) "Could it Be" / "The Road to the Right" (1963)

Of note:  Homer Fiske's name appears on a couple of 1961 singles on the Florida-based Roxie label: 302: "Anyhow" - Sammy Marshall with The Gold Coast Boys / "Please Believe" - Kris Arden with the Gold Coast Boys
305 "Just Passing Through" - Kris Arden and the Keys / "Sundown Valley" - Sammy Marshall and the Keys.

Records indicate Homer Fiske passed away in 1984.