Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lost & Found Sound: KISD Tribute to Steve Ellis

On August 31, 1967 Steve Ellis, leader of Steve Ellis and the Starfires, was killed in a motorcycle accident on Highway 23 just south of Pipestone, Minnesota. His death came as a shock to everyone in the local music community. How could someone so vital, so alive, die?

Two weeks following Steve's death, Tom Rambler from KISD radio assembled the three remaining members of the Starfires -- Barry Hansen, Mike Mulligan, and Dean Senthner -- for an interview to remember Steve. The interview was made into a half-hour radio program that also featured the band's music.

The program aired on KISD in late September 1967. I recorded it off-the-air on my Wollensak reel-to-reel tape deck. You can hear the program, plus how KISD sounded back then, at:

Lost & Found Sound: KISD Tribute to Steve Ellis (click this link and press "play")

Portions of Tom Rambler's interview were later included on the IGL release "Steve Ellis and the Starfires Songbook."

This is perhaps the last known photograph of Steve Ellis and the Starfires performing in June 1967. The location is unknown.

Band members left-to-right are Mike Mulligan (bass), Dean Senthner (drums), Steve Ellis and Barry Hansen.

In 1966, Steve Ellis and the Starfires released "Walking Around." The song, which is included in the KISD radio program, made the Billboard chart and received considerable radio airplay.

Monday, May 3, 2010

South Dakota Rock Hall Coverage #2

Here are some of my favorite moments from the South Dakota Rock Hall of Fame induction weekend, April 22 -24, Sioux Falls Ramkota:

Dale Gregory and the Shouters were inducted into the SD Rock Hall of Fame.

Everyone from both eras of the band were there except Pat O'Brien who was preparing for the debut of his new Fox Sports Radio show.

Dale Gregory Yost gets the award for "farthest away attendee" for his trip from Singapore, now his home.

The Fabulous Trippers, another Ken Enterprises band, was also inducted. Mark Griffin and Gordy Haugan were there.

Mark Griffin gave a donation to the SD Rock Hall in honor of Terry Park, the drummer for The Trippers, who died in 2002. Terry's daughter Heather, son Jason, parents and sisters were in attendance.

Heather brought custom t-shirts (right) flashing an image of Terry to promote the band.

Danny Hein of The Fabulous Flippers
does the Harlem Shuffle.
I described Danny to someone as a combination
of Joe Cocker and Otis Redding.

I had a chance to talk and party with John O. Brown, one of my earliest rock n roll heroes.

John Brown created Mid Continent Entertainment, The Red Dog Inn and the great KOMA bands The Flippers, The Red Dogs, The Blue Things and Spider and the Crabs.

John Brown is still the center of scene.

I had the honor inducting KLOH Radio, Pipestone. Wally Christensen was there.

I said KLOH was cool because it created a community for rockers in the 60s and 70s. KLOH, particularly DJ Doug Wagner, had cred because it never talked down us.

(Right) Mylan Ray in 1974 at KLOH.

Thank you to all folks who worked so hard
to make this transcendent weekend.