2010 Inductees
 
Oleta Adams The Commancheros Conny and the Bellhops Gary 'Igor' Crawford
Green River Ordinance Bill Lee The Moanin' Glories Morning Dew
Plain Jane Pott County Pork & Bean Band Vernon Sandusky Tree Frog


Directors Award:
Gary "Igor" Crawford

Bob Hapgood Award:
The Commancheros

Special Directors Award:
Bill Lee

 

  

 
Oleta Adams 

Oleta Adams, Kansas City     website     "Get Here" video

This popular singer was a regular performer on the Kansas City club scene before being discovered by the British band Tears For Fears . Her platinum debut album Circle of One produced her biggest hit, the Grammy nominated "Get Here," which was the unofficial anthem of the 1991 Gulf War .

 

 

The Commancheros

The Commancheros, Lawrence - 2010 Bob Hapgood Award

This year's Bob Hapgood Award inductees are Lawrence early-rockers The Commancheros. Two members went on to play in The Red Dogs, while another was a member of Wellington 's Fantabulous Jags.

 

 
Conny and the Bellhops
 

Conny and The Bellhops, Pittsburg     story

Beginning in 1958, this group spread their brand of rockabilly over the region in live shows and on record. Many of their old recordings continue to find fans on European compilations. Lead guitarist Gene Woods died recently in Arma, leaving only one original member, Russell Pryer.

 

 
Gary

Gary 'Igor' Crawford, Kansas City - 2010 Directors Award

The late Gary "Igor" Crawford was a long-time road manager for Mid-Continent Entertainment, and eventually became the owner of that booking agency. He later founded AME Entertainment, an agency in Kansas City.

 

 
Green River Ordinance

Green River Ordinance, Emporia

The Green River Ordinance began in Emporia , Kansas as a four-piece and played mostly British pop originally.  The Green River Ordinance was the opening act for The Outsiders when they toured through the area in 1966.  When the band grew to six members the style was focused on West Coast rock and roll including the San Francisco sound.  The band toured extensively throughout the Midwest playing in eight states over the years while advertising gigs on KOMA out of Oklahoma City including a series of performances in Grand Teton National Park .  They were frequent performers at The Red Dog Inn in Lawrence and Wichita, the Store in Emporia, The Fireside Inn in Hutchinson, The Dark Horse Inn in Hays, The Lampliter in Salina, Me and Ed's in Manhattan, The Hilltop Club in Atchison, as well as many other clubs, VFW Halls, And armories throughout the Midwest. The band had a reunion recently and is looking forward to another opportunity to perform live for their many fans.

 

 
Bill Lee

Bill Lee, Lawrence - Special Directors Award

Kansas Music Hall of Fame founder and president, Bill Lee, was surprised at this year's induction show when his fellow board members joined him onstage and announced that he was being inducted into the Hall of Fame for all of his efforts on behalf of Kansas music over the years. 

Lee spent 25 years as a radio disc jockey and program director; wrote a book about Kansas music in 1999 called Kansas Rockers...the First Generation ; moderates a Yahoo group devoted to discussing old  Kansas and Kansas City music ; and for all he has done with the Kansas Music Hall of Fame.

 

 
The Moanin' Glories

Moanin' Glories, Wichita     website    bio

They played a British flavored r&b similar to the Stones and Rascals from 1965 to 1971. Too good to be confined to Wichita , they toured as far away as Boston and Tokyo before breaking up. Recent reunions have drawn large, appreciative crowds.

 

 
Morning Dew

Morning Dew, Topeka    website

The Dew led the Topeka music scene in the late 60s with cover versions of the latest hits and original songs. Their fuzz and feedback were featured on an album released by Roulette Records , which has been reissued several times over the years. Copies of the original vinyl sell for big bucks on eBay .  Cicadelic Records of Tucson has two Morning Dew CDs out currently.

 

 
Plain Jane

Plain Jane, Manhattan

Beginning in 1971, this party band went through personnel and style changes, but were always one of the hottest bands around. Based in Topeka , Manhattan and Kansas City over about a decade, they were led by Jimmy Bond and appeared on the soundtrack to the movie "Zapped." Bond was later a part of KC's Liverpool , a Beatles tribute band , until his health forced him to drop out a couple of years ago.

 

 
Pott County Pork & Bean Band
 

Pott County Pork & Bean Band, St. Mary's     website

Favorites in Manhattan , Topeka and Lawrence back in the mid-70s, they were a hard drivin' country/bluegrass/rock band. Even with a mandolin and fiddle in the band, they never forgot to rock with a sound that owed a lot to the Dirt Band and the Grateful Dead .

 

 

Vernon Sandusky

Vernon Sandusky, Edna

This sensational guitarist began his career with Bobby Poe & the Poe Kats in Coffeyville back in the mid-50s. A decade later, Vernon was leading the Chartbusters in Washington , DC , with whom he had a top 40 national hit called "She's The One." He later joined Rodney Lay's band the Wild West and spent many years playing behind Roy Clark , both on TV's " Hee Haw " and in Branson , MO.

 

 
 
Bobby Poe & The Poe Kats, 2009 Bob Hapgood Award
  myspace

Bobby Poe and The Poe Kats -- Rockabilly Hall of Famers from the 1950's -- were a groundbreaking act that featured legendary piano player Big Al Downing and renowned guitarist Vernon Sandusky.

Big Al Downing went on to become a #1 Country star, Vernon Sandusky was in Roy Clark's band for over 20 years and Bobby Poe became a sucessful producer, manager and "tip sheet" publisher.

The Poe Kats were also Rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson's touring and/or backing band and various members can sometimes be found on her early singles, including the Rockabilly classic "Let's Have A Party".

 

 
Tree Frog
Tree Frog, Lawrence
 

If you lived in Lawrence in the '70s and you liked bands like The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and The Flying Burrito Brothers, Tree Frog was the band to see. Known locally for their epic four-hour performances at places like The Lawrence Opera House (now Liberty Hall) and Off-the-Wall Hall (now The Bottleneck), Tree Frog was actually a nationally touring band that was just one big break away from the big time. They never did catch that break, but they did spend a decade on the road playing every college campus and bar-alley bar from Athens, Georgia to Missoula, Montana. Though Tree Frog disbanded shortly after the disco craze hit, the members reunite every couple years to play at Liberty Hall (the former Red Dog Inn) in Lawrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
2009 Inductees
 
Danny Cox The Dinks Larry Lingle Lee McBee
The Sensational Showmen The Serfs Shooting Star Billy Spears
The Young Raiders Jim Halsey Bobby Poe & The Poe Kats  


Directors Award:
Jim Halsey

Bob Hapgood Award:
Bobby Poe & The Poe Kats

 
  Lawrence Journal-World story & photos

  

 

 
Danny Cox, Kansas City
   

A singer and actor from Cincinnati who has made Kansas City his home for most of the past four decades, Danny was a big part of the Vanguard/Cowtown folk music scene in KC and has recorded for national labels. He's acted onstage and appeared in feature films.

 

  

 

 
The Dinks, Beloit
 
 
 

Their two novelty songs on the Sully label are favorites with record collectors, it's their song ?Penny A Tear Drop? that was a hit with Kansas fans. Beginning as the Raging Regattas, they became the Dinks at their first recording session in 1966. They were not a horn band, as many Kansas bands were back then.

 

  

 

 
Larry Lingle, McPherson
 
 
 

In a long career that took him from bands in his hometown to singing and playing with two bands already inducted into the Hall of Fame, Topeka's Jerms and Lawrence's Fabulous Flippers, Larry ended up in Los Angeles disco bands before spending 1981 to 1993 as one of Frankie Valli's Four Seasons.

 

  

 

 
Lee McBee, Lawrence
website myspace

One of the best harmonica players around, this gravelly voiced blues singer has a regular gig every Sunday at BB's Lawnside BBQ in Kansas City . He's recorded under his own name and fronting the Dallas band Mike Morgan & The Crawl.

 

  

 

 
 
The Sensational Showmen, Concordia
 
 
The Sensational Showmen, Chanute/Ft. Scott
     
The Sensational Showmen, Parsons/Pittsburg
   

A succession of bands using this name played in Kansas from the mid-'60s into the mid-'70s. The three lineups who were together the longest and are best remembered by the music fans of Kansas are the ones chosen for induction. The original group from Concordia were at the ceremony along with the two later versions who have had reunion performances in recent years. The final lineup of the Showmen, from Parsons & Pittsburg, performed at the induction ceremony.

 

  

 

 
The Serfs, Lawrence/Wichita
 
 
 

Formed in 1965 at his KU fraternity house, this was Mike Finnigan's first band in Kansas , but it wouldn't be his last. Mike was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005, but the entire band deserves consideration for its blues-based music, much of it written by Topeka native Lane Tietgen. While recording their album for Capitol in New York City , three of the guys were invited to jam with Jimi Hendrix, and they became a part of history when two tracks from the jam appeared on Jimi's Electric Ladyland .

 

  

 

 
Shooting Star, Kansas City
  myspace

This Overland Park band was on the verge of superstardom more than once during the 80s. Their fresh, original material got them record deals with Virgin and Geffen. Recently they introduced a new lead singer (Ronnie Platt) and new violinist (Janet Jameson) for a series of live dates. A new album is in the works.

 

  

 

 
Billy Spears, Lawrence
   

Fiddler Billy Spears began playing professionally back in the early-50s and traveled with top country acts including Ferlin Husky, Jean Shepard and T. Texas Tyler before settling in Lawrence , where he continues to live and perform. His bands have included many of the area's top players, and many have gone on to successful careers in county music. The best know of those is guit-steel player Junior Brown.

 

  

 

 
The Young Raiders, Lawrence
 
 
 

This band took up where the original Rising Suns left off. After losing their equipment in a wreck and giving up the band name, the guys decided to go back out on the road as the Young Raiders. Eventually about a hundred of the best musicians in Kansas would serve time in the band. Many of them are still playing music for a living.

 

  

 
 
Jim Halsey, 2009 Directors Award
   

Jim Halsey's career spans over 50 active years as artist manager, agent and impresario, discovering and/or guiding the careers of such illustrious personalities as Roy Clark, The Oak Ridge Boys, Waylon Jennings, The Judds, Reba McEntire, Minnie Pearl, Clint Black, Tammy Wynette, Mel Tillis, Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakum, The Judds, Lee Greenwood, Hank Thompson and many others.

He has organized and presented country music performances all over the world, in many places, for the first time. His efforts have expanded the horizons of country music into Europe and Asia, while maintaining one of the most highly skilled and motivated booking and management companies in the world.

Jim Halsey has received many honors and awards, is prominent in business, arts and entertainment, and lectures and teaches extensively at colleges and universities around the world.

 

  

 
 
Bobby Poe & The Poe Kats, 2009 Bob Hapgood Award
  myspace

Bobby Poe and The Poe Kats -- Rockabilly Hall of Famers from the 1950's -- were a groundbreaking act that featured legendary piano player Big Al Downing and renowned guitarist Vernon Sandusky.

Big Al Downing went on to become a #1 Country star, Vernon Sandusky was in Roy Clark's band for over 20 years and Bobby Poe became a sucessful producer, manager and "tip sheet" publisher.

The Poe Kats were also Rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson's touring and/or backing band and various members can sometimes be found on her early singles, including the Rockabilly classic "Let's Have A Party".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
2008 Inductees
 
Ann Brewer & The Flames The Classman Big Al Downing The Fabulous Four
Friar Tuck & the Monks Garry Mac & the Mac Truque Pat Metheney Chet Nichols
Beth Scalet The Soul Express Lou and Betty Blasco Bill Post


Directors Award:
Lou & Betty Blasco

Bob Hapgood Award:
Bill Post

 
2008 Induction Ceremony:     story and photos

 

 

 

 

 
Ann Brewer & the Flames
 
 
 

One of the first female vocalists and bandleaders to affect the rock 'n' roll music scene in Kansas, Ann was equally at ease singing rockabilly or covering the latest James Brown hit. She later moved to Las Vegas, where she found success until damage to her vocal cords ended her singing career. She now lives in California.

 

 

 
The Classmen
 
 
 

The harmonies of this group led by the Dimmel brothers made them local favorites in Kansas City and across the Midwest. Their old records bring big bucks these days online from collectors around the world. Their song ?Graduation Goodbye? still gets radio airplay each spring.

 

 


 

Big Al Downing
   

In a career that stretched from the late '50s until he died in 2005, Big Al had hits on the pop, soul, disco and country charts.

 

 


 

The Fabulous Four
 
 
 

A band best remembered for their vocal harmonies, they played in Kansas City clubs and beyond from the early '60s until just a few months ago.

 

 

 
Friar Tuck & the Monks
   

Out of the Western plains, this band moved to Emporia at one point and found the same success it had enjoyed at home. The band was popular at dances all across Kansas.

 

 


 

Garry Mac & the Mac Truque
   

This popular rhythm and blues band released an album on Capitol Records back in 1969, which featured a hot horn section and the searing hot lead vocals of Dani Gregory. Some of the guys are still playing.

 

 

 
Pat Metheny    

When he played a Wichita jazz festival as a 14-year-old, he surprised a lot of people. He's no longer a surprise but one of the top jazz guitarists in the world. Metheny has won 17 Grammys in categories from rock to New Age.

 

 

 
Chet Nichols
   

This singer-songwriter, who eventually went home to Chicago, was a part of the Good Karma stable of acts in Kansas City, touring with Brewer & Shipley, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils and Danny Cox, before recording his first album for Kama Sutra Records. Since then he has continued to record, written a novel and acted in many movies and TV shows.

 

 

 
Beth Scalet
 

This folk and blues singer moved first to Lawrence, then to Kansas City, building a solid reputation for her songwriting and crystal-clear vocals. She has cut back on her live performing in recent years but continues to write and record.

 

 

 
The Soul Express
 
 
 

One of the best of the many horn bands in Kansas back in the 1960s, this band was at the top of the heap in Hays. They toured extensively and always drew large crowds. Several veterans of the band continue to perform across the country.

 

 
Lou & Betty Blasco, 2008 Directors Award
 
 
 

This couple was a big part of the Kansas City music scene for many years, with a music publishing company and a record label, and as songwriters. ?My Happiness? was written by Betty Blasco and Borney Bergantine, and became one of the most popular songs in the country in 1948. At least six different acts hit the charts with it that year, and Connie Francis took it to No. 2 on the Billboard chart in 1959. The song has been recorded by hundreds of different artists, and it's also recognized as the very first song ever recorded by Elvis Presley in 1953.

 

 
Bill Post, 2008 Bob Hapgood Award
 
 
 

Songwriter Bill Post is the first winner of this award, named for the 2006 Hall of Fame inductee and founding member of the Hall of Fame board of directors, who died last year. Post's career began during World War II, when he entertained troops in India and Burma before starting his own publishing firm in Los Angeles. He and his first wife, Doree, wrote and recorded many songs for several major labels, and more than 100 of their songs have been recorded by other artists.

Connie Stevens had a huge hit with their song ?Sixteen Reasons? in 1960. ?Song for Young Love? was a hit for the Lettermen the same year. Eddie Cochran recorded ?Weekend,? and Country Music Hall of Famer Don Robertson recorded ?Life Goes On.?

After Doree's death in 1961, Bill returned to Kansas, where he continued to write and record. His farm near Arkansas City has been turned into a musical museum that has drawn thousands of visitors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
2007 Inductees
 
Dawayne Bailey The Blue Riddim Band The Common Few
Marilyn Maye Martina McBride The Rising Suns
The (Fabulous) Silvertones Tide  

Director's Award
Jay McShann

2007 Induction Ceremony:     story and photos

 

 

 
Dawayne Bailey
   

This guitarist played in Kansas bands like Rathbone and Private Parts in addition to playing lead for Bob Seger and Chicago.

 

 

 
Blue Riddim Band
 

The first American band to be nominated for a reggae Grammy award, they still play an occasional gig in the Kansas City area.

 

 


 

The Common Few
 

The Common Few? started in Chanute, KS, in 1964 and played through 1971. They played a lot of soul music during the early years, mostly in Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma The Common Few? was actually the evolution of several earlier incarnations that were short lived, i.e. ?The Argonauts,? ?The Executers? and ?The Slippers.? In 1968, The Common Few?? recorded their only single, ?Love Makes A Man? which received regional recognition. Take a look at their video collage of photos then and now.

 

 


 

Marilyn Maye
 

She may still hold the record for the most appearances on the Tonight Show. A favorite of Johnny Carson, this KC songstress was almost a regular on the show back in the late 60s. She still draws appreciative crowds in Kansas City & elsewhere.

 

 

 
Martina McBride
   

Since her early days singing in her family's country band, to her days with Wichita rock groups, Martina has made and impression. She does in now on a bigger stage as a multi-platinum selling recording act for RCA. She has sold more than 15 million records and has been named Female vocalist of the year more than once by the ACM and CMA.

 

 

 
Rising Suns
   

With a more soulful sound than most Topeka bands, the Suns toured extensively and were named by Teen Screen magazine the top act in the Midwest & picked for stardom. After losing most of their equipment in a bus crash, they passed the name on the the Dalton Gang from Coffeyville , who kept the name going after moving to Lawrence . Both versions are included in this nomination.

 

 

 
(Fabulous) Silvertones
   

Lead singer Roger Calkins made the girls swoon; guitarists credit Frank Plas as an inspiration; and drummer Mike Weakley found success later with the Electric Prunes in California.

 

 

 
Tide
   

Formed in 1968, Tide was led by guitarist Jim Stinger and it was an eclectic ensemble whose sound incorporated a mix of free jazz, country, blues and rock. They were known for instrumental virtuosity, original compositions and fearless improvisation.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
2006 Inductees
 
Gene Clark Eric & The Norsemen Melissa Etheridge
Jerry Hahn Kelley Hunt The Jerms
King Midas & The Muflers Spider & The Crabs Charles 'Bud' Ross

Directors Award:
Charles "Bud" Ross
 
2006 Induction Ceremony:     story and photos     more story and photos

 

 

 

 

Gene Clark

   

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee (1991) (The Byrds)

The late Gene Clark graduated from Bonner Springs High School in the Kansas City area and was a member of several area folk music groups when he was ?discovered? by Randy Sparks of the New Christy Minstrels. After performing with the famed folk group in Los Angeles on two albums, he left the group and resurfaced as one of the founding members of the Byrds. He was the primary songwriter with that group, writing such hits as ?I'll feel A Whole Lot Better.? He left in 1966 because he didn't enjoy the demands of traveling with the chart-topping band. In the years following the Byrds, he released many other albums including "White Light" and his 1974 masterpiece "No Other". Around 1987 he began to develop serious health problems that finally led to his death in 1991, caused by a bleeding ulcer.

 

 

 
Eric & The Norsemen
  video

From the mid-60s to the early 70s, few bands in Kansas worked the crowds as hard as Eric & The Norsemen. Led by Roger Johnson, they epitomized the garage bands of the era, covering the latest hits with a few original songs thrown into the mix. Entertaining at weekend dances and high school proms, they built a loyal following across the plains.

 

 

 
Melissa Etheridge
   

This exciting performer from Leavenworth. Kansas is one of the state's best known and most successful musical exports. She picked up a guitar at the age of 8, and played in local bands in her teens before attending Berklee College for a year. She then headed to California, getting her first break in 1986 writing the music for the movie ?Weeds.? She won Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Ain't It Heavy" (1992) and "Come To My Window" (1994). Her recent battle with cancer and her outspokenness on a variety of political topics keeps her in the news, but it's her music that keeps her and her fans going strong.

 

 

 
Jerry Hahn
   

This Wichita resident is one of the best jazz guitar players going. He worked with a variety of leading musicians from John Handy and Ginger Baker to Paul Simon and the Fifth Dimension. He became a major name in the 1960s and 1970s for his de facto contribution to the emerging fusion movement, and has remained one of its ardent promoters throughout his career. He taught at the Colorado Institute of Art in the early, 1990s, and joined the faculty of Portland State University in 1995, developing the curriculum for the Jazz Guitar program. In 2004, Jerry returned to hometown Wichita, Kansas, where he continues to perform, record, tour, and conduct clinics at Universities and schools.

 

 

 
Kelley Hunt
   

Kelley Hunt is a regular performer on blues festival stages across the country, and her most recent album made the top ten on Billboard Magazine's blues chart. She is best described as a Roots R&B singer/songwriter/piano player, and has combined the influences of R&B, roots rock, blues, gospel, folk and soul into her own style and sound. Kelley is also known for her burning boogie-woogie piano style that has become her trademark.

 

 

 
The Jerms
   

Another inductee from the mid-60s to early-70s, this Topeka band went through a lot of styles and personnel, but never dropped their quality. The band's leader, Galen Senogles, has been a successful Los Angeles area record executive, producer, and engineer, and is now in the film business coordinating the music for both features and television. Other members of the band have performed regularly with The Four Seasons and America.

 

 

 
King Midas & The Muflers
   

The band was organized in 1965, as a four-piece group. In 1966, the group became an eight-piece show band, performing in a six-state area, billed as the King Of The Show Bands. The group released several records in the late 1960's, including ?Get Down With It? & ?Mellow Moonlight?. Recently this band from McPherson celebrated forty years together. 1965-2005 is a long time for any group to stay together, but these guys have, and there's no end to their act in sight. Led by Hall of Fame board member Bob Hapgood, they'll put on an exciting show in March.

 

 

 
Spider & The Crabs
     

A band that grew out of KU's Sigma Chi fraternity, Steve ?Spider? Smith made sure the band was one of the best in Lawrence. With lead singer ?Spanky? Landis out front, there was never any doubt. Like many other bands, Spider & the Crabs went through several personnel changes, so it'll be interesting to see how many show up for the induction ceremony.

 

 

 
Charles "Bud" Ross, 2006 Directors Award
 
 
 

Bud Ross, a bass player and vocalist for Larry Emmett & The Sliders and The Bygones in Kansas City, started a guitar amplifier business in his garage.  Tired of blowing out speakers, Ross built the first bass amp that could handle the power to make bass guitars practical rock instruments.  His Kustom Electronics outgrew the garage, and Ross moved it to Chanute, Kansas, where it grew to become one of the largest musical equipment companies in the world in the late 60s and early 70s.  The distinctive "tuck and roll" upholstery of the amplifiers is remembered fondly by baby boomers.  Kustom also developed the first hand-held radars for police to use in catching speeders.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
2005 Inductees
 
The Bluethings Brewer & Shipley The Chesmann Mike Finnigan
The Fabulous Flippers Kansas The Red Dogs Rodney and the Blazers
Big Joe Turner John Brown Mike Murfin  

The Blue Things
Brewer & Shipley
Chesmann/Chesmann Square
Mike Finnigan
The Fabulous Flippers
 

Directors Award:
John Brown
Mike Murfin
 
2005 Induction Ceremony:     story     photos

 

 

 

 

 

 
The Blue Things
   

The Blue Things (also known as The Bluethings ) were a folk-rock and, later, psychedelic band from Lawrence, Kansas (originally from Hays, Kansas) that played from 1964 to 1968 , recording one LP and several singles for RCA Records in '66 and '67. The RCA recordings remain their best-known material, although they had previously released singles through Ruff Records, a tiny Texas label. Today the Blue Things are remembered as one of the best bands to come out of the Midwest in the 60's, although they were mostly unheard of outside of the Midwest in their brief lifespan, and remain largely unheard to this day.

 

 

 
Brewer & Shipley
 

Brewer & Shipley were a folk rock duo of the late 1960s through 1970s, consisting of singer-songwriters Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley . They were known for their intricate guitar work, vocal harmonies and socially conscious lyrics, which reflected the concerns of their generation?especially the Vietnam War , and the struggles for personal and political freedom . Their biggest hit was the song "One Toke Over the Line" from their 1970 album Tarkio . They also had two other singles which made the Billboard charts: "Tarkio Road" (1970) and "Shake Off the Demon" (1971). They continue to perform, both separately and together, usually in the Midwest .

 

 


 

Chesmann/Chesmann Square
  video

Chesmann and Chesmann Square were a very popular, long-time Kansas City rock n' roll band which played Beatles, Hendrix, Clapton, Stones, and soul music in the late 60s and early 70s. They playe their last gig in the fall of 1974. The Chesmann combined the musical talents of the three West brothers: Ron, Steve and Gary. Dave Huffines provided lead guitar for the first three years, and Jim McAllister joined the band in 1968 to fill Dave Huffines's spot in the line up.

 

 

 
Mike Finnigan
 

Mike Finnigan is one of the most successful and accomplished keyboard players and vocalists of his generation, his specialty being the Hammond Organ. Finnigan has toured and recorded with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Sam Moore, Crosby Stills and Nash, Dave Mason, Buddy Guy , Manhattan Transfer, Taj Mahal, Michael McDonald, Maria Muldaur, Peter Frampton, Cher, Ringo Starr, Leonard Cohen, Tower of Power, Rod Stewart, David Coverdale, Tracy Chapman and Destruments . His recording with the group Finnigan & Wood entitled "Crazed Hipsters" is considered a midwest R&B/Rock cult classic. He recorded two solo records in the 70's, one notably with legendary rhythm and blues producer Jerry Wexler . He later collaborated with two other Columbia Artists, Les Dudek and Jim Krueger, with whom he formed DFK (Dudek, Finnegan, and Krueger) in 1978. Finnigan continues to tour and perform and is considered by many as one of most soulful vocalists ever.

 

 

 
The Fabulous Flippers
   

Probably no other single musical group had such an impact on the music of Mid America in the 60s as The Fabulous Flippers. They were the lead act in the legendary Mid-Continent Productions booking agency owned by John Brown and Mike Murfin. Throughout the Flipper's career, they recorded eight singles, one LP and one EP. They are best remembered for their release on Chicago's Cameo-Parkway Records "Harlem Shuffle/I Don't Want To Cry". (Cameo-Parkway 439) In 1970, the Flippers broke the all time attendance record at Darlowe Olesen's Roof Garden Ballroom at lake Okoboji, Iowa. On July 4th of that year, they drew over 6000 teens for a dance, beating the old record of 4,000 set in the early 60's by The Everly Brothers.

 

 

 
Kansas
   

Kansas has a history going back 40 years. With the release of their first major album, "Kansas," in 1974, Kansas moved into the national music spotlight as a progressive rock band, offering music which combined rock interwoven with classic symphonic tones and complex arrangements. Years later Kansas is still entertaining crowds of new and old fans with its distinctive, musical style and rich, reflective lyrics. Their hits include "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind."

 

 

 
The Red Dogs
   

In the spring of '65, a band called The Limits was hired to be the ?house band' for the Red Dog Inn in Lawrence, and renamed the Red Dogs. The band played Lawrence monthly and was on the road every weekend plus summer tours. With horns, organ, guitars, drums and well-choreographed routines, the Red Dogs were a terrific and very popular show band. Although they had a Chicago-like structure, they also liked to play music ranging from Lonnie Mack, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to a James Brown-like revue.

 

 

 
Rodney & the Blazers
 

During the first half of the 1960s, when the Beach Boys and the Beatles were bombarding the American charts and rewriting the rules of rock, Kansans Rodney and the Blazers were crossing the country as rock & roll throwbacks, a raucous, wild combo that was more Little Richard than British Invasion, and more R&B than pop. They proved to be a very influential Midwestern band, employing both a saxophone and a trumpet (expanded into a full horn section later in the decade by admitted fans Chicago) and touring as one of the first truly biracial aggregates. Bass player Rodney Lay Sr. and drummer Bob York kicked around together in a band known as the Off Beats throughout the last couple years of the 1950s. By 1960, with the addition of Bob "Sir Robert" Scott on saxophone and Pete "Peaches" Williams on guitar, they had transformed themselves into Rodney and the Blazers, named after their habit of wearing blazers instead of normal jackets for their stage show. It wasn't their only idiosyncrasy in appearance -- they also dyed their hair silver and wore sunglasses onstage. Don Downing was soon added on piano as well as sharing lead vocals with Lay, and they were soon playing regular gigs every Friday night at the El Rancho Opera House located between their Coffeyville hometown and Independence, KS. That summer, they recorded and released their first single, "Teenage Cinderella," on their own Kampus label, which became a number one hit in several large markets around the country.

 

 

 
Big Joe Turner
 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee (1987)

Big Joe Turner (born Joseph Vernon Turner Jr., May 18, 1911 ? November 24, 1985) was an American blues shouter from Kansas City, Missouri. According to the songwriter Doc Pomus, "Rock and roll would have never happened without him." Although he came to his greatest fame in the 1950s with his pioneering rock and roll recordings, particularly "Shake, Rattle and Roll", Turner's career as a performer stretched from the 1920s into the 1980s.

 

 

 
John Brown, 2005 Directors Award
     

John Brown and Mike Murfin opened the Red Dog Inn in Lawrence, KS on Jan. 1, 1965, and started Mid Continent Productions in the mid 60's and built it into one of the most successful booking and management agencies of all time.

Brown and Murfin helped form and in some respects create such groups as The Fabulous Flippers, The Red Dogs, The Blue Things, The Young Raiders, The Rising Suns and Spider & the Crabs. Their radio ads on 50,000 watt KOMA in Oklahoma City reached what has been estimated at three million listeners per night all the way from Oklahoma to the Canadian border.

 

 


 

Mike Murfin, 2005 Directors Award
     

John Brown and Mike Murfin opened the Red Dog Inn in Lawrence, KS on Jan. 1, 1965, and started Mid Continent Productions in the mid 60's and built it into one of the most successful booking and management agencies of all time.

Brown and Murfin helped form and in some respects create such groups as The Fabulous Flippers, The Red Dogs, The Blue Things, The Young Raiders, The Rising Suns and Spider & the Crabs. Their radio ads on 50,000 watt KOMA in Oklahoma City reached what has been estimated at three million listeners per night all the way from Oklahoma to the Canadian border.