Bands of the 1960's



      This page is an opportunity to recall the bands and dance venues of your youth.........

        Venues such as North Knox high school gym, Bicknell Skating Rink, Linton Teen Center, Linton Armory, Bruceville Rod & Gun Club, Adams Coliseum, 'Dance With Dave' at Harmony Park, the 'Eleventh Hour', the 'WORLD', Mirror Lake Pavilion, Washington (IN) Armory, Mt. Carmel (IL) pool parties, Lamey's Grove, the 'Midway', Calumet Lake, the 'Rustic', Roberts Stadium, Evansville 'Surf Club', Evansville Armory, Kramers Lake and many more !

      If you have a personal favorite, let us know and we will post it at this page !





            Sir Winston and the Commons

     Sir Winston and the Commons were a group of high school teenagers from Indianapolis. They played at North Knox high school around 1967-68. At that time, the band was considered one the top groups in Indianapolis. There was even mention of a possible promontional tour of England.

      The five member band included Don Basore (bass) of Northwest high school, Joe Stout (saxaphone) and Gary Crawford (guitar) both of Ben Davis high school, along with John Medvescek (drums) and Ron Matelic (guitar) of Indpls. Cathedral high school. 

     The band was formed in 1963 with a 'surf music' format. With the advent of the British invasion in 1964,  the group assimilated towards the 'British beat', that was sweeping the country. 
    The lastest mention of Sir Winston and the Commons that we have heard, was a 2004 reunion show in  Indianapolis. No word on the success of the reunion.

Advertisement of Sir Winston and
the Commons for a dance on Friday,
July 23, 1965


Sir Winston and the Commons album
from about 1968








              The Olivers

      The Olivers were a mid - late 1960's band based in Fort Wayne, IN. They played at North Knox High School a couple times around 1968.

      The band played quite often in this area, and became fan favorites with some young folks from Lawrenceville, IL.  The band would often stay with their Lawrenceville fans, when they were playing in the Knox/ Lawrence county area.

       They played at the 'WORLD' nightclub in Vincennes, the VFW and the Vincennes American Legion, among other local venues.

       The four member band included Chuck Hamrick (drums), Billy Franze (Epiphone bass), Mike Mankey (Gibson SG) and Carl Aldrich (Vox organ).  They featured Vox 'Super Beatle' amplifiers.  The 'Olivers' were noted for their 'Paul Revere & Raiders' type of onstage dress, with knee-high black boots and 'Revoluntionary War' style clothing.

    The latest information has Franze and Mankey performing with a 'blues band' in Minnesta.

The Olivers performing in the late 60's. We are not sure of the venue.

Newspaper clipping for dance featuring the Olivers








                The Guild

     The Guild was a St. Louis based band that performed in this area for a time in the late 1960's.

        We recall them as performing at the "WORLD" in Vincennes in 1969.

     The Guild was formed in St. Louis in 1968 by brothers Jim and Rich Lang. Other original band members were Bill Ulkus, Tommi Milano, Terry Duggen and Denny Henson. Two later band members of some notoriety were future multiple Grammy Award winners Tom Kelly and Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers).

   For a period of ten years ('68 - '78), they had the reputation of being the top band in the midwestern U.S.

Pictured are founding members
of the 'Guild', brothers
Rich and Jim Lang of St. Louis 








         The Boys Next Door

      The 'Boys Next Door', from Indianapolis, played at North Knox High School in approx. 1967. There is a photo of the band in the '67 NKHS yearbook.
   The original members were Steve Lester (lead guitar, trombone, vocals), Skeet Bushor (keyboards, trumpet, vocals), Jim Koss (drums, vocals), Jim Adams (rhythum guitar) and Steve Drybread (bass, sax, vocals).  
      The band got their start when they were signed by Mercury Records in 1963. However, they were using the name 'The Four Wheels' at that time.  'Four Wheels' and five band members was not to Mercury's liking.  They soon became 'The Boys Next Door'. 
      They played 'surf music', immitating the Beach Boys, right down to their pinstripe shirts ! They were known for their 'thick' vocal harmonies.  The band also had a tour bus, something that was extremely rare for a local band in those days. By the way, their old tour bus is currently setting at a salvage yard in Huntington, IN.
     Later in their career, they were signed by Atco Records and released seven records on that label. The first two of which, were recorded earlier, in 1963, when they were still using the "Four Wheels" name.  They were also well known for writing their own material.  Again, something very rare for a local band at that time period.
     The band was only together from 1963 to 1967, because of a difference of opinion on what type of music to perform. Some wanted to play 'rhythum & blues', while two members preferred the newer psychedelic sound of the mid 60's. In the end, those two members left the band and moved to California to explore the 'psychedelic music scene' available there.
So ended "The Boys Next Door".

In 1963, 'The Boys Next Door' were known as the 
'Four Wheels'.  Their record label changed the name


A newspaper ad for a dance at 'Whiteland 
Barn' with 'The Boys Next Door' on Friday,
April 8, 1966.  The 'Whiteland Barn' was a 
famous dance venue, near Indianapolis, much like Lamey's Grove of our southern Indiana area.


   The BOYS NEXT DOOR playing at North Knox High School in school year 1966 - 67          ___________________

This is a full page layout from a local Indianapolis
'teen mag' of the mid 1960's, covering 'The Boys 
Next Door'.

A 1967  ATCO Records display of all seven of
'The Boys Next Door' recordings, including
the two that were recorded in 1963, when the
band was still known as the 'Four Wheels'






             The Villains 

     The Villains (correct spelling) were an Evansville based band formed by Alan Hoover and Bob Ledbetter in 1963, just after graduating high school.
     Band members were Steve Hacker (bass), Larry Mattingly (rythum guitar, vocals), Allan Hoover (lead guitar, vocals), Roger Walker (drums, vocals) and Bob Ledbetter (lead vocals).
    Approx. 1965, they recorded what soon became their most popular realease, an up-tempo version the old classic 'Shortenin' Bread'. It climbed very high on the Evansville radio station WJPS Top 40 Chart.  It wasn't long before the Villains gained a reputation has a hard partying, rowdy band !
     In 1967, the band added a 'Supremes tribute group' to their band. Pictured below are Aletha Mitchell, Cynthia Bennett and Sandy King.
They proved to be extremely popular with the Villain's already strong fan base !

    It was also later this year of 1967, that the band signed a management contract with Triangle Talent Agency of Louisville.
    In 1984, the band put together a 20 year reunion show, that proved so successful, they continued up until 1997. Sadly, that is year that lead vocalist Bob Ledbetter sufferd a stroke on Christmas Eve. As a result, 'Led' suffered damage to his voice, and is no longer able to sing.  That effectively ended the Villains.

The Villain's 1965 hit record 'Shortenin' Bread'.


The Villains hanging out after their show at the 'Surf Club' in Evansville, which was located on Evansville's eastside.


        The Ides Of March

This popular band of the 1970's, Ides Of March, actually played for a dance at Harmony Park in Vincennes, before they attained national popularity, on a Saturday night in the summer of 1970. They had just released their hit record "Vehicle" that would go on to reach #1 in the national charts that summer.
     I can personally attest to their talent !


They were from the Chicago area.  Leader of the band was Jim Peterik, who wI found out years later, wrote and recorded "Eye Of The Tiger" with his band of that particular time, Survivor !

Even yet today, Peterik is still a little bit 'out there' !







                          Sanz, Inc.
Sans, Inc. was a group of young high school students from Petersburg, IN. The band members consisted of Dave Adams (16), Larry Adams (18), Steve Ficklin (16), Bob Ficklin (14) and Ron Hale (17). 
     The band wasted no time jumping right into the music business, recording two songs in December 1966,  'My Baby's Eyes'  and  'I'm Gonna Leave You' on the Skoop label, based at Santa Claus, IN. 
      The band's stated mission was to not be in direct competetion with other area dance bands.  They preferrd to 'fly under the radar' and do their own thing. The group's playlist stayed very close to current top 40 hits.

      As the young band members grew older, and with the end of their high school years coming in sight, they decided to end the band.

Sans, Inc with the Adams brothers on stage. Vox guitars and amplifiers

Sanz, Inc. first record from 1966. Recorded at
Skoop Records in Santa Claus, IN

Sanz, Inc -  The band members were all students at Petersburg High School





          The Cherry Spirit  

        North Knox High School's own Tom Held, Bill Posey and Pat Grabbe. Wayne Boberg on drums.
        Checkout the 'groovy' outfits. Blue satin turtlenecks, white pants. Forgot to bring the Beatle boots for this photo shoot.

       The band started with their first professional engagement in the summer of 1967.  They played several of the local venues of the time, including three appearances at the Tastee Treet, South Knox High School 'sock hops' and especially the 'Lazy Dee Roller Rink'in Monroe City, which was the band's 'home away from home.   There were also appearances at the '67 and '68 Knox County Fair  'Battle Of The Bands'of which they won the 1968 contest.   One of the highlights of their short career  was playing for the 'United Christian Youth' state - wide convention in 1968, at the Indianapolis Marrot Hotel.

     They stayed together until the Spring of 1969, when lead vocalist John Grabbe(below) lost his life in Vietnam.  With the shock of John's loss, and the end of their high school years at hand, the band called it quits.

         John Albert Grabbe
Original lead vocalist with the 'Cherry Spirit'.
John lost is life on March 6, 1969 in 
Chu Chi, South Vietnam valiantly serving his country


1968 'Cherry Spirit' promotional photos taken
at the Washington (IN) city park


'Cherry Spirit' performing at their first professional engagement
in the Summer of 1967 at Bucktown, IN.
(left - right) Vernon Huber (rythum guitar, vocals), Tom Held (bass), 
the late John Grabbe (lead vocals), Pat Grabbe (lead guitar, vocal harmony), Wayne Boberg (drums, vocal harmony) and 
Sam Singleton (keyboards)


Tom Held equipment.  Gibson bass
guitar and Fender Bassman


Pat Grabbe equipment. 
Rickenbacker guitar and Fender
Super Rever


       Bill Posey's  Hammond organ

      Wayne Boberg's drum kit


The 'Cherry Spirit's' beautiful 
'KUSTOM' public address system






     When Rex Walters left the Corvettes about 1970, he took a position as lead guitatist for the Princeton, Indiana country music band, Gary Dawson and the Wranglers.
      In 1972, Rex and Pat Grabbe joined the band, 'Yesterday and Today', for which they played in 1972 -'73.
      In 1974, Rex and Pat made the decision start their own band and settled on the name 'Reunion'. Original band members were:  

           *Rex Walters (lead guitar, vocals)
           *Pat Grabbe (rythum guitar, harmony vocals)
           *Frank Gruner (bass guitar)
           *David LaMarche (keyboards)
            *Steve Adams (drums)

       In 1982, after going through several drummers, Rex's former bandmate in the Corvettes, Sonny Kixmiller joined Reunion on drums for a few years.
        1988 saw Pat basically 'forced' to leave the band, when he took a job with REMC Electric. Pat could not stay away, and often showed up to 'set-in' with the band, when his work schedule allowed. Although there were other changes in band members over the years, Rex remained the 'constant' in Reunion, with Pat always willing to set-in, when the opportunity presented itself. 
         When Rex passed away in the Fall of 2013, he was still holding the band together, some 49 years after their founding. 

    Additional Reunion photos posted below.......




(top)The legendary 'Bradley Barn' recording studio outside of Nashville, TN

(bottom) Reunion's Pat Grabbe at the control board at the 'Bradley Barn' Nashville, TN recording studio


'Reunion' posing outside the 'Bradley Barn' recording stusio in Nashville, TN.



                 The Synes

    The 'Synes' were a group of North Knox high school students that were formed in the Summer of 1966. 
Original band members shown in the photo above (left to right):

* the late Allen Warren (bass)
* John Brocksmith (guitar)
* Curtis Scott (drums)
* Mark Mason (guitar, vocals)
* Bob Horst (keyboards)

     The band played local dance venues, including the 1967 Knox County Fair "Battle Of The Bands" (above photo), where they won 1st place, which included an automatic entry in the same contest at the Indiana State Fair, in August of that year.

      In 1969, organist Bob Horst left the band to attend college in the Fall of that year. He was replaced by his brother Steve Horst, and later Bill Posey assumed the keyboard position. With the remaining member's high school graduation approaching, the band came to an end.

      Drummer Curtis Scott has been involved in music, in one form or another, throughout his life. Curtis was a member of the "Purdue All-American Marching Band", and recorded four albums with the 'Persuaders'.  He also performed with a couple Christian music bands, touring the country with one of the groups.  Curtis presently operates "Mighty Oak Recording".





                 A Band Called Magic   

    Former 'Synes' band member, Mark Mason, parlayed his guitar skills into creating 'A Band Called Magic'.  They continue in the music business, yet today.

      (left to right) P-Nut Brewer, Keith Phoff (drums), Mark Mason and Chris Coatney. 







              The Koinsmen

       The Koinsmen were a popular tri-state area 60's band based in Gibson county.
       Original band members (left - right) Dan Wiltzback (bass), Marty Frederick (lead guitar), Phil Studler (keyboards), Tyk Phillips (lead vocals), Dave Miller (saxaphone, harmony vocals) and Bill Kell (drums).

       The band performed at all the the local dance venues of the time, as well as opening for many of the national artrists who performed in Evansville

The original Koinsmen, from Gibson County, IN taken in 1965.


1966 - By this time, Vincennes' Dave Fischer(middle) had came onboard as the drummer and Carl Stevens(far right) joined the band on trumpet


Taken at Calumet Lake in Jasper, IN about 1967.

       Pictured are Tyk Phillips and Dave Miller of the Koinsmen, before a show with another Evansville band of the time, the Corsairs.  The Corsairs mainly played at the Evansville Beer Garden, Tyk has noted.
       After the Koinsmen disbanded in 1968, Tyk Phillpis joined the legendary Evansville band, the Turks.   He left the Turks in May 1970, and moved to Chicago, where he formed anothe band. One of the band members in Tyk's new group, eventullay went on to some fame, as a member of REO Speedwagon.


The Koinsmen approx. 1990, taken at a reunion of the band members, 25 years later.








      The Carnations & Trendells

     The Carnations and Trendells were a Louisville based band of the 1960's that performed on a regular basis in our area.

      The Trendells were a vocal group in the late 50's. By the early 60's they realized their need for adding their own instrumental back-up.   Since they often played shows with the Carnations, the two groups joined together to form the legedary 60's 'super group', Carnations & Trendells.

     The Trendells provided excellent vocal harmonies, while the talented  Carnations provided the instrumentation.

      They were regular performers at Calumet Lake in Jasper, IN.  They also played dances in the Vincennes / Washington / Linton area.

A few of the Carnations continue in the music business, yet today. Lead vocalist and guitarist, Paul Penny, has several videos on Youtube, as does saxaphonist and keyboard player, Duke Marsh.  Band members Hardy Martin and Ray Allen went on to form 'Triangle Talent Agency' based in Louisville. Their corporation booked many of the more popular bands in our area, including the Corvettes and the Koinsmen. They also supplied Louisville based bands for venues in this area, including the popular 'Dance With Dave' At Harmony Park shows of the mid 60's, which were promoted by Dave Mischler of Vincennes. 

 The 'Keyes',  'Soul, Inc',  and  the 'Mersey Beats USA' were just a few of the 1960's Louisville bands who played at 'Harmony Park' in Vincennes.






     Tom Dooley and his Lovelights   

       This was a Louisville-based band that were very popular in the southern Indiana /Kentucky area.

       I personally had the pleasure of seeing them play for a dance at the Linton Armory in 1968. An 'awesome' group !!

    Tom Dooley was a Louisville radio station WAKY disc jockey in the late 1960's.  He advertised on his radio program for musicians to start a band. Hence, the beginning of this legendary nine-piece band !

    The group was in every sense of the word, a 'show band', featuring a very 'tight' brass section.  Tom Dooley could belt out Motown soul tunes with the best of them !

    The band was only together in 1968 -69, as Tom Dooley left in 1970, to take the DJ position for the top radio station in Los Angles, at the time

      Sadly, Tom Dooley passed away on Nov. 9, 2010 of brain cancer. At the time, he had been a very popular nationally syndicated  Christian radio DJ based in Dallas, Texas.   RIP

Tom Dooley and his wife, photographed just four months before his passing.   RIP









               The Nomads 

The Nomads were a top Evansville band in the late 1960's.
Original band members:
* Jeff Davis, bass
* Chuck Dowd, organ
*Max Emmick, lead guitar
*Eddie Karges, rhythum guitar, vocalist
*Gary Varden, drums


      This is Nomads bass guitarist Jeff Davis of Evansville Harrison high school. Shown here playing at a dance about 1967 at the Washington, Indiana YMCA.

       Jeff went on to a career in the music business, playing bass guitar for the Amazing Rythum Aces, who had a national hit record in 1980, 'Third Rate Romance, Low Rent Rendevous'.  He contined throughout his life, as a studio musician and touring bassist residing in Nashville, TN.   He is currently semi-retired and living in Florida.

    The band recorded on Skoop Records, which was based in Santa Claus, IN.

     Note:  Jeff Davis' Harrison high school girlfriend and prom date was Cindy Shidler (Held), Tom's wife


Evansville band the 'Nomads' recording of 'Shy Girl'.
Recorded at Skoop Records in Santa Claus, IN. The band also recorded another record for Skoop records entitled 'Coolsville'.










           The Turks 

    The Turks (originally the Young Turks) were an extremely popular band from the Evansville area, in the mid - late 1960's. A few of the original members were Mark Standring, the late Mark Hamilton, and Mike Boenigk.

    We had the opportunity to see them playing at Roberts Stadium about 1970, for the annual Evansville Auto Show.  The Turks were also very popular at Mt. Carmel, Illinois 'Pool Parties' of the late 1960's.

By the way, one of the cars featured on display that evening at the Evansville Auto Show, was the 1969 Dodge Dart of Freelandville's Dave Doane.

Note the writing credit on this record. The song was written by Randy Snodgrass, who played guitar for the 'Road Runners' of Henderson, KY. He also penned songs for other area bands of that time. Randy's  composition 'All You Need' is featured on the 'Corvettes Recording History' CD, that the late Rex Walters produced, and was selling at the time of his passing in October 2013.


                            (generic sketch -  no band photo availabe at this time)
                                         THE LEGENDS
         Sorry, at present, there are no photos available of the Washington, IN band the 'Legends'. 
          Pat Grabbe and Tom Held recall the band playing at North Knox high school about 1967.  They note the band's intro 'got their attention'........  "The stage curtains opened and the band's drummer immediately did the drum roll intro to 'Time Won't Let Me' as the band 'crashed hard' into the song.
          One other memory of the Legends, was told by Rex Walters several times over the years.
     Per Rex......."The Legend's lead vocalist had a very difficult problem with 'stuttering', but when he sang on stage, the problem disappeared entirely".

      Anyone with additional info or photos of the Legends, please send a 'private message' to Tom Held at Facebook.



              VILLAGE GREEN                

      The 'Village Green' was a local band of the late 1960's, founded by NKHS student Terry Drieman of Bruceville, IN.

       Original band members, shown here at the Rod & Gun Club in the 1968 band were:
(photo left to right) Steve Maddox (keyboards), Terry Dreiman (lead guitar), Steve Schuckman (lead vocals) and Rick Dreiman (bass). Unfortuneatly, the drummer is not visible, nor do we have his name.
        Maddox only stayed with the group for a short while, before being replaced by John Brocksmith.
        The band played anything and everything, from bubble gum to Hendrix !  I personally can recall them performing a little known Young Rascals album cut entitled "Come On Up", one of my all-time favorites.
      Steve Schuckman left the band in the Fall of 1969 to attend college. Any information after Steve's departure is unclear.  Most likely as with other high school bands, they went their separate ways after graduation.



















            The Corvettes

     Naturally, everyone's favorite band was our own Corvettes.  Shown here performing at their 2004 reunion show at Haubstadt, IN.  Note our fellow NKHS 1970 grad, Pat Grabbe, filling in on bass guitar for original member Don Russell.

     Sadly, the band has suffered the passing of several members since this reunion.  

      Neil Long, Rex Walters, Jimmy Russell and Dave 'Harv' Hargrave.......RIP


Autographed poster advertising the new 'Down At The Scene' Sunday night dances at the Bruceville Rod & Gun Club from 1967

Corvettes group photo taken in 1965, just one year after the addition of
Neil Long and the Russell brothers.

Playing at the 'Midway near Oakland City. Sonny Kixmiller tells the story of a cow that wandered up to the outside of the building, and then stuck it's head in the window in the background !


Larry Purcell, Sonny Kixmiller, Rex Walters and Bill Duzan. 
The original Corvettes of June 1961


The release of the band's first recording in 1963.  Autographed, no less ! 



Playing at the Bruceville Rod & Gun Club in the Fall of 1967.
Gayle (Long) Lee singing with her brother's band.




The Corvettes most successful record, 'Our Love Won't End', composed by Neil Long in 1965. The recording was released in the Summer of 1966

Original founding member, Sonny Kixmiller, at the Corvettes 2004 reunion dance at Haubstadt High School. Still pounding his drums after
50+ years !!!













               Free Reign

      'Free Reign' was the band formed by Neil Long after Rex Walters and Sonny Kixmiller left the Corvettes in 1970.

      (left to righ) Carl Stevens, Don Russell (behind Carl), the late Neil Long,  Jimmy Fischer (drums), the late Jimmy Russell and the late Dave Hargrave (keyboards).

Carl Stevens and the late Neil Long blasting out the music at Lamey's Grove in 1972.

Video of the final lineup of Neil Long's 'Free Reign', just a few weeks before Neil was fatally injured in an industrial accident at his business, Shilo Fabrication








          The Seventeens

     The 'Seventeens' are a good reprensentation of what kids back in the late 50's / early 60's were listening to.  They were '1950's cool' !!

      Pictured (bottom) is Vincennes native Bill Smith playing with the 'Seventeens' at the Showboat nightclub in Westport, IL.

      The band enjoyed considerable success, having toured the midwestern U.S. states, and were the house band at the Terre Haute nightclub, Idaho Club.

And so ends your journey, through the time tunnel, back to the carefree days of your youth, to the fabulous 
'Bands Of The 1960's'

This project has been a labor of love, but most certainly would not have been possible with out our photo and information contributors:

* Patrick J. Grabbe
* Mark Mason
* Tyk Phillips
*Steve Schuckman
* Curtis Scott
* Indiana 60's Garage Band Szene
* Garage Hangover