Archive for April 2012

“Oh, What A Night,” Part IV

Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 9:30 am
By: Doug Lund
6 Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

I’ll be the first to admit I had some doubts about the size of this year’s turnout for the South Dakota Music Association Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and concert. We hadn’t arranged to have a big name headline act appear as in year’s past with such groups as Bobby Vee, The Flippers, The Red Dogs and The Mob. Don’t get me wrong, each group we inducted enjoyed much success in their heyday, several even had songs that made the national charts such as The Gestures (Run, Run, Run) and  D.J. and the Runaways (Peter Rabbit) but I was concerned that those musicians who hadn’t played together for nearly half a century may not be able to pull it off. Would anybody remember them? I need not have worried.

Spectrum Photos courtesy of Ron Nelson

Spectrum Photos courtesy of Ron Nelson

The huge Ramkota Exhibit Hall was sold out two weeks before the show. Most inducted bands and individuals brought along their own cadre of adoring fans; many dressed in special tee shirts that expressed their loyalty and love. Those musicians who hadn’t played in years and those who still play regularly, traveled here early from all parts of the country to rehearse with bandmates in hopes of achieving the pure sound of rock and roll they’d been known for back in the sixties. Combine that enthusiasm with the huge stage, state of the art sound and light system plus 16 hundred cheering fans and it was….well, magical.

nelson grab 3

The performers, many of whom are now in their 60’s and 70’s, were blown away by the experience. Here’s just a small sampling of the reaction we’ve received from both musicians who took the stage and fans who loved every minute of it.

 

Travis Hutchinson (DJ and the Cats)

My brother Terry and I really looked forward to the 2012 Hall of Fame event. But it even exceeded our hopes and dreams. Wow!  What a night!

I was pleasantly surprised at how many people came to and danced to the music of D J & the Cats back in the 50′s and 60′s.  It was a great time of hearing their stories and memories.  A lady told me about when she just turned 16 and on her first official date, came to a town in Iowa ( where she and her husband still live) and danced to our music.  In her 16 year old mind, you would have thought we created the moon!  I am 72 and my brother Terry is 73.  We have done so many dances and clubs together back in “The Day”.  If the festival was our last time to perform together, what a tremendous high to go out on!  My sons who backed us up are still hyped that they had the honor of playing the festival and backing up their Dad and Uncle.

From Larry Gruseth of Scotty Lee and the Stingrays. 

 

nelson grab 2In the middle of the show, I looked around at all my fellow band mates, and even though we were heavier, grayer, and perhaps had a couple of wrinkles, I didn’t see anyone over the age of 18! We got to be kids again…and for that we thank you, thank you, thank you!!

 

Larry Gruseth and I started making music together when we were little kids. One of the highlights of the evening for me was joining my cousin on stage once again to present the plaque inducting him into the Hall of Fame.

nelson doug and grouse

Congratulations to all of this year’s inductees and thanks to all those of you who turned out for the big show. “Oh, what a night.”

Personal Memories of Dick Clark

Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 10:50 am
By: Doug Lund
7 Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

“Well I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt..”

 Replace Sunday with Wednesday and this old Johnny Cash tune describes my condition perfectly.  I really don’t believe that you can catch a cold from being cold..but after playing golf on yet another windy chilly day Tuesday, a major league cold decided to take up residence in my head and chest. I dozed off in my easy chair Tuesday evening and woke myself up with a loud snort around 10 pm. (Hmmm..suddenly I remember images of my dad falling asleep in his rocker most every evening after supper. He was a hard working guy and even though he tried desperately to stay awake through “Have Gun Will Travel” at 9 pm, his head would usually start to bob and weave around 8:30. It was great entertainment for my brothers and I watching as his head finally snapped all the way back causing the upper plate of his false teeth to slip down. It was hilarious and sometimes our giggling was loud enough to bring dad out of his uncomfortable slumber at which point he’d gaze around the room with a scowl on his face but rarely said anything.  Finally mom would talk him into just going to bed. I feel bad now for laughing.) Although I was alone in the room, I’d obviously been sleeping in the chair with my mouth wide open because my throat was bone dry and sore. That hangy-down thing at the back, that looks like a little punching bag, felt twice its normal size. A few swallows of cola helped a little but then the coughing began and continues to keep me up nights. It’s probably pay-back for being a disrespectful son 50 years ago. Anyway, there’s too much going on this week for me to be sick. I am the emcee again for the fourth annual South Dakota Rock and Roll Music Association Hall of Fame induction ceremony and concert. The event at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall has been sold out for two weeks and promises to deliver a night of nostalgia and good times as 10 bands take the stage performing the songs that made them so popular during the golden age of rock and roll.  

No one is more identified with that era than Dick Clark who died this week at the age of 82. His American Bandstand television show provided a jump start to countless rock and roll bands including Myron Lee and the Caddies of Sioux Falls who twice toured the country as part of Clark’s Caravan of Stars.

dick clark poster

 Myron always talked about how Dick Clark was such a down to earth person who often rode the tour buses right along with the Caravan performers.

That's Clark fronting the Caravan of Stars in 1963. Myron Lee and the Caddies provided the music for most of the stars. From left to right are Jerry Haacke (bass) Joel Shapiro(sax) Fred Scott (sax) Myron and Curt Powell (guitar)

That's Clark fronting the Caravan of Stars in 1963. Myron Lee and the Caddies provided the music for most of the stars. From left to right are Jerry Haacke (bass) Joel Shapiro(sax) Fred Scott (sax) Myron Lee and Curt Powell (guitar) Stu Perry, not shown here, was the drummer.

I once did a story on the musical career of Myron Lee for Keloland TV. I desperately wanted to get in touch with Dick Clark for a phone interview. Myron hooked me up with Bobby Vee, who had a string of rock and roll hits in the 60’s and had remained good friends with Clark. He said he’d have Dick give me a call. I wasn’t holding my breath since at that time Clark was not only still hosting American Bandstand but also “The 10,000 Dollar Pyramid game show as well as TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes with Ed McMahon. I doubted he’d have time to reminisce with a South Dakota TV reporter about one of the bands that traveled with him 30 years earlier. So, I was more than a little shocked when our newsroom assistant answered the phone and said a guy who says he’s Dick Clark is on the phone for you. Immediately, every one of my newsroom colleagues stopped what they were doing to inquire if that was THE Dick Clark. It took awhile to set up the audio recording and I kept apologizing for taking up his valuable time but he couldn’t have been nicer and seemed in no hurry. He said he’d been in South Dakota many times and that his wife, Kari, was a Minnesota gal and graduated from North Dakota State. He remembered Myron Lee and the Caddies very well and was especially impressed with their talent and work ethic. Before I realized it, the half-hour long audio tape had run out and we said goodbye. It was one of those unforgettable celebrity encounters that were such a wonderful part of my job. I still have that tape in a box somewhere but haven’t time to look for it now. I’m going to load up on Advil and cough syrup then try sleep my way back to wellness by Saturday night; hopefully keeping my mouth shut and snorting to a minimum.  As America’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark, would often say; The Show Must Go On.

You Can’t Make-Up This Stuff

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 11:11 am
By: Doug Lund
12 Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

Note to the young lady in the bright yellow VW Beatle between Canton and Rock Valley Easter Sunday. That old guy in the big red Lincoln honking the horn at you was me. At first, Linda and I thought you were weaving all over the highway because you were drunk but after getting a closer look at a stop sign, we saw you holding the steering wheel in one hand and your I-pad in the other. I’m not sure if you could hear my horn blaring because you continued to wander from side to side causing our hearts to pound when it happened going UP a hill and we prayed there wasn’t an unsuspecting family in a car coming from the other direction whose lives were about to end thanks to your need to check Facebook or Twitter rather than pay attention to your driving. You finally turned off in Rock Valley, with I-pad still in hand, perhaps never realizing how fortunate you were for not killing yourself and others that day.

Speaking of getting hurt; you know how you’re always telling your kids and grandkids to “BE CAREFUL” because they need to understand that you feel their pain every bit as much as they do  if they’re not. Well, our granddaughter, Zoey, had a momentary memory lapse recently and suffered a school playground accident resulting in a broken right arm. Fortunately, she’s left handed. “It doesn’t hurt much anymore..but it itches,” Zoey says. I think the pain is somewhat tempered by the fact she’s receiving celebrity status among her peers and relatives when she shows off her new pink cast. Where do I sign?

I saved a spot for you to sign right here, Grandpa.

I saved a spot for you to sign right here, Grandpa.

 

I’ve been on the radio quite a bit in the last few weeks promoting the upcoming South Dakota Rock and Roll Music Association’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony and concert April 21st at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall. I was even back on Keloland TV last Saturday morning being interviewed by Perry Groten. It was my first real exposure to High Definition cameras and not a pretty picture. I had anticipated the need for putting on some make-up to at least try conceal the additional cracks and crevasses that have developed in the six plus years since retirement but all I had was an old compact of Max Factor Pan-cake applied with a wet sponge. It said “Tan No. 2” but it turned my mug more of an orange hue.  Although Perry didn’t say anything I must have looked like a withered pumpkin when I showed up in the studio.

I wonder if pan cake make-up has a shelf life.

I wonder if pan cake make-up has a shelf life.

This last week I’ve been on the radio with Rick Knobe, Chad Mackenzie, Ben & Patty, Andy and Mel and Mark Tassler. But the most generous gentleman providing air time for the Hall of Fame is  broadcasting legend, Grant Peterson of KBRK Radio in Brookings. I say legend because Grant has been on the air since 1959. He did a stint at WCCO in Minneapolis but most of his time has been in Brookings where he’s as well known as the campus Campanile. Every Friday afternoon in the weeks leading up to the event, Grant has Don Fritz and I on his “Great Afternoon Smorgasbord” program to talk about old time rock and roll and listeners seem to “eat it up”  especially when pioneers of rock and roll call-in to chat.

Grant Peterson is the world ambassador for Lutefisk and dines on the lye-soaked cod whenever and whereever he finds it.

Grant Peterson is the world ambassador for Lutefisk and dines on the lye-soaked cod whenever and whereever he finds it.

Grant Peterson represents the end of an era in radio. His laid back style probably appeals more to seasoned citizens but he makes no apologies about it nor of his Norwegian heritage. One of his longtime sponsors is a corset shop run by little old ladies..Millie and Tillie. He recites temperatures called-in from such odd places as Lutefisk Ridge. He sells his own commercials and ad libs them on the air sometimes going well over the allotted 30 or 60 seconds that most stations allow. He visits with many of his advertisers right on the phone..dialing them up on the air and chatting for several minutes about the product, of course, but also about the weather, the client’s family and plans for the weekend. It’s just fun old time radio that you don’t hear anymore. Grant Peterson’s Great Afternoon Smorgasbord can be heard weekdays from 3 to 5 on 1430 KBRK AM. It’s also streamed on his website,  Grantsgas.com to be enjoyed by anybody with a computer anywhere in the world.

We’ll be chatting again this week even though this years Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony and concert is SOLD OUT. I plan to spend more than a couple minutes thanking Grant and KBRK who played no small part in making that happen.

mange takk min gamle venn!

Grant with a couple of his adoring fans

Grant with a couple of his adoring fans

In The Garden

Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 at 10:53 am
By: Doug Lund
49 Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

I grew up in a Christian home.  

Oh, there weren’t daily family devotions and we didn’t all hold hands while reciting grace around the supper  table. As I remember, grace was optional unless we had company; then it often fell upon me to impress the guests by reciting the Norwegian Table Prayer taught to me by my Aunt Esther.

“I Jesu navn gar vi til bords a spise, drikke pa ditt ord. Deg, Gud til aere, oss til gavn,
Sa far vi mat i Jesu navn.  Amen.

No, we were not overtly religious but mom did make sure all of her boys went to church every week and was especially proud that her middle son, me, managed to attain 15 years perfect attendance and was recognized by the church big wigs for doing so.  I received a certificate  and everything. I know a few times when I was sick but went to Sunday School anyway to keep the record intact.

attendance

ours were wrapped in purple construction paper

ours were wrapped in purple construction paper

 Mom also made sure that her boys wouldn’t be totally embarrassed when Easter morning arrived and none of us had put any money in the Lenten Coin Containers we’d been issued at the beginning of Lent to be filled with spare change for the poor. She always managed to make sure those cans weren’t empty when we marched up front with the rest of our Sunday School class to deposit them on the altar.

 

 

The Lunds lived with the image of Jesus in our living room  It was a print of the famous painting by German artist, Heinrich Hofmann, “Christ in Gethsemane.”  For years, I didn’t pay much attention to it because, you know, familiarity causes things to disappear into their surroundings. Mom, though, thought so much of it she insisted that it be the background for our first and only family Christmas card photo. “The Lord and the Lunds wish you a Merry Christmas.” No..it didn’t actually say that but images are important and I’m sure mom wanted all our friends and relatives to know that we weren’t heathens.   

xmas card harry lund

 

altarIt was the same painting, on a much smaller scale of course, that graced the altar  at First Lutheran. (Still does)

Sometimes while day dreaming in church..like on Stewardship Sunday..I’d stare at that image and think about the situation that inspired the artist. I’d wonder  if Jesus knew the reason he was put on this earth ( To die for  sinners) why did he beg  the old man to be let off the hook; praying so fervently  to have the cup removed that he sweat drops of blood. Looking at that picture made me see the human side of Jesus; how he  was understandably afraid of what was expected and soon to befall  him; betrayal, humiliation, torture and a lingering painful death hanging from a cross. I can certainly understand why the idea of being a savior didn’t seem all that appealing when it came time to actually follow through on the deal.  He did what I would do, ask dad to protect him from injury and pain. Christ’s anxiety was short lived, though. In the same prayer, he soon accepted the responsibility of his existence saying, “Not  my will but yours be done.”  The Gospel writer, Luke, says God then sent down an angel to give his boy the strength to endure the hours ahead.

I can’t help but feel that, had I been there, I probably would have been like the Disciples; asleep in the background while all that was going on and later denying the Master in order to save my own skin. I’m like a lot of us, big on promises..short on proving up.  But, he didn’t shirk his responsibility, and because of it.. we  have the luxury of being irresponsible and unreliable and yet  forgiven. As much as I hate the very thought of pain and suffering, I’m mighty glad that The Father allowed it to happen to his only son. But gladder still that in a short three days, the story would have a happy ending.

christ at gethsemene clearer version

Wishing you all a Blessed Easter.