Thursday, October 8, 2015

New radio show!!

 Hey blog readers!

I'm thrilled to announce that the North of Pueblo blog is now a weekly radio show, heard on KCMJ in Colorado Springs, Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. (MT), and replayed Sundays at 9:00 p.m. (MT), via Tunein radio, and soon on the local airwaves on 93.9 FM.  Archived shows will be available on Soundcloud.

I'll be using this space to post the weekly let's get on with the show:


No Credit
RB 115

People Need a Beat
Fabulous Raindrops
Infal IN-147

Can Your Monkey Do The Dog
Captain and the Red Hot Flames
Red Hot U-16774

Week-End Hippie
Fran Feese and Associates
Premiere (Western Cine) P-2218

Broadway up in Heaven
Forca ST-13-2906

Narrow Gauge Line
Durango D-101

My Kickin’ Kangaroo
Lamarie Jordan and the Flying W Wranglers
Gun Smoke KCMS 1194

Where the Sun is Always Shining
Johnny Neill Orchestra
Walco - WC 62(A)

The Arkansas  Valley is Calling

Centennial Where the Rockies Meet the Plains
Pete Smythe with Walt Shrum and his Westernaires
CPM 10-1292

Move Mountain (You Got It)
Evolution 1028

Indian Man
Elmwood 6076

Lloyd Shaw and Fred Bergin
Lloyd Shaw Recordings 107

Toy Shop – Soldiers and Trains
RE 101

All I Have to do is Dream
Rinx 426 (B)

This Weary Road
Satan’s Got A Way

Life is a Wonderful Thing
Dave Krane
Kinney Recording Service

We Love You Colorado Springs
Unknown (First National Bank of Colorado Springs)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Very exciting news

Stay tuned. Will update the blog 10/8.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Mesa Verde Story

Lots of great memories going to Mesa Verde National Park, as I'm sure everyone does. However, I never climbed the Balcony House ladder, nor do I recollect seeing Esther the mummy - not sure how I missed that experience. Guess it's time to go back for a visit.

Eva-Tone red flexi on "The Mesa Verde Story."  Runoff shows 61071AXT, so guessing this is a 1971 recording. No indication who is voicing "Ranger Bill," or who is providing the Native American chants in the background. Cool little souvenir.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

White Pine

 Country honky tonk duo out of Pueblo.
1980 single on a vanity label.
Not much info on this, minus what's on the sleeve.
Recorded and mixed at Applewood Studios in Denver.
"J&S Christie" and Steve Klock listed as songwriters.
Maybe someone can offer some additional info.

Samples of "Play Me Something I Can Dance To" / "Wings of Grace"

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Eric Karlstrom

Not sure where I found this endearing folk disc. It's been in my stash for a long time, so I assumed I did some research on it awhile back, or made a note that it had SoCo regional roots (it was stamped with a Pueblo address on the label), but I since lost those notes.

Back to square one.

So thanks again to the Internet Gods I tracked down Eric, who lives in Crestone, near the Great Sand Dunes National Park, about an hour north of Alamosa.  Come to find out, the record is actually out of Arizona, but since he is still an active performer in the SoCo region, I thought I would give his record a shout-out.

I'll let him share the details.

"I wrote those two songs my senior year of high school, this would have been 1967.

'A Red Flower' is something I wrote after reading the book, The Little Prince, in high school.

'The Race to Knowhere' kind of grew out of my readings on existentialism in high school - also perhaps the general mood of the country back then - this would have been 1967 - and the fact that both my parents were pretty high-powered academics. At the time, I kind of dreaded jumping into the rat race, but did anyway, of course.  I got a M.A. and Ph.D., and became a university geography professor, but kept doing music throughout, of course.

LEM (the name of the label) stands for Lunar Excursion Module, the vehicle that the astronauts were going to use on the moon landing.  My father was one of the geologists who trained the astronauts for the moon expeditions back in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  He funded the 300 copies that were pressed.  Calling it LEM Records was his idea.

One of my high school friends' father suggested that I record the song at the local KAFF radio, in Flagstaff.  I played harmony guitar and sang, and another high school friend, Richard Cavanaugh played lead guitar, and Dennis Olesniwich played tambourine.  Before we pressed the tape into vinyl the guy at the record company suggested it needed a bass. So my father paid a local bass player $20 to dub the bass part.

A high school buddy, Dave Fronske, was so taken by the sentiment of 'The Red Flower,' that he personally distributed it to all of the juke boxes in the local restaurants in Flagstaff. The radio DJs in Flagstaff also played it a lot - so I had my 15 minutes of fame pretty early in my career."

Check out his website.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Little Louie Gonzales

Collector friend of mine in south Denver found this Pueblo record - of which I am eternally grateful. Kid singer, with some pretty impressive chops, singing the gospel.

Getting a Donny Osmond, Tony DiFranco vibe.

Louie Gonzales is the eldest son of the Rev. and Mrs. Manuel Gonzales.  Dad was a preacher at the 1st Spanish Christian Church of God in Christ, located on Beech Street on the east side of town.  A quick search found that he was still active until about five years ago, then the trail got cold. The bio on the back of the LP notes that Little Louie was born in 1967, so best guess is this probably came out in 1975-1977, thereabouts.

Other players on the record are Joan Peterson on piano, drummer Steve Adams, Bob Vigil on bass, lead and rhythm guitar, and Philip Abeyta on trumpet.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Gypsy Hale

Found this single shortly after I posted the previous blog entry on Carol Rose, so it's back to Grand Junction this month.

As noted in the previous story, a bio on Carol Rose mentioned that she owned the Misty record label.  This record was put out the same year as her debut LP.  No clue who the band members are on this,  if Gypsy Hale is the name of the band, the female vocalist, or if Carol Rose is, in fact, Gypsy Hale.  I'm sure someone can fill me in.  The only other names on here are producers Frank Chamberlain and Don Jones. Sorry for the quality of this sample. Sounds muddy to me, but I guess that's how Frank and Don mixed it.

Sample of Sleepy Lovin Summer Sunday Sunrise
Misty 784 (1978)

Flipside is a country instrumental, "Black Mountain Boogie."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Virginia Unrein

  NOTE:  DivShare has been acting up (again) and a good chunk of my audio has disappeared.  Sorry if you have tried to listen to the samples and instead hear the the sound of silence. Going through the monstrous task of moving over all of the DivShare audio on here to my own hosting and embedding my own player.

I'm a sucker for the whole song-poem genre. For those unfamiliar, the concept was this: Write a song (or poem), then pay a company to take your composition, set it to music, back it with studio singers and a band and viola, you have a record! Check out the outstanding American Song-Poem Music Archives site.

Take for example Virginia Unrein of Montrose, and her ode to her nautical love, Sailor Joe.

No idea on when this was recorded, or who the studio singer is.  Virginia's song appears to be part of an EP with three other folks who handed over a few hundred bucks to the prolific Halmark label.

Virginia left this world in 2013. Her obituary mentions that she "successfully wrote and published several of her own songs on CD."

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Carol Rose

Going back to 1978 for this vanity release from Grand Junction's own Carol Rose.

Hi...I'm Carol Rose (Misty Records MSA-78-127) was recorded at Real to Reel Studios in town, and published by Mountain West Music. Studio players include Bobby T (just Bobby T) and Bob Mueller on guitar, Stormy Lee on drums, John Velarde on violin, and Jim O'Connor on bass. Jim also produces the album, and pens the lead off cut, "Tears of a Broken Lady."

In 2008 Carol Rose was inducted in the Seattle Western Music Society’s Hall of Fame as a pioneer in western swing. Her bio notes that she was born in 1943, in Oak Creek, Colorado. "After spending several years performing in the state, she moved to Vegas and did the nightclub/casino circuit." Bio also shows that she actually owned the Misty label, and that she has a total of three LPs. 

In 2013 the local Grand Junction paper had a mention of a concert she gave, featuring Big Band music.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Imogene (Gene) Bloomfield

 I first ran across the name Gene Bloomfield on the 1983 Ace Ball album, Ace Ball Sings Gene Bloomfield And Some Of His Own. You can read all about Ace's Pueblo years here.

 Not much is known about Imogene Eleanor BloomfieldFound out she was born in 1914, and the 1940 census shows she lived in Illinois with her husband, Leo (who passed away in 1972).

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, in 1949 she penned "Forever and a Day" with song-a-minute guy David Hall of Nordyke Publishing, the big song poem racket out of Los Angeles.

Somewhere along the way the Bloomfields made it to Pueblo, where she continued to write songs, eventually partnering with Ball.  At the age of 71 she recorded what is believed to be her only solo record, the endearing "My Letter of Prayer." Found this demo via my buddy Joel Scherzer.

She left this world in 1992 and is buried, next to Leo, at the Imperial Cemetery, off the Beulah Highway. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Monty Baker and the Trolls, in pictures.

(NOTE: Pictures are watermarked)

The Trolls
Doug Rymerson, Fred Brescher, Monty Baker, 
Phil Head, and Richard Gonzales
Pueblo, Colorado
September, 1965

As I mentioned in the last post, Monty Baker and his family gave his collection of Trolls, New World Blues Dictionary, and Jade memorabilia to me, to keep his memory alive. I truly didn't know where to start, as I have been entrusted with pictures, videos, and reel-to-reels of never-before-seen pieces of Southern Colorado music history. The gift is truly overwhelming.

Unfortunately when I met with Monty, shortly before he passed away, he couldn't recollect much about these images.  He remembered that they were shot in and around Pueblo, in the summer and fall 1965, but that's it.

Monty thought the first picture might have been taken at a school dance. The Trolls were regulars at the Pueblo nightclubs The Honeybucket, The Columbine, and Jerry's. He thought the other two pictures originated from one of those locales.

 Monty Baker, Fred Brescher, Phil Head, 
Richard Gonzales, and Doug Rymerson

Photos above were taken during a photo shoot for a gig poster (below).

As noted in the 2011 profile piece, Monty recollected the photo shoot for the band's one and only picture sleeve for "I Don't Recall"/ "Stupid Girl":

“Freddie wasn’t in the picture. Two nights before we took that shot, he touched his amp with one hand, while he played the organ with the other, resulting in a violent jerk of his arms, collapsing his lungs, and he ended up in the hospital."

Alternative picture sleeve photo for "I Don't Recall" / "Stupid Girl."

The above photo was deemed "too serious" for the picture sleeve, so the group (minus Fred) headed over to Mineral Palace Park, for a more lighthearted shoot.

"Our manager, Tony Spicola took that picture (of the sleeve)," Baker said, in 2011. "He wanted us eating ice cream. When he took the shot, Phil’s ice cream came out of his cone.”

Below is an "after the fall" shot (note ice cream residue on table and both Richard's and Doug's ice cream has been consumed).

My sincerest thanks to Monty and his family. Stay tuned to the blog for more posts from the Monty Baker archives.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Monty Baker (1944-2014)

It is with great sadness that I report that Monty Baker, the bassist for the Minnesota-based band The Radiants, and the Pueblo-based bands The Trolls and Jade, along with the Colorado Springs-based New World Blues Dictionary, passed away on Nov. 19, 2014, after a long illness.

I had regularly kept in touch with Monty over the past few years, documenting his time in these bands for a 2011 story. He was immensely supportive of this blog, and the effort to call attention to the history and wealth of music which came out of Southern Colorado.

I was honored to visit with him at his home in Northern Iowa, just three weeks before his passing.

We talked about his band memories, and shared a few laughs and tears. Before I left, he gave me a present - a large bag of memorabilia from his band days, items his family is entrusting with me to preserve and use to further memorialize him, and his music. I will be posting some of these pictures, reel-to-reel audio clips from concerts and studio recordings, and Super 8 movies, along with the stories he shared on our last visit, here.

Monty, thank you for the music.

The author and Monty Baker
Oct. 26, 2014