Monday, December 28, 2009
A group that came along in the late 60's, unknown to me, but I am sure that many remember them as one of the excellent traveling Kansas groups of the 60's. Very interesting and thorough history of the band and its members. Good reading.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Memories of playing gigs in their small ballroom. Hauling all our stuff in from the side street, up a few steps into the ballroom with tiny stage. Not large crowds but a lot of fun. Could even drive home after the gigs, which was a luxury.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Memories of playing this small ballroom with big crowds.
Hatfield is a city in Pipestone County.
The latitude of Hatfield is 43.951N. The longitude is -96.189W.It is in the Central Standard time zone. Elevation is 1,683 feet.
The population, at the time of the 2000 census, was 47.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The results of the recent voting are that the following will be inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame on March 6, 2010 at Liberty Hall in Lawrence , Kansas :
Oleta Adams , Kansas City
Conny & The Bellhops, Pittsburg
Green River Ordinance, Emporia
Moanin' Glories, Wichita
Morning Dew, Topeka
Plain Jane, Manhattan
Pott County Pork & Bean Band, St. Marys
Vernon Sandusky , Edna
Tree Frog, Lawrence
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We salute the 3rd version of The Sensational Showmen from the Parsons/Pittsburg, Ks area. We congratulate this group for reuniting and providing southeast Kansas with good music of the late 60's and early 70's. You can check out their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/thesensationalshowmen
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Picture No 1-The Sensational Showmen represented by America'S Best Attractions.Toured all 48 states and was ABA'S no one group.1967-68.Members back row left to right.Terry Blackburn-Don Gould-Jim Garrett-Mike Golay- Front Row-Jeff Leverenz-Frank January-Bob Golay- Picture No 2.2nd edition 1969-1971.America's Best Attractions no 1 group.playing all 48 states and Canada.Both editions played a number of times at Red Dog Inn.left to right-Don Gould-Randy Jenkins-Keith Kenyon-Terry Blackburn-Mike Brundage-Greg (doc) Hockett
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
By Tom Parker
At the 2009 Kansas Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Concert, held March 7 at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, the Sensational Showmen officially took their rightful place beside other Kansas musical luminaries such as Pat Metheny, Chet Nichols, Martina McBride, Melissa Etheridge and Kansas.
Sharing the stage with the Sensational Showmen and the Sensational Showmen at the 2009 Kansas Musical Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Concert were, you guessed it, the Sensational Showmen. They, too, officially took their rightful place beside other Kansas musical luminaries.
In fact, at one point during the ceremony there were about 40 people on stage, all of them Sensational Showmen, all being honored for the music they produced in the 1960s and 1970s.
For the sake of clarity, it might be easiest to identify the three groups with their towns of origin, such as the Sensational Showmen Clifton/Clyde/Concordia, the Sensational Showmen Chanute/Fort Scott, and the Sensational Showmen Parsons/Pittsburg.
For even easier identification, the groups can be remembered as #1, #2 and #3.
“We were the first,” said Phil Pfister, formerly of Clifton and now president of an architectural glass construction company in South Carolina. “Our band was the original group.”
The Sensational Showmen went on to three incarnations, each from different parts of the state. Unknown to the original members, a clause in the contract allowed the manager to retain the name if the members quit.
SS #1 was formed in 1964, consisting of Pfister, lead guitar and vocals, Larry Jackson, bass guitar, trombone and vocals, and Ron Balderston, trumpet, organ and lead vocals. Pfister and Jackson hailed from Clifton, Balderston from Clyde. Other members were recruited from Concordia, including Robin Hood, drums, Paul Justyna, saxophone, Bob Burns, rhythm guitar, and Mike Srite, trumpet and organ.
“We were just a bunch of 15-16 year olds making music,” Pfister said. “We were in it for fun and to be popular with the girls.”
The band played many outdoor dances in Clifton and Clyde as well as performing at local schools, National Guard armories, community centers, fairs, carnivals, clubs and bars. Their repertoire consisted mainly of top 40 hits from the ‘60s, with those by Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, and James Brown being their favorites. “We enjoyed those kind of songs more than the Beatles,” Pfister said. “And we choreographed our moves—we didn’t just stand around playing our instruments.”
The band spent hundreds of hours practicing and learning songs by listening to 45 records and copying the sounds strictly by ear, Pfister said. They didn’t have sheet music but used their ears and then arranged the songs, not only for the guitars but for an entire horn section as well, which use a different key. “I don’t know how we had time for everything,” Pfister said. “We had a lot more energy in those days.”
As the group became more popular, their travels took them on the road, from Oklahoma to Minnesota, playing all summer long and every weekend.
“It was a very hectic schedule,” Pfister said.
That very hectic schedule lasted four years.
“We decided to call it quits somewhere in South Dakota in the summer of ’67,” Pfister said. “We were burned out.”
After coming home to Kansas, they split up and went their own ways. Jackson and Burns continued their musical careers for a while, others sought careers and Pfister joined the Air Force. In 1980, he moved to South Carolina with his wife, Patty.
Though Pfister had kept tabs of where former band members had wandered off to, he hadn’t seen them for 40 years, until a fateful e-mail popped into his inbox with news of the Kansas Musical Hall of Fame’s induction.
Prior to the notification, Pfister had never heard of the hall of fame. “I didn’t even know of the organization until I heard from a board member from Beloit who said we should try to get votes to be on the list,” Pfister said.
But because only hall of fame board members could vote, and because they were all from the eastern side of Kansas, the group felt it unreasonable to pursue the nomination. Only when the Parsons/Pittsburg group lobbied members to vote for them did the hall of fame decide to honor all three incarnations.
Bill Lee, president of the hall of fame, finally concurred.
After contacting several former members, Pfister traveled to Concordia where he reunited with Justyna, Burns and Hood. Gone were the fresh-faced youngsters in their velvet finery. “We’re getting so old now,” Pfister said.
Being nominated gave Pfister an urge to rush out and buy a new guitar, just like one of the many he’d used during the years he toured with the band. “If I would have kept all the guitars I played in those few years,” he said, “I could probably retire. They’re all very valuable now.”
He still owns a 12-string guitar and a 6-strong acoustic guitar that his son plays regularly.
At the induction ceremony, five of the original seven members were in attendance: Srite, Balderston, Burns, Justyna and Pfister. Hood was in California and couldn’t attend. Jackson passed away in 2002 but was represented by his family and his youngest son, Nick, who took the stage with the others to accept the award on behalf of his father.
Looking back on those years as the Sensational Showmen, Pfister said he thinks they were quite good. “The equipment was not as sophisticated as it is today,” he said. “You actually had to sound good back then. We had top notch equipment and were proud of how we sounded, and how we appeared on stage—clean cut and dressed to a T.”
Members of the Sensational Showmen #1 didn’t play at the ceremony. “I haven’t picked up a guitar in 30 years,” Pfister admitted.
However, members of the Sensational Showmen #3 did, and did well, Pfister said.
“They deserve credit for still being able to play,” he said ruefully. “They sounded good.”
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
We were surprised when the photos of some of the band members surfaced this week. L to R-
Pic 1 - Mike Srite, trumpet, Paul Justyna, sax and Larry Jackson, bass guitar
Pic 2 - Very cool, "Snake" Justyna
Pic 3 - Robin Hood, drums, Mike Srite, trumpet and Larry Jackson, trombone
(click pictures to enlarge)
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The first band that Phil Pfister and Larry Jackson formed in Clifton, Kansas in 1963 with Rob Haden on drums and the Simoneau brothers, Jim and Gary, on guitars. In picture, l to r, Phil Pfister, Jim Simoneau, Rob Haden, Larry Jackson & Gary Simoneau. The picture was taken at the Clifton teen town called "The Pad" and was located in the old International Harvester building, later being the headquarters for Unified School District 224.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Clifton, Clyde, Concordia, Jewell, Clay Center, Salina (The Lamplighter), Beloit, Cawker City, Linn, Delphos, Glasco, Solomon, Hays (The Dark Horse Inn), Norton, Tribune, Colby (The Rusty Bucket), Goodland, Great Bend, Hutchinson, Philipsburg, Manhattan, Liberal, Lawrence (The Red Dog Inn), Marysville, Belleville,
Scottsbluff, Chadron, Sidney, Alliance, North Platte, McCook, Kearney, Holdrege, Red Cloud, Fairbury, Beatrice, Superior, Grand Island, Ravenna, Columbus, Norfolk, O'Neill, Crete, Geneva, Hastings, Valentine, Hardy, Minden, Ogallah, Central City, Seward
Tyndall, Mission, Kimball, Watertown, Pierre, Yankton, Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Vermillion, Buffalo Gap, Brookings
Worthington (Last gig), Hatfield, Pipestone, Marshall
Storm Lake, Clear Lake, Fort Dodge,
All gigs were at National Guard Armories, Ballrooms, Schools, community centers and most were sponsored by local civic groups as money making projects.