Category Archives: Indiana

The Nomads “Coolsville”

Jeff Davis of the Nomads on stage at the Washington, Indiana YMCA
Jeff Davis of the Nomads on stage at the Washington, Indiana YMCA

Nomads Skoop 45 Coolsville

The Nomads came from Evansville, Indiana and played live throughout the southwest part of the state. Members included:

Eddie Karges – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
Max Emmick – lead guitar

Chuck Dowd – organ

Jeff Davis – bass

Gary Varden – drums


In 1965 they recorded their only single in Santa Claus, IN, released on Skoop 1065, one of the labels owned by Ray Scrivener. One side is the disaffected “Coolsville”, written by Max Emmick and Jeff Davis, with some of the classic lyrics of the era:

Walking down the street with my baby,
In my baggies?? so tight,
Yeah, I was whistled at,
By a gang of girls.

Went to a dance that night,
Danced with all my might,
Walked into the gym,
Boy what a crowd of hicks,
Yeah they were doing the Twist,
C’mon and twist, twist, twist, twist, ahhh!

Strolled up to a chick,
Smiled and I said to her,
Do the Twist or (?) the Charleston?

I’m a gonna leave this town,
Yeah, I’m a gonna leave this town,
I’m a gonna leave this town,
Never to return again.

The flip is the more tender “Shy Girl”, written by Max Emmick.

Despite the Buna Music BMI publishing credit on the labels, I don’t believe these songs were registered with either the Library of Congress or BMI.

I’ve read Ed Karges and Chuck Dowd later played in another Evansville group, the Misfits, who cut “I’ll Feel Better (In the Morning)” / “Please Don’t Go Away” (both by Kneeland – DeVillez) on the Showboat label in 1967.

Jeff Davis moved to Tennessee where he formed the Amazing Rhythm Aces in the early ’70s.

Photo and some of the info from the North Knox High School website.

Nomads Skoop 45 Shy Girl

The Shanels

Shanels Dee-Jay 45 Why Did I

The Shanels came out of New Haven, Indiana, a town just east of Fort Wayne. The only band member’s name I can find is Marvin Larue, who wrote both songs on this single. “Why Did I” is a stomping Stones-influenced song with harmonica wailing throughout.

The band changes instruments for the ballad flip, “I Really Care For You” utilizing 12-string guitar and organ instead. Vocals are sung in unison for both songs.

West Haven Pub. Co published both songs through BMI, where I found M. Larue’s full name. Timothy Cox of 60s Indiana Band Szene wrote in a comment on Artyfacts in Wax that “every ‘West Haven’ publishing I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a few, is from Ft. Wayne Indiana. Surf Suns, Olivers, Chessmen, and Blues Inc, all shared this.”

From an online obituary, it seems that Marvin LaRue passed away on September 26, 2004 in Minnesota. In 1963 he graduated from New Haven High School and then attended Purdue University.

According to Teen Beat Mayhem, the record dates to February 1965. The number “SS-3886” indicates a pressing by Stereo Sound in Chicago.

Shanels Dee-Jay 45 I Really Care For You

The Jokers

Jokers Destination 45 What'cha Gonna' Do

It’s too bad the Jokers never cut any other records ’cause both sides of this one are impassioned performances of original songs.

“What’cha Gonna’ Do” starts with a solid bass line over fleet and distant-sounding (from reverb) drumming. The lyrics come fast with some nice echos on guitar: “That little lamb, you call him man, eating out of your hand, his golden fleece, can bring you peace, now you wanna get past my door …” Harmonica wails along, the vocal harmonies come in, and the song hits crescendo of the chorus after barely half a minute.

“I’ll Never Let You Go” is a more conventional composition, but the Leslie on the guitar lends a tearful sound to this ballad.

The Jokers came out of Valpariso, Indiana, just southeast of Gary, and about an hour’s drive from downtown Chicago, where they recorded their single. The band’s members were:

Tom Allison – guitar, vocals
Frank Ball – guitar, keyboards, harmonica, vocals
Tim Walkoe – bass, vocals
Ron Januchowski – drums, vocals

Released on Destination 614 in October, 1965, according to the Sundazed compilation 2131 South Michigan Avenue: 60’s Garage & Psychedelia From U.S.A. And Destination Records “they cut their one Destination 45 with engineer Stu Black at Sound Studios. Stu had also engineered the early New Colony Six, which might explain the familiar Leslie guitar sound on the Jokers’ “‘I’ll Never Let You Go.'”

Ron Januchowski sang lead on “What’cha Gonna’ Do”, which was written by Tom Allison and David Roth. Frank Ball and Roth co-wrote “I’ll Never Let You Go”, with Destination and Tawny, BMI publishing both songs.

David Roth is supposed to have been a pharmacist who, under the name Bernard Roth, had written “Forty Days and Forty Nights” for Muddy Waters back in 1956. The Library of Congress lists both of the Jokers’ songs under Bernard Roth only, but BMI’s current database doesn’t list either song. It’s amazing that someone who wrote a few blues songs ten years earlier was able to cop some of Dylan’s quick patter on “What’cha Gonna’ Do”.

Although white label promos exist, this blue-label copy has asterisks by “What’cha Gonna’ Do” – and I’ve had another stock label that is identical but does not include these.

Thank you to Timothy Cox of the 60’s indiana band szene site for the extra info about the Jokers.

Jokers Destination 45 I'll Never Let You Go

The Shadows 5 “Gathers No Moss”

The Shadows 5 Tech 45 Gathers No MossThe Shadows 5 were thought to be from Oswego, New York, on Lake Ontario, northwest of Syracuse, but the band actually formed in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The band members’ first names are on the labels but I only know two members’ surnames. Another member’s last name is Williams, but I don’t know which.

Bill – lead vocals
Randy – lead guitar (Fender Jaguar)
Craig McKinney – rhythm and occasional lead guitar (Mosrite “Joe Maphis”)
Ralph Riehl – bass (Fender Jazz)
Vic – drums (Ludwig)

“Gathers No Moss” is an incredible version of the song, and the flip “That Little Girl” is a fine jangler.

Tech Records released the single in August 1966; I can’t find anything else on this label. The quality of the recording is excellent, with the opening guitar riff jumping off the grooves.

This was a very rare record though in the last year about 10 copies have shown up, which is how I was able to afford one.

Craig McKinney wrote to me with info about the group:

Two of us (Vic and I) are from Fulton, NY, a small city just south of Oswego, NY. Vic and I played together there before shipping off to Fort Wayne, IN and college. We started the band out there.

We recorded the record in Fort Wayne, IN at radio station WOWO and pressed 500 copies in Chicago. I wrote the words and music to “That Little Girl” as well as the arrangement for “Gathers No Moss.” Bill sings lead on “Girl” and that’s me on “Moss.” There is only copy out there that was signed by all members of our band. It was signed while we were on a tour trip to upstate NY in our old hometown.

Q. Were you or Vic in the Newberry 4 of Oswego when you lived in Fulton? They recorded a song called “That’s Why I’m a Rolling Stone” that is much like “Gathers No Moss”.

We were never in the “Newberry 4.” I heard them once or twice, though I was not there much in those days. They were the area’s top group at the time. They were excellent. A “Beatles” spin-off group if I remember right. Never knew them but admired them at the time. I didn’t remember their song until I heard it after reading a comment on your website. Still a great song to this day.

While we recording in the studio at WOWO, we had a professional photographer take pictures and videos of the group. We also left with the master tape. To this day, the pictures, videos and tapes cannot be found.

The group played backup for The Kingsmen in 1966 at my brother’s fraternity at Franklin College, Franklin, IN. They commented on how much better we were than them. Great fun! We played a LOT of frats and sorority houses in Indiana until Vic and I flunked out and the band broke up. Vic and I both later returned and graduated.

Randy was from Fort Wayne and, unfortunately, passed away about 8 years ago. I’m not sure where Ralph was from, but now resides somewhere in Florida. Bill was from Ohio and still resides there. Vic lives in Huntington, IN. I am back in Fulton, NY.

Craig McKinney

This is not the same Shadows Five who recorded “Dynamic Drums” / “Gary’s Boogie” for the Sully label and “Markham” / “Twistin’ Shadows” for Peacock. That group became the Ultimates and later Prince Charles & the Crusaders, then finally the Ultimate, with a 45 on Garland.

The Shadows 5 Tech 45 That Little Girl

The Jades of Muncie, Indiana

The Jades of Muncie, Indiana photo
The Jades of Muncie, from left: David Smith, Gary Royer, John Terhune, and Greg Hood

Jades Holiday 45 I CriedThe Jades came from Muncie, Indiana, a college town about 60 miles northeast of Indianapolis. Kathy Knecht sent in the photo above asking for more information about the Jades.

Members were:

Gary Royer – lead guitar
John Terhune – bass
Greg Hood – organ
David Smith – drums

The Jades had two singles, both with excellent original songs.

The first was “I Cried” / ” Once Upon a Time” in December 1965 on Holiday, a label from Union, Kentucky, just southwest of Cincinnati.

The second was “Come Back” (Greg Hood) / “Change My Ways” (Gary Royer) on the Denim label, release #1078 in March of 1967. Denim Records would go on to release four singles by the Chosen Few and one that I haven’t heard by the Affectionate Armpit.

Greg Hood would go on to join the December’s Children, who recorded “Keep on Runnin'” and “99 and A Half” on the Classic Records label.

The Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars, Randolph 45 I Love Her AnywayStill an obscure band, the Shooting Stars had two very good 45s in 1967 and 1968 then disappeared. Their location is sometimes given as Winchester, Indiana, a small town north of I-70, about halfway between Indianapolis and Dayton, Ohio.

Their first single is the very catchy “I Love Her Anyway”, written by Robbins and published by Bo-Ann Publishing, BMI. The flip is a blues workout, “After 3 A.M.”, credited to Huff, Perry and Sipe, those names likely members of the band. Teen Beat Mayhem dates the 45 to 1967.

It was released by Randolph Records of Winchester, which may be the reason the band is usually cited as from that town. Randolph had at least a couple other releases, notably “Cherrie – 42553” / “Come Back Baby” by the Ferris Wheel (formerly the Ecstatics) of Union City, Indiana. Members of the Ferris wheel included Danny Percolosi, Tim Skiver, Dick Gaddis, Roger Graham, Bob Lykins, and Nick McNutt. Producer on that 45 was Ed Roehling, Captain Bob Jinkins was engineer, and Jim Dempsey did A&R.

The Shooting Stars 45 on Randolph lacks all these credits, but like the Ferris Wheel, the labels read “Distributed by Sims Recordings.” Randolph also released a country gospel single by Harold Hawley.

I’m not sure I’ve heard the Shooting Stars’ second release, “I Watch the Clock”, an original by the group published by Club Miami, BMI. The flip is a version of Ritchie Valens’ “Donna”.Shooting Stars, Airtown Custom 45 I Watch the Clock

Airtown Custom Records started in Dayton, Ohio, but had moved to Richmond, Indiana by the time of the Shooting Stars 45. According to Buckeye Beat, here were about a dozen other releases on the label. The Shooting Stars may date to about 1968.

Information on Randolph label from Indiana45s.com

Amway Discography

Amway was the label of Alpo Music Productions of Sellersburg, Indiana, across the Ohio River and north of Louisville, Kentucky.

I haven’t heard the Torments or the Profiles yet, but the others are all excellent, if primitively recorded and performed.

The Torments came from northern Kentucky. The Classics came from Paintsville, Kentucky – for more on them see the separate post. The recordings were likely made in a backroom of a radio station or very basic studio in Louisville, KY or Jeffersonville, IN, and the tapes were sent to RCA’s custom service for pressing.

This discography may be incomplete – any help with info and scans would be appreciated!

The Octives – “Love” (Bob Burton, Bruno Music BMI) / Laughing At Me” SK4M-6174/5 (second half of 1965)

The Classics – “Trisha” / “I’m Hurtin'” (Garland, Titlow,& Donahue, Playridge Music BMI) (825M-4956, T4KM-4956, first half of 1966)

The Emotions – “Every Man” (John S. Hodge, Playridge, BMI) / “I Just Do It” (825M-4957, T4KM-4957/8, first half of 1966)

The Profiles – “If You Need Me” (Golden & Bateman) / “Please Come Back” (Marion Howard and Mike Howard, Playridge, BMI) 825M-5840, T4KM-5840/1, first half of 1966, Mel-O-Dee Entertainment, Inc.)

The Torments – “Lying to Me” (Buddy Perryman – Tim Feldman, Playridge Music, BMI) / “I Love You More Each Day” (824P-3715, TK4M-3715/6)

If anyone has photos or info on any of these bands please get in contact with me at chas_kit [at] hotmail.com

Sources include www.45rpmrecords.com/KY/Amway.php

The Tradewinds

This unknown group recorded one of the strangest versions of Jessie Hill’s “Ooh Poh Pah Doo” I’ve ever heard, titled “Oop-Oop-a-Doo”. Unfortunately there is no name listed under the song writing credits for “Floatin'”, a cool instrumental with sax, piano and some sharp guitar.

Jim Gordon of USA Records started the Destination label to cover bands from the area around his Chicago base, though this group may be from Indiana.

The was a group called the Trade Winds that eventually morphed into Styx, but I think it’s likely a different group. Nor were they the Tradewinds from New York who recorded for Kama Sutra. Anyone know for sure?

Thanks to Geoff Brittingham for the scans and transfers of this 45.