Category Archives: Montana

The Wanderers (Montana)

The Wanderers with Chan Romero and Kostas
The Wanderers “with Chan Romero and Kostas right after the recording session for ‘Don’t Pity Me'” – David Day

Collin PruitWanderers Warrior 45 Don't Pity Me sent in scans and transfers of a very obscure 45 on Chan Romero’s Warrior label, Warrior L-140, The Wanderers “Don’t Pity Me” / “Give Me All You Got”. It sounds like 1965 or 1966. Collin and I agree that “Don’t Pity Me” is fine, low-key garage. The pressing is noisy even though the record Collin found was near mint.

“Don’t Pity Me” was written by D. Day, and the flip by Day and J. Newstrom.

In June 2013, drummer Jan Cahill wrote to me:

The Wanderers got together in the early fall of 1965.  All of us were high school students (seniors) and I was contacted by David Day (he attended Billings West with me although I did not know him) as he heard I was a drummer and he wanted to put together a rock band. I cannot remember how he knew Danny Barnhart (Danny was our bass player and he lived in Laurel and attended high school in Laurel). Jerry Newstrom was a guitar player that I had heard of but really did not know all that well until we started practicing in … you guessed it … Danny’s garage.

We practiced for about two, maybe three months, and then began playing various weekends in and around Billings. We almost always had two nights a week which included the following places in Billings:  What’s Happening, Lake Hills Golf (teen center in basement of club house), Shrine Auditorium, the Pub … and quite a few teen dances in Red Lodge, Laurel, Bozeman, Roundup, Lewistown, Deer Lodge, Butte, Great Falls, Plentywood (once 30 below zero when we played there), Columbia Falls, Powell, Wyoming, Thermompolis, Wyoming, Casper, Wyoming, Miles City, Montana. For the most part we barely made enough money to pay the rent on the halls, security, and gas for travel. A “good” night would provide each of us $20-$30 each after all expenses. A “bad” night and we had to chip in a few dollars to cover costs. BUT WE HAD A BLAST PLAYING!!

We were one Billings’ top teenage rock bands along with other bands such as the Frantics, Peter & the Wolves, Sound Establishment, Imperials.  I am sure there other bands but I cannot remember their names.

Wanderers Photo Teen Town 66
“This one is at Teen Town “66” with Kip Sherman (Kim’s Brother) in the line up.” – David Day

Our major claim to “fame” as a teenage rock band was the fact the we won the “State Battle of the Bands” at the Yellowstone County Fair in the summer of 1966.  I believe we beat out fifteen other bands from all over the state to be #1. I still have the plaque presented to the band from Governor Tim Babcock that evening.  Each band played two songs and if my memory serves me correctly we played “Paint it Black” and “Ticket to Ride”. After we won we were then able to play one more song and I think it was “Walk Away Renee”. The grand finale was for all bands to perform “Gloria” which was the loudest (up to that time) I had ever heard bands play. There were several thousand spectators who watched all of the bands play throughout the early afternoon until the final performances in the early evening.  It was one of the most exciting times (probably the MOST exciting) of the Wanderers.

The Wanderers Warrior 45 Give Me All You Gotrecord was recorded in a local studio which explains the rather tin quality. I think we had 500 copies pressed. We recorded the songs in the thought that the Wanderers would be the next “Beatles or Rolling Stones”. Obviously that did not happen.

I have recorded several other 45’s with two different bands and those recordings were done in professional studios in Vancouver, Washington and Lubbock, Texas. I still have one of the records (Bobby Dann & the Generation Gap) but the other record has long ago disappeared (Gary Mundon Band). Unfortunately I do not have any pictures or posters from the Wanderers. Those that I had have long ago disappeared and the only reason I still have the plaque is that I somehow was smart enough to give it to my parents after the Battle of the Bands and my mother kept it all these years. I found it when I was going though her stuff after she passed away three years ago.   

Eventually I left the Wanderers in early 1967 to join a road band that was on the Nevada circuit and make more money … a whopping $110.00 per week plus motel room. David Day moved to California and  he eventually split up with Rick Mars and stayed with Whitehorse while several other band members formed Motley Crue. You can see their history by going to the Motley Crue website and you will see pictures of David Day.  

Jerry got married and I think stopped playing and I have no clue what happened to Danny and Dennis Devlin.  I talked with David Day about a half dozen years and he was still playing and was also a producer.

I played music professionally for another fifteen years on a steady basis in the area of country-rock and continue to play about two – four times a month.  I had the pleasure/honor of playing with Wynn Stewart, Rex Allen Jr., and one night with Ray Price (his drummer was sick and Ray needed a drummer to play a concert in Great Falls, Montana, in the summer of 1975). 

Bobby Dann and the Generation Gap performed at the J Bar T (Great Falls, Montana) between 1970-1976 and we always took three months off to perform in Nevada, Washington, Oregon and Canada.  We played the Calgary Stampede, Edmonton Klondike Days, Carson City, Lake Tahoe, Reno, Fallon, Ely, Winnimucca, Gardenerville, (all in Nevada) but never in Las Vegas.  We (Bobby Dann) also had our own nationally syndicated television show (1972) that ran for eighteen weeks.

It was a great time for all of us and one that I will always remember with great affection. 

Jan Cahill, 2013

See the Warrior page for more info on the label.

The Wanderers – Don’t Pity Me
The Wanderers – Give Me All You Got

Thank you to David Day for the photos seen here, which Dave Martens forwarded to me in October, 2014.

Wanderers Photo Final Lineup 1967
Final lineup of the Wanderers, 1967
“The final lineup with me doing what I still do, guitar and keyboards. Dennis Devlin and I are just weeks from joining up with the Frantics.” – David Day

The various Warrior labels

Chan Romero’s Warrior label from Montana
“Jane” by Kostas Lazarides
Pueblo, Colorado group on a small Montana label!

I’m trying to clear up some of the confusion about the various Warrior labels that existed in Texas, Montana, Louisiana and California.

Let’s start with Chan Romero’s Warrior label from Billings, Montana:

I’ve read that Chan, a one-time Pueblo, Colorado resident best known for writing and recording “Hippy Hippy Shake” owned the Warrior label that released the great single “I Don’t Recall” by the Trolls (also from Pueblo). I was uncertain of this, as a notice in Billboard announcing the formation of Romero’s Warrior label in Billings, Montana came much later – 1971. However, Lisa Wheeler of Pueblo City Limits related that Chan told her he was indeed the owner of Warrior, starting it in Billings as early as 1962.

Stan Campbell on Warrior
Chan’s Warrior label with horseman logo

Billings, Montana. Chan Romero, owner, circa 1962-1966:

likely incomplete – any help with this would be appreciated
Warrior L-128 – Kostas – “Something We Call Love” (C. Romero) / “Jane” (Kostas Lazarides) ( Crooked Rock Music, BMI, 1962 or later)
Warrior L-140-1- The Wanderers – “Don’t Pity Me” / “Give Me All You Got”
Warrior L-173 – Trolls – “I Don’t Recall” (Richard Gonzales, Warrior Tunes BMI) / “Stupid Girl” (November 1966)
Warrior L-219 – Chan Romero – “Lost In Love” / “Billie” (can anyone provide a label scan?)
Warrior OV-105 – Stan Campbell – “Any Time” (Happy Lawson) / “Just One More Dance” (Stan Campbell) (date?)
Warrior WS-106 – Faith, Hope & Charity – “That’s What the People Said” / “Hey, Hey World” (1971),
Warrior WS-114 – Lonnie Bell and the Yellowstone Dudes “The Last Mile” / “Montana Song”
Warrior NRF-542 – Chan Romero – “The Best Thing I Ever Had” / “The Fire in My Light” (“recorded in Canada”)

For more info see also:
Chan Romero discography at WangDangDula.com.
Interview with Chan Romero at Rockabilly N Blues Records.

Other Warrior discographies:
Any help with these would be appreciated:

Pleasanton, Texas label
same Texas company as the Dayton Smith 45, but moved 30 miles north to San Antonio with different label design

Pleasanton, Texas and San Antonio. E.J. Henke, owner, 1957-1959. Emil J. Henke would go on to own the Satin label also covered on this site.

Warrior WA 501 – Dayton Smith & the Roving Warriors – “What Will the Answer Be” / “Standing by a Seashore”
Warrior WA 502 – Red Hilburn – “Three Words” / “The Rambling Blues”
Warrior WA 503 – Opal Jean – “I’ll Never Forget My Kind of Boy” / “I Heard His Heart Break Last Night” (reviewed in Billboard Sept. 30, 1957)
Warrior WA 504 – Franklin Smith with Roving Warriors Band – “No Wonder I Wonder” / “A Golden Dream of You” (1957, blue ‘Chief’ label with Pleasanton address)
Warrior WA 505 – Jerry Smith – “I Don’t Care What They Say” / “I Couldn’t Win Your Love” (1958)
Warrior WA 506 – Al Dean & His All Stars – “Fragile Heart” / “Blue Sky Waltz”
Warrior WA 507 – Doug Sahm & the Pharoahs – “Crazy Daisy” / “If I Ever Need You”
Warrior WA 508 – Al Dean – “I Shot Billy” / ? (1959)

Hollywood rockabilly label from late ’50s

Hollywood, California, 1959:

Warrior W-1554 – Bobby Lee Trammell – “Open Up Your Heart” / “Woe Is Me” (May 1959)
Warrior W-1555 – Curtis Lee – “Pure Love” / “With All My Heart (I Love You)” (1959)
Warrior W-1556 – Joey Norman – “King of Fools” / “Heart of Mine”
Warrior W-1557 – ?
Warrior W-1558 – ?
Warrior W-1559 – ?
Warrior W-1560 – Frankie Knight – “Unchained Melody” / “Call Me”

Warrior label from North Hollywood
Warrior label from North Hollywood

North Hollywood, owned by Tom Sawyer, 1966

Only one release I know of:
Warrior W-166 – Our Gang – “Careless Love” (D. Duvall, Huckleberry Music, BMI) / Heartbeat (1966, prod. by Tom Sawyer)

Doesn’t seem to be connected to the earlier Warrior label from Hollywood. Tom Sawyer also had the Trident label. Our Gang were from Buena Park by Los Angeles (info from Mike Markesich). This band Our Gang is not the Colorado Springs group who cut “Rapunzel” / “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”.

Simon T. Stokes Warrior 45 Big City BluesSimon T. Stokes Warrior 45 Pow! Zap! (I'm the Bat)

Another Warrior label from California

Warrior SM-1007/SM-1008 – Simon T. Stokes “Big City Blues” (Clifton) / “Pow! Zap! (I’m the Bat)” (Murray-Clifton) January 1966, produced by John Herring, Sawtell & Herring Music, ASCAP

Simon Stokes would record several different versions of “Big City Blues”. After the Warrior release, he would cut it for the HBR label (HBR 487) in July of ’66, with new flip “Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction” (Simon Stokes) and arrangement credited to Harold R. Battiste, Jr., and A&R by Larry Goldberg. He made a third version b/w “Cobwebs” on the In-Sound label in 1967, and also released it on MGM K14135 as by Simon Stokes and the Night Hawks, prod. by Michael Lloyd for Voodoo Prod. Stokes was also a member of the Perpetual Motion Workshop (“Infiltrate Your Mind” / “Won’t Come Down” on Rally), the Flower Children (“Mini Skirt Blues” on Castil and Allied) and recorded as Simon T. Stokes & the Nite Hawks on Elektra.

Louisiana:
1001 – Guy Spitale – “Who’s That Woman” (W-101) / “It’s Over Forever” (W-102)

1002 – Guy Spitale – “Returning Your Letters” (W-103 )/ “Scroungy” (W-104) (white label w/ red printing)

Unknown locations:
RFF 777 – Ivan X – “Edge of Night” / “Tell Tale Heart”

Special thanks to Westex of Lone Star Stomp, Drunkenhobo, Bob of Dead Wax, Collin Pruit of Inkmathematics, Dave Martens, Kurt Rokitta and Andy for their contributions to these discographies. Thank you to Dominic Welhouse for the Simon T. Stokes scans.

Check out Dave Marten’s page on Montana bands at Long Time Comin’ – Lost Sounds from the Treasure State.

Thank you also to Lisa Wheeler for scans, info and continued updates regarding Chan Romero.

Gered & Dodique of the Gremlins

Collin Pruitt of Ink Mathematicssuggested I cover this super-obscure acoustic 45 by Gered & Dodique of the Gremlins that he found in Montana. At first listen you might peg them as hippies, which may be correct, but the songs are not light-hearted, even if “Silent Meditation” mentions “free love” and “I’ve taken LSD so I can fly”. Both were written by Krueger and Smith – Gered Krueger and Dodique Smith?

“Store Away These Thoughts” is the more uptempo song, asking people to listen to their words that “one man may have thought he had the answer, but we’ll never know because he died.”

“Silent Meditation” opens with harmonies reminiscent of “Homeward Bound”. Searching for some knowledge that “will some day bring my way life’s happiness”, the writer says he might “end it all” and finishes with “I couldn’t pass away my cares and my tribulations, so you won’t have to help me anymore, because I won’t be here tonight.”

I can’t find any info on Gered & Dodique, or any reference to a Gremlins with members Krueger and Smith. Mid-America Production (M.A.P.) booked other groups across the upper midwest, like the Trenchmen, so a Montana location for this duo is a likely possibility.

The National Records number 8-8821 is a code of the Kaybank plant in Minneapolis, though that doesn’t mean the songs were recorded there. Mike Markesich’s breakdown of the Kaybank codes indicates a date of April-May, 1968.