One of several bands called the Impacts in Washington state, this group was from Longview, a small city along the Columbia River, a half-hour’s drive north of Portland. Original members were Ron Baldwin and LaDonna Lockman on vocals, Bruce Farquhar on guitar, Dick Sayles keyboards, Bill Uhlig bass and Spook Brusco on drums.
By the time of their first 45, Dan “Spyder” White and Steve Green had replaced Sayles and Brusco, respectively, and LaDonna Lockman had either left the band or was only appearing at their live gigs, as she isn’t on any of their recordings.
They recorded their first 45 at Northwestern Inc., the legendary Portland studio where the Kingsmen cut Louie Louie, and paid the studio to press it on its NWI label. “A Little Bit More” is a fine original, and may have helped get them signed with Pat Mason, a major booking agent in the Pacific Northwest.
“Leavin’ Here” is an Eddie Holland song on Motown that became a staple of live acts like the Who and the Birds in the UK, but in the states was less often covered. The Impacts probably learned it from Jimmy Hanna & the Dynamics’ version on Bolo.
Compared to the frantic pace of the UK groups who recorded “Leaving Here”, the Dynamics and the Impacts versions take a much more languid approach. The Dynamics make it work with swirling organ fills and horns responding to the vocal lines. The Impacts start off well, with a sharper sound than the Dynamics, but the band somehow fails to generate the energy to make this work, especially on the chorus.
Once signed with Pat Mason, the Impacts started releasing records on his Lavender label, and recording at Bob Gibson’s Ripcord Studio in Vancouver, WA.
“Green Green Field” and “Don’t You Dare” show a much more confident and accomplished band. Like “A Little Bit More,” these two songs are originals by Dan White (Robert Douglas White on the BMI registration).
After this record they changed their name to the Impact Express and released three additional 45s on Lavender in progressively pop stylings. I’d feature “I’m Gonna Change the World” if I had a copy, but by “Sunshine Day” they sounds like a completely different band.
A Little Bit More / Leavin’ Here (NWI 2006)
Don’t You Dare/Green Green Field (Lavender 2005)
The Impact Express:
I’m Gonna Change The World/ You Get Your Kicks (Lavender 2006)
Sunshine Day / Don’t You Dare (Lavender 2007)
A Little Love/Fly With Me (Lavender 2008)
Photo from PNW Bands