North Bridge Company

“Strange Land, Strange People” reminds me of some of the Strawberry Alarm Clock’s songs, and has a solo section with organ and piano in unison. Songwriting is by Dennis Stewart. The flip “Crying All Alone,” is similar in sound and was written by Greg Schuller.

Released on the Sand “G” label in 1968 it was also put out on the Golden Voice label with the band’s production address listed at 1118 Nowland, Peoria, Illinois.

I didn’t know anything about the band until Ed Mooberry left his comment (see below) and Deborah Shawgo contacted me.

Members of the band were:

Greg Schuller (lead vocals)
Mike Summerville (lead guitar) replaced by Gary Shawgo (lead guitar, backing vocals)
Ed Mooberry (rhythm guitar)
Dennis Stewart (keyboards)
Mike Creek (bass)
Frank Ballard (drums)

Gary Shawgo had been in the Furniture, who are likely the group out of Galesburg that released “Keep on Running” / “I Love It Baby” on Stature, though I don’t know if Gary was in the group when the record was released. Deborah Shawgo remembered the Furniture often playing “Keep on Running” live.

Other members of the Furniture were Ron Stockard on keyboards (he later joined Chaka Khan – though I’ve seen his name spelled Ron Stockert), and Jerry “Pork” Armstrong who had a lot of success with his own group Pork and the Havana Ducks and passed away in 2003. Randy Moody is another name I associate with the Furniture as he wrote “I Love It Baby”.

By the time he joined the North Bridge Company, Gary was attending the University of Missouri at Rolla, and commuting back on weekends for gigs and rehearsal. Gary and Deborah Shawgo had a group in the late ’80s called Sudden Impact in Springfield, IL. Gary passed away in 2007.

10 thoughts on “North Bridge Company”

  1. Actually, I consider the ‘Crying All Alone’ side to be far superior. Guess I just like punky girl put down vocals with scabrous guitar break songs better than that the prog/psych/stuff flip. OH Nooooo!!!!!

  2. I was with the North Bridge Company in 1968 when the record was released, however I was drafted the following June. Dennis Stewart authored Strange Land and Strange people and performed all of the keyboard work. Crying all Alone was authored by Lead Singer Greg Schuller. The Nowland address was that of drummer Frank Ballard. I played rythm guitar and sang backup, while Gary Shawgo of Mason City played Lead Guitar and sang backup. Mike Creek from the Limestone community played bass. Gary replaced our original lead guitarist Mike Summerville, who notably went on to Head East fame. Michael was a very talented 15 year old when I met him playing on a black solid body Hagstrom, in fact on his 15th birthday he received Fender Vibrolux. Mike’s brother, Scott was the lead singer for the Suburban 9 to 5 featuring Gary Richraft on lead guitar who eventually played rythm for REO. Feel free to direct any inquiries to the above noted e-mail and I’ll be happy to respond.

  3. Gary Shawgo was my brother and although I was just a teen at the time, I remember when this record came out. I like Crying All Alone better, too.

  4. I used to own this record when I was a kid. Crying All Alone was a local top ten hit in Peoria, and was considered the A side. I’m happy to see its inclusion here.

  5. I am Gary’s cousin and found this site while doing a “one hit wonders” show here in Orlando…I DO remember having this record and playing it on my close and play! NOW I gave it some love on the airwaves! Thanks for the “Blast from the Past”!

  6. Isee than there is no mention of Denny Stewart, what ever happend to him, loved the band played at our High School and would follow them to various night spots they played at in the 60s. Just curious.

  7. In the mid 1960s I was just a kid growing up half a block from Frank Ballard’s house on Nowland Street in Peoria. I remember one summer hearing music coming from somewhere up the street, so I went to investigate. It was a band playing in Frank’s garage. I remember it was the very first time I ever heard/saw anyone playing live music. Frank and some other older guys (older… teenagers… I was probably about 9) were playing Tommy James’ Hanky Panky.

  8. The sixties and seventies was a fun time for the band. I wrote many songs and we performed the over a tri-state area. Through the seventies we opened for several top pop bands and even got on the billboard with the Iron Beautyfly and Tommy James and the Shondels at the state fair. Oh to be young again.

  9. Didnt Richrsth play lead for REO? Used to hang around with Greg before he joined Northbridge… I still have thst 45… and Paul Duncan who owned S&G music on N. Adams St. backed the record

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