Children Atwell PS I Long To See Her

The Children on Atwell

Along a scenic mountain parkway stretch of I-65 heading south, past Bowling Green and just north of the Tennessee border, in a tiny Kentucky town called Mundfordville, in Hart County, tucked on the hill above the moving Green River, a group of teenage boys formed a band in the winter of ’65.

Hearing the happening mid-sixties sounds of the Byrds, the Animals, the Beatles and the Stones, these boys got stars in their eyes and took up instruments, calling themselves December’s Children, named after the cold season upon them.

The members were:

  • Mike ‘Hoot’ Gibson / guitar, vox (Gibson ES 330)
  • Sam Goodman / lead guitar, fuzz ( Fender Telecaster)
  • Clint Nichols / bass (Fender)
  • Mike Rife / drums, vox

Honing their skills and gaining local popularity in Munfordville at the town’s teen club called ‘The Nightmare’ – the group of high school boys shortened their name to ‘The Children’ and  went on to play Hart County ‘courthouse fairs’, gigs in nearby Glasgow and also competed in the State Fair in Louisville about an hour north.

With a solid high school fan base and local support, the community was pushing them to make a record. By 1968, the members were all seniors and would graduate that following summer- all except Sam who was already a few years older and had his own wheels. The band had about 50 cover songs in the pocket, mostly dialed in on current rock radio hits of the day.

Children Atwell PS I Long To See Her

Disappearing to the parent’s basement, Mike and Sam penned two original songs that year and a recording session was appointed at Atwell Studio about an hour and a half’s drive south in Lafayette, Tennessee. The band loaded their gear in Sam’s car and excitedly roared down the road. The resulting session yielded two amazing tracks, done in one take that summer of ’68.


“I Long To See Her” b/w “Lost Soul Seeker In the Rain” was released later that year on the Atwell label and was issued with a simple picture sleeve of the band with a portrait that was made in a small photography studio along the way in Glasgow. It is not known how many copies of the record were pressed. Sources say that Lorne Atwell would often only have 100 run pressings done of the secular groups that came through the door, as Atwell was mostly a gospel/country label. The group never had any other draft or sketch of another original song, but stayed active as the Children until around ’72. Nonetheless, the two sides made for Atwell that summer have forever set them in garage punk unknown history stone.

The Children from the 1969 Hart County High School yearbook
The Children in December 1968, from the 1969 Hart County High School yearbook

Mike Gibson still lives in Mundfordville and continues to write and perform contemporary christian music. Many thanks to him for sharing his memories of the band from which this article was produced and for the photo from the class of ’69 Hart Co. High School yearbook that shows the band in action (Christmas of ’68).

Mike Rife died in Mundfordville in 2011.

The other band members are still residing in Kentucky, and were unable to be contacted for this article.

Extra special thanks to John Freeman, mayor of Mundforville for sharing his memories, sourcing the record and arranging the interview with Hoot.

Lee Bryant and Mike 'Hoot' Gibson

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