Marvin Meiers – Johnny Neill and Columbine
I had a unique experience yesterday – I purchased a 78 rpm record – something I rarely do. Can’t even recall when I last made such a purchase (10 years?) Oh yes! I bought a Carl Perkins 78 about three years ago in Fort Collins.
An this time – which I am certain is a first – I bought a record that was essentially broken into two very distinct (well – one piece was totally missing) pieces! But I had to purchase it because it was a release on Karl Zomar’s old Columbine label which is suspected to be an ancestor perhaps to Denver’s long-defunct Band Box label.
Actually my familiarity with Columbine dates back quite a few years now when I came across a “Band Box Story” Posted on Lisa Wheeler’s “North of Pueblo” Blog Site. You can visit her article here and a scan of her Will Graves 78 on Columbine.
This Columbine 78 is the first I have come across – Columbine WC-51 – “Will You Remember?” b/w “My Lovely Lady” both penned by Walter Cooper and performed by Marvin Meiers accompanied by Johnny Neill and His Orchestra – Neill is a known performer who migrated to Colorado from the Midwest. Neill worked for Lawrence Welk for several years and penned the song “Bubbles In The Wine” which became a moniker track for the Welk Band – It is the primary theme that Lawrence used to begin his long running television program. When lyrics were applied the song erroneously was credit to Frank Loesser. There is also a contemporary (still performing) Johnny Neill in Denver – a fiddler who I have contacted but not heard back from – regarding any possible relationship.
Neill Eventually departed Welk – joined the army and finally settled in Colorado fronting his own Orchestra – He performed at many venues around Denver and the Front Range. Here is his story on “Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show” Web Site.
Marvin Meiers is more of a mystery but I found this “Radio Listing” which has him associated with performing (“Marvin Meiers Sings”) on the Fort Collins radio station KCOL – (still broadcasting today – Thank You Reader). This had to be in the late 1940’s after the war.
I located this entry for Cooper on CU’s Libraries “Post 1920” Sheet Music Page – A nice site which documents many Colorado composers and songs about Colorado
Cooper, Walter, B. Colorado’s Calling. Fort Collins: Cooper Music Co., 1947.