New Mobile Strugglers’ Legacy
I received some interesting correspondence this week from Howard Richoux relating the following regarding Colorado’s New Mobile Strugglers from Loveland:
“Hi – I attended college with Steve for the year he was at Doane College (Crete Nebraska) and enjoyed playing and singing with him. I actually put a hole in his guitar while carrying it back to the dorm after a “coffee house” in the campus center on an icy sidewalk. I still feel bad about it…
I do have a copy of the album and am in the process of converting it to MP3 – not happy with the first try. I had a small stack of them, but they are long since gone during some previous move. I will post here when I have a good conversion and someone can figure out the copyright ownership issues.
I am sad to learn of his passing, but that is starting to be more frequent these days as we age (gracefully or not).”
And (recently) “I woke up in the middle of the night recalling a notebook which I still had, where I had Steve record some lyrics and chords for some additional songs he wrote. I see it has ‘The Sailin’ Mornin’ Mist’, ‘An Educated Man’, ‘Home’, ‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow‘.
‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’ I recall was his latest and greatest work – his longing to return to Velma and Colorado. I lost touch with Steve after he left Doane, and have no idea if he wrote these songs down anywhere else or worked on them later. I really need to make contact with his family – this notebook belongs with them.”
I inquired weather or not Howard was aware of a Band Box Records 45 by the Strugglers, and he had not seen or heard of such a release (Band Box 205 – “Wait For The Door to Swing Back” b/w “Satisfy Your Mind” which apparently was never released.
Van Trevor in Cash Box
Colorado’s music historian/DJ – Lisa Wheeler sent me this Band Box advertisement which appeared in Cash Box magazine in the 1960’s. Note that his producer/manager Dick Heard is listed based in New York which is what I suspected because Band Box owner Vicky Morosan worked closely with music industry operatives on the East Coast.
The Beast Emerges
I located this nice poster in an antique mart here in Denver. This poster coincides with the group’s 1969 Cotillion record label release “The Beast”.
Located this Denver radio station bumper sticker on Ebay last week. KDKO was Denver’s early country and western station turned “soul format” in the 1970’s into the 1980’s,
Denver’s Own Ink Spots
Ink Spot historian extraordinaire Austin Casey contacted me this past week filling in another piece of the Denver version of the Ink Spots. He relates:
“I’m always doing research so I’m sure theres a lot more I’ll learn about George Holmes, but I thought you’d be interested to know that he was born in Denver. That probably explains the Band Box LP. Just thought you’d like to know. I’ll let you know if I find out more info relevant to your webpage.”
And next Austin followed with this bit which now places four of the five Denver-version of the Ink Spots firmly with Denver links:
“Hi Craig, I’ve got one more for ya… Herman McCoy was another Denver guy. in the 1940s he formed his first “Swing Choir” from folks living in Five Points. I don’t know if he was “from” Denver but he studied music there at least… and lived there. He later worked with and directed choirs who recorded for folks like Dean Martin, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington and lord knows how many others. The Herman McCoy choir was on dozens of records backing pop artists. Here is a clip of him working with Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music suite.”
Shown below is a later version of the George Holmes’ Ink Spots:
In the 1960’s Holmes paired up with Denver’s Joel Cowan, who taught music for a very long time in the Mile High City. Holmes is bottom right and Cowan upper left.