The Venue Was Mile High Stadium – June 11th, 1994 – Jan & Dean in Denver
“There were fifty-five thousand people in Mile High Stadium” Bob Greene’s account begins, telling of his participation in the Jan & Dean Summer Tour which combined with several other “oldie” acts in Denver. The appearance came right on the heels of a 60,000 strong audience in Pittsburgh, by far the largest audience that Bob had experienced with the famed surf and hot-rod duo to that time.
The line-up that day included The Mama & Papas, America, the Beach Boys (minus Brian Wilson) and a rather famous female quartet. Bob relates “There weren’t enough dressing trailers for each act to have its own, so we had to share. (We) found ourselves, in the hours before the concert, drinking beer out of bottles in our trailer, musing, with each dip, about a row of spangly gowns were hanging in the trailer’s closet.”
And lo and behold in short order in walked Motown’s Martha & the Vandellas! The band members for Jan and Dean were politely asked to turn their heads if they weren’t leaving the trailer, while the Vandellas changed into their gowns.
Just after Jan and Dean and company completed their 30 minute set, a limo pulled up and out popped the Beach Boys who had nearly missed the concert due to an late flight in from Utah.
Greene continues, “So (the Beach Boys) talked with us by the side of the stage while their roadies arranged their instruments, and then the promoter said it was time (for the Beach Boys to go on). I still had my guitar under my arms; as they started the stairs to sing, Al Jardine said offhandedly to me, ‘How’s the sound?’ ‘Good’, I said.
“I walked a few feet until I was alone. I didn’t even want to attempt to tell the others what all of this was meaning to me. ‘How’s the sound?’ From Al Jardine. I looked up at the stars in the Colorado night. I put myself back in that car in the middle of Ohio, all those years ago (as a teen).
When much of this music was future tense, when the Beach Boys hadn’t written most of it yet, and we waited for them to think it up and somehow get it to us. ‘How’s the sound?’
“The Sound is wonderful, thank you.”
KIMN Radio – January, 1970
I located this January 3rd, 1970 KIMN Top 50 Survey which was accompanied by a two-page “Newsletter” authored by then station program director Ross Reagan.
The survey lists local Boulder, Colorado band Zephyr’s long play self-titled LP on the Probe Record label in the number 7 position on KIMN’s weekly “Hit Parade Albums” , which featured guitar player supreme, Tommy Bolin on lead.
That LP represented Zephyr’s only journey onto the national Billboard Hot 200 LP charts, rising to a peak position in late 1969 of #48, enjoying a 26 week run.
The Stone Canyon Band
Other local recording talent on the survey is represented by Rick Nelson’s rendition of Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs To Me” backed by the Stone Canyon Band which included two former members of Denver’s Soul Survivors; Patrick Shanahan and Alan Kemp. Future Eagle Randy Meisner was also a member of the Stone Canyon Band, having followed Kemp an Shanahan from Denver’s all-star 60’s group, “The Poor”.
Kemp and Shanahan would move on from the Stone Canyon Band to The New Riders of the Purple Sage.
Denver’s Judy Collins, an East High School graduate, resides at number 31 with her second release of “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, a song previously recorded by the Byrds. Elektra had first released the single in 1964 without any chart success (before the Byrds). The 1969/70 release peaked at number 69. The Byrds 1965 version went all the way to number 1 for three weeks. Weaver’s folk group member Pete Seeger adapted the lyrics from Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Seeger had joined the Young Communist Party as a teenager and later the Communist Party U.S.A. in 1942 and remained a member until 1949. In the mid 1950’s he would be called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), where he refused to name associates names affiliated with the Communist Party. (HUAC – although often attributed to Joe McCarthy – was not a committee associated with him. Joe McCarthy’s focus was strictly on the people who infiltrated the Federal Government departments and never the entertainment industry).
Denver has the distinction of having been the very first venue for England’s super group Led Zeppelin. The group launched their U.S. tour on December 26th, 1968 at the Denver Auditorium.
The group’s second LP resides in the number 1 position on this KIMN Survey, with an erroneous reference to the “Atco” label vs. Zeppelin’s “Atlantic label. Their single “Whole Lotta Love” sits at the number 3 position and on the rise – also attributed to Atco. I remember purchasing this single while on leave back at my home in Denver, prior to being shipped over to Phan Rang in Vietnam for my one year tour.
The poster illustrated here was for Led Zeppelin’s follow-up tour
Colorado DJ Lisa Wheeler sent me the Van Trevor market advertisement below. The ad is from Trevor’s post Band Box days, where he began his country recording career. Van Trevor, as would be the case with many Band Box artists, never recorded in the Band Box studios or in Denver but would be released through the label via Band Box owner Vicky Morrison’s promotional efforts back east in in the South. A diverse range of artists were released on Band Box in this manner such as Penny Starr, Johnny Dollar, Steve Gibson & the Red Caps, Joe Valino and others.
KIMN, entering the 1970’s, was experiencing pressure from advertisers who were waning in their willingness to place advertising into a radio station catering to a teen audience. That worked very well in the 1960’s. During that time KIMN enjoyed a huge audience share in the Denver market (and beyond) garnering over 55 percent of the audience, a figure which still has not been matched to this day.
But the future would present a challenge, which KIMN gamely faced through the 1970’s finally succumbing in the early 1980’s.
The survey displayed below promotes a KIMN Long Play three pack, featuring three volumes of KIMN hits – offered in local Denver stores.
(Program Directors Ross Reagan and Don West below)