From the Land of Band Box Records

Around, About & Beyond the World of Colorado Music – Part 103

April 11, 2017

Past Colorado Musicians/Friends/Family Check In……

Had some interesting comments come in this past few weeks from the PopRockBopTilUDrop family.

From Judy Cowan Thomas:

Ink Spot Cowan Back Left – George Holmes Middle

“I am George Holmes Niece and Joel Cowan Daughter yes I have many memories of them practicing in our Living room I still have material and instruments of my fathers Uncle George was not born in Denver but was born in .Colorado so Talented was my family I have pictures of my father with Nat King Cole I loved them deeply….”



From “Joel Cowan Jr.”

Another Joel Cowan offspring checked in as well (not sure of real name):

“That was my dad and everybody calls me Joel Jr.  I’m a saxophone player my daddy got me started on guitar when I was about four years old but I switched to the Reed instruments.

He got me a clarinet when I was six and I moved going to the Reed instruments after that. My favorite is the baritone sax which I still play to this day.

When you talk about the Tropics, my dad on that club when I was little he used to take me to five points where he played which is responsible for me getting into the Navy Band.

I played my first gig with him at Fitzsimons Officer’s Club.  I played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on my clarinet.  When the spotlights hit me I knew what I was going to do with the rest of my life.  One more thing, he was one of the first black musicians to play in Japan.

I miss my dad very much to this day.

PS: I forgot one last thing for you good people my dad also played with Nat King Cole when he had a trio.”

Obviously, Joel Cowan was a heck of a nice guy!

(Visit my Ink Spots’ page to learn more about his musical journey)

From Frank Kavelin:

Frank Kavelin – Lute Records

(Frank is the label owner of the southern California record label “Lute Records”, which was founded back in the day by his father and which exploded onto the pop scene with the release of “Alley Oop” by recording industry personality Gary Paxton performing with studio musicians as “The Hollywood Argyles”.  The Kavelin family has close ties with Colorado via their association with Morey Bernstein who partnered for a time with the senior Kavelin to form “Finer Arts” records out of L.A.

Bernstein eventually migrated the label to Denver, Colorado.

(“Hi Craig,

I’m contacting my favorite bloggers with the news that Lute Records is releasing its first new product since the 1970s!  The artist’s name is Julius Graham.  Although he is a country artist, he does novelties and Lute has had it’s best success with novelties.  His first two releases are entitled “She’s Young Enough To Be Your Daughter (But She’s Not)” and “Testosterone.”  You can click the following two links to listen to them.

(Click on the Links above to listen to the new Julius Graham cuts on Lute and let Frank know what you think.  Visit the Kavelin Music web site by clicking on the image below)

From Marty Cooper

Marty Cooper was born in Colorado at a very early age and remained into his teens.  He departed for greener pastures and has enjoyed a interesting and diverse career music, composing, producing and performing.

He composed or contributed  songs for the Kingston Trio, the Marathons (Peanut Butter), Jack Nitzsche (Lonely Surfer) and Bobby Day to name a few.  He was a member of the Shacklefords along with Lee Hazelzood.

“I just came across this amazing list of things with which I was (am) associated while setting up a google alert.  How ever did you find all those 45s?  All best,

Marty Cooper”

Visit my Marty Cooper Page

From Kenny Vaughan

This was a real treat to hear from Kenny Vaughan, the exceptionally talented guitarist who has done it all and continues to do it today:

“Hello, I was in Band Box Studio on a Saturday morning with my father sometime in late 1966 or 1967. We’d gone there to investigate recording my neighborhood band that started in the fall of 1966 in Littleton. The band went through several names, The Innersounds, Spox Creation, and Amos. The members were Dave McDonald on guitar, Doug Heath on Bass, Phil “Flip” Carter on Drums and myself, Kenny Vaughan on guitar.

We all sang. The thing that I most remember about the brief visit was a very cool, well dressed gentleman that looked like a cross between Ronnie Kae and Eddie Cochran came in, sporting a nice top coat, cool relaxed pompadour, nice suit, carrying a guitar case that could have been a Gretch 6120 style, and also carrying an Echoplex. He spoke with the engineer about what he was going to record.

Years later, I worked with Dewey Knight and Sammy Cee at the Club Corner. I’ve enjoyed reading all of your info, and I remember a good deal of the names mentioned. Great work! I’m still in the music biz. I live in Nashville and record there regularly. I am a member of Marty Stuart’s Fabulous Superlatives. We released our latest album, Way Out West, on March 10th”

Kenny (far right) with Marty Stuart

(I asked if Kenny learned the identity of the guitar player)

“I don’t think that we talked to the guitar player. I’ve never been able to figure out who he was. He looked like a star from the early 60s. I vaguely remember my Dad talking with the lady who ran the place, but mostly I remember that there was a guy who seemed to be an engineer conversing with the guitarist, and I remember the Ampex tape machine and the tube power amplifier that powered the monitor speakers. I wish that we had recorded there!

I believe that Sammy Cee passed quite awhile ago. I knew a lot of the people that you’ve mentioned. I played at Club Corner, The Caravan West, and Ollie’s Roundup a lot in the very early 80s. I also played out at The Four Seasons before it became an oldies place. I saw Buck Owens there in 1968.

I went to a ton of rock n roll shows from 1966 through 1976. Lovin Spoonful, Stones, both Cream Shows, all 3 Hendrix shows, many Dead shows, Doors, Big Brother, Howlin Wolf, Little Feet, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Allman Bros, The Who, Procol Harum, many Zappa shows, King Crimson, Ramones, The Nerves, ZZ Top, Joe Cocker & The Grease Band w/ Free and Ten Years After at Roller City(!), Deep Purple in Greely, Junior Wells & Buddy Guy in Boulder, saw the Astronauts at Euclid Jr High(!), Moonrakers, The Galaxies, Crystal Palace Guard, Holden Caufield, many Zephyr shows, John Mayal, The Jefferson Airplane, The Animals, lots of small jazz shows, life was good in Denver!

The Jonny III

I had a band called the Jonny III from 1976-1979 that played around Denver, Boulder, Chicago, the Midwest and NYC a lot. We played mostly songs that we wrote, and the audience was mostly the Alt Punk and alternative crowd. We had a fairly loyal following. I moved to Nashville in 1987.”

From a Boltz Family Five Descendent

“Hi! The Boltz Fanily Five were my grandparents, father, aunt and two uncles! Amazing you have documented them here. Thx!”

The Boltz family released an LP in 1he 1960’s on Denver’s Band Box Label, recording a collection of Hawaiian tunes in the Band Box studio – Hawaiian was their specialty.  The photo above is quite likely from a Band Box recording session.  I believe that is the piano which I have seen Band Box owner Vicky Morosan sitting at and tickling the keys.

From Paul Payton

Paul Payton (Left)

Good old Paul – another life long musician still going strong – See my recent Post “Living the Dream”

“I should add – as I think I did in the part – that I have Denver ties, although tenuous. In the revolving-door year of 1974, I was a DJ on KBPI; I lasted 7 weeks and was told I was #48 in a two-year period to either quit or get fired! Four weeks later, another KBPI DJ who “sponsored” me out there got fired and was said to be #51! I subsequently did part-time work on the wonderfully eclectic KFML until, literally down to my last ten bucks, I got a call from my original Hartford, CT, progressive station, WHCN, that they had been sold and wanted me to come home!

Ah, radio – almost as chancy as being a professional musician!


  1. Hi, Craig,

    Another thank you for the shoutout – and I’ll be checking out the new Lute recordings. They also had a great doo-wop track on that label, “No More,” by the Uptones – highly recommended!

    Since you were kind enough to post our debut CD on the site, let me properly identify our members. The gentleman at the far left is Vin Pasternak, our string wizard (mandolin, fiddle, viola, banjo and guitar) and a staple of the New England folk scene for many years. Next is our drummer, Sam Carlson, who despite being Rob’s son, would be our drummer anyway if he’d have us; he’s that good. Rob is second from right; after our college band that tried to be national rock stars, first called The American Dream and then Benefit Street. He was half of Carlson and Gailmor on Polydor (1976), whose LP, “Peaceable Kingdom,” was breaking out when there was turmoil at Polydor and they were caught up in it. The LP, in the spirit of Seals & Crofts and England Dan & John Ford Coley, has become a cult classic in soft-rock circles. I’m the one in the red shirt on the right. The houses are actually on Benefit Street in Providence, which has lots of beautiful colonial restorations and passes both the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. Of the band members, I actually lived on Benefit Street from 1966-71; original Benefit Street members Maddie Sifantus and Carl Armstrong lived their briefly in the late ’60s as well.

    And that’s the news….

    Keep up the good work,
    Country Paul

  2. Correction: Did I really do that??? Carl and Maddie lived “there,” not “their.” My mother, the English teach, is staring daggers at me from heaven.

    Also, a quick self-hype of possible interest to your east coast readers: Rob Carlson & Benefit Street are playing in Fairfield, CT, April 30th, in Bethesda, MD on May 7th, and in New Haven, CT , on June 18th. All are Sundays. Details of the gigs are on the home page of http://www.presenceproductions.com.

    Thanks, again,

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