Band Box Discography L through Z Artists
Jimmy Lake & The Colorado Playboys
They were obviously another country oriented band with one release on Band Box – catalog number 380 which is a duplicated catalog number with another release by Sandi Scott. I have not seen a copy of this 45 – Help me by sending a scan of the record.
Band Box 389 – Where Will It End b/w She Awoke – 1968
Country artist Laneer recorded one single on the Band Box subsidiary label Rustique – one of two known 45’s on that label. He also recorded with his backup group The Stetson Brothers on the local label Golden West based in – where else – Golden. His Golden West release was produced by Lee Simms who recorded for Band Box subsidiary label Keyboard (2 singles) as well as releasing an LP on the Rustique label. Steve Laneer joins 9 other Band Box artists in the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame!
45 – Rustique 712 – Convicts Guitar b/w What Made Milwaukee Famous – 1970
45 – Golden West – “Honky Tonk Girl” b/w “Last Thing I Wanna Lose” – 1975
Carlin was both a country and a lounge music artist who released two singles on the Band Box label – both in 1963. The flip side of Band Box 346 below is “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Leigh Barron (see entry above for that artist).
45 – Band Box 333 – A Song That You’ll Remember b/w Go Home and Cry On Your Pillow
45 – Band Box 346 – In Dear Old Denver b/w You’ll Never Walk Along (by Leigh Barron)
Tony Larson (with The Saints)
Tony “Rodelle” Larson was a Denver radio station KTLN disc jockey back in the mid 1960’s. He was backed on one side of his only Band Box release (a novelty effort) by Band Box artists The Saints in 1968.
Listen to Tony Rodelle Larson sing “Cool Yule” and “Bear Rug” on YouTube:
45 – Band Box 237 – Cool Yule b/w Bear Hug
Bobby released a 1963 single on Band Box. The B side “The Rug Merchant” was penned by Jimmy DeKnight (Myers) – composer of the rock anthem “Rock Around The Clock”. DeKnight also released one single on Band Box. Chances are Latin was an East Coast performer.
45 – Band Box 338 – The Rug Merchant b/w Wanted
The Laughing Lady (Laughing Sal)
The Laughing Lady was a star performer at Denver’s Lakeside Amusement Park, perched high atop the Fun House – now long gone. Nationally her makers deemed her likeness as “Laughing Sal”. Rumors have it that the Laughing Lady is still in mothballs and available for a rebirth but it just doesn’t seem to happen. At any rate – she is listed here for a reason. A Band Box insider revealed to me that the Laughing Lady’s laugh track was actually recorded at – yes – Band Box studios!
Sue also recorded on “Promo Records” out of New York – the same label who recorded Jimmy Charles’ “A Million to One”
Listen to Sue Leban sing “Slave Girl” on the New York Promo Label on YouTube: (Sort of a cross between June Valli and …..)
45 – Band Box 295 – It’s All Over b/w Forgive Me – 1962
45 – Promo 6112 – Here’s to the Boy b/w Slave Girl – 1960
Smokey Len (Salida)
45 – Band Box Custom 102 – Loser’s Club b/w Hometown Rodeo
This was a group of Aurora (Colorado) Central High School students who recorded on Band Box in 1964. Read this Blog Post to learn more.
Listen to The Lidos perform “Since I Last Saw You” and “Trudi” on YouTube:
45 – Band Box 359 – Since I Last Saw You b/w Trudi – 1965
Some time back I was in contact with Colorado musician and former Band Box recording artist Duncan Tuck. In our exchange of emails he told me that he was pretty sure that Bob Lind had recorded at the Band Box studios. I contacted Lind through his spokesman and was told that Band Box was a sore subject for Bob but that if I explored further on-line I would quickly learn why. The stories I picked up referenced a collection of tracks recorded at Band Box and then tucked away – and then eventually being apparently sold to Verve-Folkways records after “The Elusive Butterfly” hit on World Pacific records for Lind – rising all the way to number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts in early 1966. Bob would chart two more times on the Hot 100. World Pacific would also release two LP’s in 1966.
Verve-Folkways followed close behind with “The Elusive Bob Lind” also in 1966 and this did not set well with the artist and doesn’t to this day.
My visit to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame placed solid evidence in my hands as shown here – a Band Box test pressing LP with some of those Verve-Folkways tracks! There must have been more than 12 tracks recorded at Band Box as several on the side displayed at the CMHOF are not included on “The Elusive Bob Lind”. And so Bob Lind officially joins the roster of Band Box artists.
She cut one Band Box single with “Rock Around The Clock” composer Jimmie DeKnight contributing one side “Sixteen Teens” and another Band Box artist Gar Bacon contributing the other “You’re My Tarzan”. Gracie’s release was in 1961. Yet another James Meyers (Jimmie DeKnight) composition.
Little Gracie performs “Sixteen Teens”:
Band Box 268 – Sixteen Teens b/w You’re My Tarzan – 1961 (a label variation shown in 3rd set)
This group’s Band Box tracks were most likely not released.
45 – Band Box 255 – The Letter b/w Someday Baby – 1961
45 – Band Box 256 – The Warrior b/w Lonesome – 1961
He record one single on Band Box in 1961. The publisher on the single is “Myers Music Inc.” which is certainly a Jimmy De Knight venture – composer of “Rock Around The Clock” and himself an artist featured on Band Box.
45 – Band Box 283 – Darling b/w The Shake – 1961
Jackie Lowell with Duane Diamond & the Astronauts
Jackie Lowell’s backing group was not the famed Boulder, Colorado Astronauts who would record on RCA. Lowell released one Band Box single in 1961. His sought after release of “Rocket Trip” can be heard on You Tube. The genre is rock-a-billy all the way. His song has been bootlegged on Cactus Records – and curiously released on a label purporting to be “produced for Record Mart by Band Box Records” (see below – notice the P.O. Box address in place of the Reed Street address.)
Listen to Jackie Lowell perform “Rocket Trip” on YouTube:
45 – Band Box 266 – Rocket Trip – b/w Warpath – 1960
45 – Cactus 003 – Rocket Trip – 2011
45 – AM 37845 (United Kingdom) – Rocket Trip – 1977
Speculation is that Gary – like another Band Box artist – Duncan Tuck – won a free recording session at the studio. But the picture sleeve distributed with this single casts some doubt on that theory. His one release came in 1964.
45 – Band Box 346 – Blues Stay Away From Me b/w Why Did You Leave Me – 1964
The Manderins released one single on Band Box in the early days of the label’s founding – 1960.
The Manderins were a Denver-based Hispanic group featuring a very soulful sound – “Let the Bells Ring” is reminiscent of tracks by the Band Box group The Chevelles.
The Mandarins on YouTube:
45 – Band Box 236 – Let the Bells Ring b/w Going Away – 1959
Vicki Martin (Vicky Martin)
I finally located information about Denver recording artist – Vicki/Vicky Martin. She recorded for Jim Ward’s Finer Arts label and now I am quite sure also released one single on the West Denver label, Band Box. I obtained a copy of her long play – Finer Arts #202 “A Handful of Dust”. Most of the compositions on the LP were penned by Finer Arts label owner Morrie (“Morey”) Bernstein. (Read my full Post on Vicky Martin)
45 – Band Box 272 – Roller Coaster Blues b/w What Is There To Say
45 – Finer Arts FA-2008 – “A Handful of Dust” b/w “Beware My Love” – 1963
The Mastertones were fronted by Milt Watson who also fronted Milt Watson’s Wildest Clan – another Band Box recording act. Sonny Covington also recorded on Band Box as a solo artist and was also backed on one recording by “The Original Valiants”. Jessie Garcia – is “Bobo” on the recording “For The Rest of My Life”. The graphic sleeve for this recording contains a tribute on the back to J. D. Scott (Scotty) who was gunned own outside a nightclub. Larry Higgins – drummer for both Milt Watson’s Wildest Clan and Freddie & the Hitch-Hikers thinks that the shooting may have occurred in Pueblo, Colorado. They released three Band Box singles – all in 1960, one backing Elaine Taylor.
Listen to Mamacita Mia by the Mastertones on YouTube:
45 – Band Box 226 – Fannie Mae b/w Crazy Little Ol’ Feelin’
45 – Band Box 238 – Mamcita Mia b/w For The Rest of My Life
This graphic sleeve (pink) is most likely a bootleg.
Unreleased tracks by The Mastertones recorded at Band Box:
- Willy’s Ghost
- Yahoo Mountain Dew
Don May and The Gigolos (The 4 Gigolos)
Don May – guitar (The Valiants – with The Venusares)
Larry Higgins – drums (Freddie & The Hitch-Hikers – The Valiants – The Saints – Daleks – Pete Tracy Trio)
Joe Lopez – sax
Hank Lovato – bass
45 – Band Box 296 – Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying/Twist Around The Clock – 1962
45 – Band Box 297 – Dark Shadows/Blues In J – 1962 (Not Released)
45 – Band Box 318 – The Limbo Dance b/w Waiting (Not Released)
The Following acetate test pressings were provided by drummer Larry Higgins
Jim McGraw & The Western Sundowners
Jim released four singles on Band Box backed most often by his western Sundowners band from 1961 through 1965. Jim McGraw is yet another inductee into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame – joining nine other Band Box country artists. These may be the same Sundowners who backed Stanley Anderson on Band Box single 257.
45 – Band Box 288 – Crazy Dreams b/w Miles and Miles of Texas
45 – Band Box 319 – Wild Fire b/w If I Could Only Stay Asleep (Unreleased)
45- Band Box 318 – Limbo Dance b/w Waiting (unreleased)
45 – Band Box 321 – Back Roads b/w Crying in the Chapel
45 – Band Box -351 – Cotton Fields b/w Timber Trail
Unreleased Jim McGraw Tracks Recorded at Band Box:
- “Quick Relief”
- “Shadows On the Wall”
- “Tips Of My Fingers”
45 – Double 808 – “A Letter to the President” b/w “Medicine Hat” – 1980
45 – Gold Standard 175 – “I Was the One Falling In Love With You” (both sides) – 1966
45 – Gold Standard 226 – I’m the One Accused b/w My Love – 1967
45 – Gold Standard 246 – “Hummingbird” b/w You’ve Got Me Runnin’ Again” – 1968
45 – Gold Standard 255 – Don’t Mix Your Bitter Tears With Mine b/w You Got Me Runnin’ Again – 1968
45 – Au Standard 265 – “I’ve Had It” b/w “My Mistakes” – 1968
45 – Gold Standard GS 270 – “Can’t Tell The Do’s From The Don’ts” b/w “Too Many Places” – 1970
45 – Happy Tiger HT 565 – “Just A Girl I Met Along The Way” b/w “I Don’t Know Anymore” – 1970
45 – Jemkl 4000 – “Hind Ends and Elbows” b/w “Cassie” – 1974
45 – Jemkl 4002 – “I’d Love You To Want Me” b/w “If You’re Lonely” – 1974
Jerrolyn Meers and Mike Daniels
Don’t know anything about either of these musicians. Radio announcer/musician Wayne Jafee sent these images to me. He located them on in about 2011.
45 EP – Keyboard KEP 705 – “It Could Happen to You” – “I’m in Love Again” – “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” b/w “If I Love Again” – “I’ll Never Say Never, Again, Again” – “The Party’s Over” – 1966
Buddy Miller (and The Hi Lo’s)
Buddy Miller was a country and western artists releasing three singles on Band Box in the early 1960’s. His two cuts on Band release 335 “Walking Slowly From You Darling” b/w “With Tears In My Eyes” were both produced by music legend Conway Twitty – probably recorded in Nashville – but who knows?
Listen to Buddy Miller perform Little Bo Pete and Little Bo Peep – and Teen Twist
(I assume that the GEM version is saying “Pete” but strange that a momma would call for a boy…. – but could be his wife….)
45 – Band Box 311 – Teen Twist b/w Those Two Brown Eyes – 1962
45 – Band Box 322 – Little Bo Peep b/w Sincerely Your Friend – 1962
45 – Band Box 335 – Walking Slowly From You Darling b/w With Tears In My Eyes – 1963
45 – Felsted 45-8557 – (I’ve Been) Thinking It Over b/w Buddy Boy
45 – VEM 2226 – Teen Twist b/w Those Two Brown Eyes – 1960
45 – VEM 2228 – I Found My Love b/w Little Bo Peep – 1960
45 – GEM 102 – Little Bo Pete
45 – Moonglow 5124 (Belgium) – Teen Twist b/w Those Brown Eyes
Chuck Mills & The Monarchs
Chuck was closely aligned with his group The Monarchs as well as two other Band Box recording groups – The Mastertones and Milt Watson’s Wildest Clan. Mills was a member of the Mastertones (see above) and later the Nu-Sett. If anyone knows of Chuck’s whereabouts please let us know!
Chuck’s Monarchs were one of the first local Denver groups to record on Band Box – associated with the label when it was located on 220 Broadway in what was referred to as “The Band Box Building”. In the early days the artists would record in downtown studios most likely leasing studio time.
Listen to Chuck Mills perform perform “She’s Mine” on YouTube:
45 – Band Box 221 – Who Was The Fool b/w She’s Mine – 1959
45 Band Box 227 – Ding Dong b/w Who Was The Fool
45 – Band Box 230 – Angel Eyes b/w Johnny Rondo – 1959
Embert Mishler & The Unwanted Boys
Embert Mishler, another country artist, was born in Iowa. Embert migrated to the Denver area in the early 1950’s and was part of a group called The Riders of the Rockies. They appeared often on local television (KFEL) and then onto radio (KLAK). Embert had a long fascinating career which is thoroughly outlined on the Blog site Hillbilly Music. Mishler is shown above with the Riders – kneeling with guitar. Mishler released two Band Box singles in 1961. Embert joined nine other Band Box artists in the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame.
Embert passed away in 2104. This comment from Embert’s family January 22nd, 2015: “The family of Embert Mishler appreciate the kind memento posted on the site. Cissy”
45 – Band Box 252 – All of Your Love b/w I’m Unwanted – 1961
45 – Band Box 274 – Paper Heart b/w My Heart Is Crying
45 – Studio 40 #44 – “I’ll Love You Forever Today” b/w “Nursery Rhyme Rock”
45 – Drum City 2857 – “One Mile High” b/w Two Little Shoes”*
Drum City was a music store owned by Band Box artist Ronny Kae. The store is still open today in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Interesting to note that national country recording artist Wynn Stewart produced both sides of this record.
Clifford Mitchell (Band Box Label Logo/Cover Designer)
I love the Band Box label and LP cover art. Sort of distinguishes it from all others. Here is what the granddaughter of Vicky Morosan (Band Box owner) Terri Hale relates regarding Clifford.
“I spoke to my aunt and asked about the Band Box logo. She said that it was designed by a man by the name of Clifford Mitchell, a Denver designer/artist that did all of the design work for Band Box. She said that she could not remember if he came up with the name (Band Box) or my Grandmother or if it was a collaboration of efforts.”
And this comment was received from Dick Dedrick who composed the “Children’s Tales and Tunes” on Band Box LP 1018 (see entry above):
“(I was) also was a friend of Cliff Mitchell. He was the artist for Channel 2 when I worked there in the 50′s. A classic style: He also did movie posters for Atlas Theaters. He was fast and fabulous!”
Dick Dedrick further reports “In the early days, Cliff was Lawrence Welk’s ‘manager’ of sorts. He helped him book dates and come up with promotional ideas. He said that Welk once told him “We to come up with some stunts.” Doesn’t sound like Lawrence does it?”
Robert Mondragon recorded one single for Band Box in the mid 1960’s. He was backed by the Gonzalez Brothers Orchestra.
Bob Moran recorded one single for Band Box in 1967.
Band Box 382 – Monkey on My Back b/w You Married Too Young – 1967
Vicky Morosan (Owner – Band Box)
Aurelia Victoria Morosan was the inspiration and the driving force behind Denver’s “big” little label. For nearly two decades she would sign musical artists representing genres ranging from country to jazz, polka, pop, rhythm & blues and rock ‘n roll. While she wasn’t fond of rock music she never turned her back on it consistently releasing records by local groups and solo singers. She served as label manager, administrator, often-times engineer, promoter and distributor and even composer- and all this at a time when you could count the female record label executives nationally on a few fingers. Visit the Band Box overview page to read more about Vicky and Band Box Records.
George was a lounge music entertainer in Denver often appearing at the Chalet Supper Club in Denver. On this Band Box LP (1005) he entertains as a member of two groups “The Dixieland Chain Gang” and “The George Mosse Quartet” on side 2. The Quartet included more than four members: Howard Stafford (piano), Dick Shadburne (trumpet), Dale Hampton (trombone), Dave Reynolds (drums), Jim Clement (bass) and Mosse on clarinet.
This LP was apparently recorded in Dallas, TX at the Chalet Supper Club – but may have actually been done in studio. The recording pre-dates the Band Box 41st and Sheridan Blvd., studio location.
Band Box LP 1005 – “The Two Sides of George Mosse”
The New Mobile Strugglers
The New Mobile Strugglers released a very scare LP on Band Box – catalog number 1016. They may have taken their name from a country blues and folk group called the Mobile Strugglers who formed back in the 1940’s. George Krieger from the Colorado Music Hall of Fame located this photo from a Loveland High School reunion page. All three members were 1967 graduates of Loveland High School. They recorded this Band Box LP shortly after graduation. Still trying to contact them for input. Band Box LP images provided by Doc Krieger.
Band Box 205 – “Satisfy Your Mind” b/w “Wait For The Door To Swing Back” – Early 1960’s
We have not seen a copy of this 45
LP – Band Box 1016 – New Horizons
Orlie & The Saints
Orlie Trujillo teamed up with Band Box recording group The Saints – to release “Twist and Freeze U.S.A. and released it in multiple U.S. city markets with slightly different lyrics. Read the entire story on Orlie’s biography page. The group backed him as well on a second Band Box release. There were probably 19 city versions of “Twist and Freeze” released. Below are the images I’ve managed to locate to-date.
Listen to King Kong, Twist and Freeze USA and Annette on YouTube:
Band Box 253 – Twist and Freeze U.S.A b/w King Kong – 1960
Band Box 264 – All Part of Growing Up b/w Annette – 1960
The Ortega Brothers (Pueblo)
This group included Tony and Jose “Martin” Ortega. The Pueblo Chieftan wrote this extended obituary in 2001 on the death of Martin. Jose was also a member of Pueblo groups The Fabulous Fremonts, Burnt Mill Road, The Chevelles, and The Soulmen. During his career Martin performed with Ray Charles, Bobby Vee and Taj Mahal according the the Chieftan.
Pat Peale with Will Graves & His Rhythm Rangers
Band Box 220 78 RPM – A Side: – “You’re Gonna Be Sorry” (Bernie Wingert lead singer) – B Side: – “There’s A Star In The Sky”
(The only 78 RPM I have located to date)
Band Box 220 45 RPM – A Side: – “You’re Gonna Be Sorry” (Bernie Wingert lead singer) – B Side: – “There’s A Star In The Sky”
Bob Perry & The Sundowners
Band Box was certainly receptive to recording country and western artists. Bob Perry released one single on Band Box in 1960. He was the composer for both song tracks. Perry is an inductee in The Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame. Perry was born in North Carolina – Some additional information on Perry from the Ace Records web site:
“…….Despite the lack of success with the first release, Perry cut a second session for Bandera in Nashville in 1959, but soon after was snapped up by Top Rank. That company released just one single ‘Juke Box’ / ‘Blue Tears’, the latter written by Jay Miller. Other one shot deals followed for Cool Records and Bandbox…..” Read the entire account of Bob Perry’s career at Ace Records.
Perry would go on to play with another Band Box artist Randy King (and Colorado Country Hall of Fame Inductee) in King’s Country All Stars.
Band Box 248 – I Dreamed I Kissed An Angel b/w It’s All Over Now – 1959
45 – Bandera 1301 – Can’t Hardly Wait b/w Two Tiny Rings – 1958
45 – Bandera 1303 – “Weary Blues Goodbye” b/w “The Rest of My Life” – 1960
45 – Bandera 1305 – Don’t Say Those Things b/w That’s The Way Things Are – 1960
45 – Top Rank – Juke Box b/w Blue Tears – 1960
“It’s All Over Now” on YouTube:
Jim Perry & The Hesitations
The Hesitations were one of several Band Box recording acts to attempt to cash in on the twist craze in the early 1960’s. To top it off they combined their effort with a shot at the surf music craze with “Surfside Twist Part 1” and Part 2. Dick Gentile – who recorded for the Band Box subsidiary label Valerie, penned the A side of this record which was cut back in 1962.
Jim Perry performs “Surfside Twist” on YouTube:
Band Box 310 – Surfside Twist b/w Part 2 – 1962
A gospel singer – Picozzi released one Band Box single in 1961.
Band Box 273 – He Guides My Way b/w Standing in the Moonlight
Band Box Custom Pressing 1002 – “If Santa Claus Could Bring Me You For Christmas” – 1963
Barney is shown below accepting civic service awards from Colorado Governor John Love.
The Prairie Wranglers
Band Box 376 – Tears On Your Picture b/w Nickel, Dime and a Hundred – 1967
This large musical ensemble were all high school students from Colorado Academy. They recorded “Big Band Swing” which was released on Band Box 1014 – a number which appears twice in the BB catalog.
Band Box LP 1014 – Big Band Swings
Band Box 336 Vanity Pressing – Oh Holy Night b/w Musetia’s Waltz – 1967
The Prickly Pair
They released one Band Box Single in early 1960. The Band Box official catalog listing – according to Lisa Wheeler the Colorado music Blogger – contains a sticker placed over another entry for catalog number 254 – a group called the “Bravados” from whom there are no known Band Box related releases. In addition – the Band Box recording log also contains the name “Bravados” for this release. However – a visitor to the site – Chris sent me a couple of scans of Band Box 254 – without the sticker – and it reveals the artists as being “The Valley Men”.
(Also see “The Valley Men”)
Band Box 254 – Nut Brown Maiden b/w The Wind – 1960
The private was another single recording for Keyboard – a Band Box subsidiary label in early 1961. There were only a handful of Keyboard releases.
45 – Keyboard 703 – All Alone to Cry b/w Johnny Be Good – 1961
We re fortunate to have an interview from 2011 by “Pueblo City Limits” blogger Lisa Wheeler to document this country artist. Robbe grew up in the south Colorado town of Pueblo and found his way onto the Band Box label for a 1963 recording session, apparently recording four tracks – two not released. The label states that he was accompanied by Bill Goodwin’s backing group The Country Tunesmen.” Goodwin – another Colorado artists who realized some degree of national success, penned both sides of the Band Box single for Robbe. After departing Colorado Robbe would go on to pen songs for country artists Gene Watson, Slim Whitman and Ray Price.
Warren Robbe performs “Single Man” and “Chicken Pen” on YouTube:
45 – Band Box 330 – I’ve Had My Chance b/w Life’s Not Worth Living
Unreleased Tracks by Warren Robbe recorded at Band Box:
- “Roll River Roll”
- “A Stranger Came to Town”
45 Mystic – 730 – “My Chicken Pen” b/w “My Heart Disagrees”
45 – Great 1072 – Pick Of The Week b/w I’ve Got Nothing – 1967
45 – Starday 815 – I Can’t Stand the Light b/w Before the Past Destroys Me – 1967
45 – Starday 832 – Push-Ups From the Ceiling b/w Temporarily Mine – 1968
45 – Starday 856 – Pretty Pictures In Your Mind b/w More Woman Than You – 1968
45 – Starday 865 – (How Long Does It Take) A Memory To Die b/w Magical Light Of Love – 1969
Produced by Thomas Wayne of “Tragedy” fame
45 – Starday 880 – Wild Seed In The Wind b/w The Face of Love – 1969 (shown by Warren Robb)
45 – Starday 900 – A Better Way to Die b/w Everybody’s Got a Little Evil On Their Mind – 1970 (shown by Warren Robb)
Jerry Thomas and The Rockets recorded one polka oriented release on Band Box records in 1961. Nothing else is know of these guys.
Band Box 279 – Rocket Polka b/w Buona Notte
It is possible that this is the Johnny Rose from Capitol Records – friend of Colorado’s Dean Reed. Rose moved into Colorado in the 1960’s and resided in Loveland, Colorado.
Band Box – (Unreleased) “Ole Sarge” b/w “Soldier’s Lament” – 1970
Marvin Ross & The Blue Rhythms
Marvin stepped up to front The Blue Rhythms on this Band Box single from 1961. Ross penned both sides of the single. The Blue Rhythms included Lee Chandler and Paul Jennings.
Lee Chandler & the Blue Rhythms perform Tree Top on YouTube:
The Royal & the Shades
45 – Band Box 358 – Once Upon a Time b/w Tightin Up – 1964
The Ruff Family
Band Box 200 – Lonesome and Blue b/w Brown’s Ferry Blues – 1958
Sonny Russell’s “50 Megatons” is much sought after by rock-a-billy fans and can easily fetch nearly $200. This Band Box release was recorded in 1963. As with Band Box artists Little Joey Far and Jackie Lowell, Sonny’s “50 Megatons” has been re-issued most notably by the U.K. Magazine “Record Mart” in a series of rock-a-billy obscurities in 1980.
Known members included Sonny Russell and Jim Fenley
Band Box 332 – 50 Megatons b/w Mud Boat – 1963
45 – Record Mart 1012 – Fifty Megatons b/w Mud Boat – 1977 – U.K.
Listen to Sonny Russell perform 50 Megatons on YouTube:
The Saints (Dave & The Saints)
The Saints were a Band Box main-stay and probably recorded on the label more than any other artist or group including drummer Ronny Kae. The North Denver group was started by guitarist Dave Barhite who was joined by noted lead guitarist Joe Holenbek (a Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame inductee). I met with Joe for a stroll down memory lane and he told me that he decided to join a rock and roll band and play guitar because “I was seeing all these guitar players out there who were making it in Denver and I thought – ‘I can at least play that good!” And so he did. See the “Saints Biography Page” for a full account of this great group.
45 – Band Box 235 – Playboy b/w Rockin’ Siam
45 – Band Box 262 – Goin’ Home b/w Watch Out For That Last Step
45 – Band Box 341 – Fever b/w Leavin’ Surf City
Dave & The Saints perform Fever and Leavin Surf City on YouTube:
Terry was yet another Band Box artist under the agency of James Myers (‘Rock Around The Clock’ De Knight) with his one 1963 release. So most likely this artist was also recorded somewhere back east and then released on Band Box.
Band Box 327 – Too Late b/w Corner of My Heart
Below are a couple of previously thought to be unreleased 45’s from Band Box. The cover for the first extended play (without records) and EP 401 (without a cover) were both located June 4th by a Swiss reader (Rolf) when visiting a Swiss 2nd hand shop! He did a little research – locating these Band Box pages and kindly sent the images my way! Now I am wondering about other “unreleased” Band Box records?
Band Box 400 EP – Fritz Schmutz – “From Flims-Switzerland to Colorado” & “After a Day of Powdersnow Skiing at Taos Skivalley, New Mexico” b/w “At the Opening of 4 New Charlifts at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire” & “Sounds of the Moosehead Lake Party, ME.”
Note: From Rolf Meister in Switzerland: “corrections) on the cover itself are some others… Front should say “Schwyzeroergeli” (with “z”); “MOVE ACROSS IN 3/4 TACK” should be “MOVE ACROSS IN 3/4 TAKT” – just for your info.
Band Box 401 EP – Fritz Schmutz – “Continental Divide” & “Move Across in 3/4 Tack” b/w “A Skisaison at Mt. Snow, MT” & “The Charlift Ride at Squaw Mt., ME”
Sandi Scott recorded four sides on the Band Box label in 1968. Her fist city was a national hit for Loretta Lynn in 1968. The above promo photo no doubt was at the same time as Sandi’s Band Box release – She was 15 years old at the time.
Band Box 380 – Fist City No. 2 b/w Just a Tear Away From A Real Good Cry – 1968
45 – Band Box 384 – Big Old Heart b/w Point One Finger – 1968
45 – Cascade 13191 – Medley b/w This Hidden World Of Mine – 1969
45 – Cascade 15891 – “Be His Woman? b/w “Where Will I Go” – 1970
45 – Contempo 1654 – “To Be Free” b/w “Nashville to Dallas” – 1971
LP – VMI 1695 – “To Be Free and 18” (Sandi Scott)
The “Music of Northern Morocco” is quite a departure for Band Box if there is such a thing for the Band Box catalog. Released on “Band Box Ethnological Music Series” (the only released in that series that I know of) this album narrates the Islamic celebration of Ramadhan. It is not known where this was actually recorded (most likely Band Box studio) and nothing is known of Binx Selby.
Images provided by Doc Krieger.
Band Box 15351 – Music of Xauen
Here is a highly collectible surf-sounding group from the 1960′s. Not too much is known about them. They one known single. A You Tube post states they attended Adams City High School in Commerce City a suburb on the east side of the Denver metropolitan area. Learn more about the Shelltones at Office Naps. Guitarist Mark Bretz departed the Shelltones to join Denver’s Wild Ones. The Wild Ones performed often at Clancy’s in Fort Collins around 1966-67. Bretz did a short stint in 1967 with Boulder’s Astronauts until some members formed the short-lived Sunshine Ward.
I received this note from a relative of Shelltone band member Cary Theil: “Cary Theil passed away a few years ago. He had lived with me and my family in the months leading up to his death. Cary was the father in law of my middle son who was once married to Cary’s daughter Tobie.”
Group Members included Cary Theil – bass, Mark Bretz – guitar (Wild Ones – Astronauts – Sunshine Ward)
Band Box 355 – Blue Castaway b/w Mark’s Blues – 1964
Listen to the Shelltones play Blue Castaway on YouTube:
The Shook Parker Gospel Singers
The Shook Parker Gospel Singers came together in the 1950’s from the Akron, Colorado area which lies on the northeastern plains of the state. The group initially was comprised of five members – Don and Alvera Parker along with David, Dillon and Bea Shook. (The Band Box Label scan below was furnished by Lisa Wheeler – Blogger for “Pueblo City Limits” as well as “North of Pueblo”. David Shook continues to perform today making his music available on his web site.
LP – Band Box 1012 – The Shook Parker Gospel Singers
LP – Pleasant Valley Church 35153 – The Singing Shook Family
LP – John Law 710101 – Shook Family
LP – SF 30807 – Holy is Thy Name
Parker Shook Group on You Tube:
The Lee Sims Country Trio
Country singer Lee Sims appears on two Keyboard single releases – a Band Box subsidiary label. He is backed by The Country Trio on Keyboard 709. Both compositions on this release were written by Denver personality and Band Box artist Buster Jenkins. The Ronnie Steele Trio backs Sims on Keyboard 711 with Buster Jenkins producing. Both singles were most likely cut in the Band Box studio on the same day. Lee is an inductee in the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame and among other recognition was being selected Colorado Entertainer of the Year in 2001. Lee has the distinction of being the only Band Box artist to release records on three family labels – Band Box, Keyboard and Rustique! Visit my Lee Sims biography page.
Keyboard 707 – Truckin Drivin’ Man b/w Marie – Mid 1960’s
Keyboard 709 – Husbands and Wives b/w Paralyze My Mind – Mid 1960’s
Rustique 711 – Indian Tears b/w Married to Wine – Mid 1960’s
45 – Timberline 79 x 06 – Cash and Carry Love Affair b/w The Silverton (with the Platte River Band)
Other Colorado Local Recordings:
LP – Rustique (Band Box Subsidiary) 7000 – “The Fabulous Lee Sims” – mid 1960’s
This rare Rustique LP by Sims features Ronnie Steel on lead guitar, Burt Sims on drums, Ron Cook on bass, Ken Richardson on acoustic guitar – and helping out Lee with vocals. Doc Krieger provided these images. The LP was sealed so I did not obtain label scans.
Ossie Sladek & The Paratroopers
Ossie was a Czech citizen who with his family took refuge during the German occupation of World War II. He was an accomplished musician on multiple instruments and served in the Israeli army. Ossie toured both South and North America extensively. How he came to release one single in 1958 on Band Box is unknown but perhaps he had Eastern European ties indirectly with Romanian-born Band Box Owner Vicky Moroson (Victoria Pasca maiden name.) In more recent times, Ossie has made appearances at Denver’s Mizel Museum, honoring survivors of the World War II Holocaust.
The Paratroopers were Regis Malloy, Frank Mastroianna, John O’Donnell, John Pullman – all vocalists – and band members Alan Cito, Owen Herman, Peter Hodgson, John Mitaras, Ossie and Harry Woodland.
45 – Band Box 204 – Song of Laughter b/w Paradise
LP – Sight And Sound 1002 – Mickey Sherman Presents Folk Festival at the Exodus – 1960 (from the Denver 1960 Folk Festival)
This LP was recorded at Denver’s Folk gathering place The Exodus and includes “Dodi Li” and “Melody of Horas” by Sladek. Others appearing on the LP are Denver’s Judy Collins, Ed McCurdy and Don Crawford.
This custom recording carries catalog number 103 which is redundant with Robert Mondragon’s release on Band Box
The South Denver Pentecostal Choir
LP – Keyboard 7001 – Jesus The Light
The Spirits of Joy
Nothing is known of this gospel group who recorded one extended play release on the Band Box subsidiary Keyboard in the mid 1960’s.
Keyboard 702 Extended Play – Organ Music by Reva Gardner
The Star Tones
The Star Tones were Regis University students (Denver, Colorado) who appeared often at Sam’s Nightclub on Lookout Mountain – high above Golden, Colorado – just west of Denver. According to a friend who danced often to the sounds of the Star Tones, they were in it for college money. The Band Box title sleeve shown above is a hard one to find!
45 – Band Box 354 – Harlem Nocturne b/w The Chase
Listen to The Star Tones Play Harlem Nocturne on YouTube:
It was thought for a time that western singer/songwriter Curly Starr’s Band Box single “Here I Am Drunk Again” b/w “House Without Love” may was pressed but copies are extremely hard to find.
Here is a 45 Cat response from a relative of Curly’s:
“Hi I am Curly’s nephew he was from Memphis and two of his 3 sisters still live there. My mother his youngest sister passed away June 5 2013 curly pass some years ago in Nashville. After his mother passed in 1977 he took of and never came back to Memphis. He use to sing I saw the light to me when I was 3. And the man who put the video on YouTube gave the record to my mom. The record is now with me. Her sister has a master record of other songs.”
Country artist Lattie Moore released the song on the King label in 1960 and others would follow including Becky Richard, Clyde Beavers, and most recently, Moe Bandy.
Listen to Curly Starr perform “Here I Am. Drunk Again” on YouTube:
Pat Starr of Ragtime
Do not know if this record had a picture cover or not and I don’t know anything about Pat Starr of Ragtime.
Extended Play – Keyboard 701 Extended Play – Pat Starr of Ragtime
LP – Toll-Gate 201 – “Souvenir Recording Of Central City’s Honky Tonk Piano Man”
Penny Starr/Penny DeHaven
Penny Starr would released three singles on Band Box – two solos and a joint release with Van Trevor and Johnny Dollar. I suspect that Penny, Van and Johnny recorded their band box sides in 1966 and 1967 – probably all in a single session and probably in Nashville or another country strong hold. Penny was very young while recording with Band Box. She would become “Penny Dehaven” in short order and realize some national success over the years both in movies and recording. “A Grain of Salt” on Band Box 372 would chart on the Billboard Country charts in January of 1967 and reach #69. She would chart 16 more times from 1967 through 1984. An acetate pressing is displayed below for Band Box 372. The sleeve below was released out of Nashville in 1974 after her name change.
The following was posted by an EBay vinyl seller: “Country entertainer Penny DeHaven was born May 17, 1948, in Winchester, VA. DeHaven is known as a dynamic and vivacious country singer, and was the first female country artist to tour combat zones in Vietnam. She sang and performed on local shows as a child, but moved to WWVA’s Wheeling Jamboree during the mid-’60s after high school. Using the stage name Penny Starr, she became a favorite and recorded “A Grain of Salt” for the Band Box label in late 1966. The single placed modestly the following year, and after spending two years in Wheeling, she moved to Nashville to sign with Imperial in 1969. Two of her recordings hit the Country Top 40 that year: “Mama Lou” and “Down in the Boondocks.” After a change of labels to United Artists, Penny DeHaven’s biggest hit came later that year when “Land Mark Tavern” hit number 20. Though DeHaven never re-entered the Top 40 again – “The First Love” and “Don’t Change on Me” came closest in 1971 – she continued to record for United Artists and later Mercury, Starcrest and Main Street. She appeared in several films in the early ’80s, and sang “Bayou Lullaby” for the soundtrack to 1982’s Honkytonk Man. DeHaven has also guested on the Grand Ole Opry several times and recorded a duet album with Porter Wagoner.”
Penny passed away after a bout with cancer in February, 2014.
45 – Band Box 372 – A Grain of Salt b/w A Thing of Pleasure
45 – Band Box 375 – One More Like You b/w You’ve Taken All The Woman Out of Me
45 – Band Box 373 – Holiday Driving Public Service Message (with Van Trevor and Johnny Dollar)
Band Box Unreleased Tracks by Penny Starr
“Beat it Baby”
Listen to Penny perform Bayou Lullaby on YouTube:
Rocky Starr (Rocky Starr Trio)
Rocky Starr (birth name John Edward Ratkowski) was born in Butte Montana, migrated to Canada, later served in World Word II serving in the U.S. Army and became a local radio performer in Spokane, Washington. This led a job offer at Denver radio station KOA performing daily on the station and touring in his available time. Most likely it was during his KOA days that he entered into the Band Box studios in 1961 to cut four sides for two single releases. Read Rocky’s story on the Southern Idaho Living web site. He is pictured above while performing on the “Western Stampede” radio show at KOA in Denver. Rocky passed away in 2013 at the age of 89.
45 – Band Box 277 – Baby Doll b/w The Wanderer – 1961
45 – Band Box 278 – Cannonball Boogie b/w Stanley Polka – 1961
45 – Mercury 70192 – Rock-A-Bye Boogie b/w Lonesome Childhood
Listen to the Rocky Starr Trio on YouTube:
Elaine Taylor & The Mastertones
I have not located anything on Elaine. She cut one 1960 single on Band Box apparently backed by who I assume to be Chuck Mills’ Mastertones.
Band Box 233 – Baby Won’t You Please Come Home b/w Yes Sir, That’s My Baby – 1959
The Patti Taylor Singers
45- Valerie 2005 – “Tiger in the Closet” b/w “Tomorrow Is a Long Time”
Chuck Thomas (With Johnny & The Hitchhikers)
Chuck Thomas released two singles on Band Box one crediting his back-up group as “Johnny & The Hitch-Hikers”. This citation is in doubt. I checked with Larry Higgins drummer for the Band Box group “Freddie & The Hitch-Hikers” and he has no knowledge of his group backing Chuck Thomas. Chuck Thomas penned releases for Band Box recording artists – The Four Chevelles and I suspect he may have been a member of that group. See the Four Chevelles Bio Entry.
Recently I located the song “Why Baby” on the Band Box master log of tracks and it is listed with The Four Chevelles.+
45 – Band Box 360 – Why Baby b/w Let Our Hearts Be Our Guide
45 – Band Box 365 – What Can I Do (To Make You Care) b/w What Happened Baby
Chuck Thomas Performing two tracks on YouTube:
Tommy Thompson & The W Bar A Rhythm Masters
Thompson released one single on Band Box.
Band Box 269 – Let’s Make Amends b/w I Wish I Could Forget – 1962
Van – like Penny Starr – broke onto the national country scene after his Band Box days. He cut four singles on the Denver label – one in combination with Penny Starr and Johnny Dollar “Christmas Driving” b/w “Holiday Driving” which was a curious public safety announcement. Two of his Band Box releases charted on Billboard’s Country Hits charts – “Born to Be In Love With You Again” reached #22 in 1966 and “Our Side” peaked at number 27 in the same year – making them the two top national hits from the Band Box label. Van Trevor charted six additional releases on the Country Charts. Van is deceased.
Van Trevor appears on the Band Box Christmas release Band Box 373 which is backed with a public safety message from Van, Penny Starr and Johnny Dollar entitled “Holiday Driving/Holiday Safety”.
The following note was sent in by Van Trevor’s daughter: “I enjoyed reading this article as this is my dad. I did not know a lot about his music career due to by the time I was born he had stopped singing. Thank you for sharing his history with the world.” – Monica L. Boulanger-Williams
45 – Band Box 367 – Born to Be In Love With You b/w It’s So Good To Be Loved
45 – Band Box 371 – Our Side b/w When You’ve Lost Your Baby
45 – Band Box 374 – A Fool Called Me b/w He’s Losing His Mind
Band Box LP 1001 – “Come On Over to Our Side”
This carries the same catalog number as Leigh Barron’s LP so – but most likely this was released sometime after the Barron release. Read more about the late Van Trevor.
Van Trevor, Penny Starr & Johnny Dollar
Band Box 373 – 1966
Denver South High student Duncan Tuck was the winner of a 1968 talent contest sponsored by KOA. His prize was a “recording contract” with Band Box records. And so he entered into the studios while on break from college in 1969. Duncan continues to perform and tour today. Read the entire Duncan Tuck interview on the Duncan Tuck Page
Band Box 391 – Cold and Dusty Morning b/w Waterside – 1969
Duncan Tuck Long Play Tracks (Unreleased)
The following tracks were slated for a Band Box LP but may not have been recorded)
Dianne’s Song – Where People Do Live by Trees – Distance Cannot Escape the Sound – A New Feeling – All Around Me – Together When Alone – Flamenco Child – Leavin’ On a Jet Plane – The Poet – Sunshine – I Think It’s Going to Rain Today – Tomorrow – Octover
Watch and Listen to Duncan Tuck perform on YouTube:
Here’s Duncan on the Gong Show in 1977 on YouTube: (WOW!! – ALL TENS!!! AND THE WINNER)
Joe had his big moment of fame with the success in 1956 with “The Garden of Eden” which went all the way to number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Although he recorded many more tunes through the years, this was to be his only charting record! He joins a few other national artists having released a Band Box 45 (Ink Spots, Steve Gibson & the Red Caps, Van Trevor). His was released in 1961. The apparent connection with Joe and Band Box is his association with Jimmy DeKnight who penned “Now” and recorded for Band Box as well – probably back East. Joe ‘s real last name was Paolino. He was originally from Philadelphia. Joe passed away in December of 1996.
Band Box 261 – Now b/w Turn Back the Dawn – 1960
45 – Vik 4X-0226 – Garden Of Eden b/w Caravan – #12 Billboard 1958
Listen to Joe Valino perform “Garden of Eden” on YouTube:
The Valley Men
(Also see Band Box listing for The Prickly Pair)
Band Box 254 – Nut Brown Maiden b/w The Wind
Nick Vitale & The Echo’s
Band Box 241 – The Engagement Waltz b/w Behind The Bamboo Curtain – 1959
Jimmy was another country/gospel singer recording one extended play on the Band Box subsidiary label Keyboard in 1967. The photo here is assumed to be of our Jimmy Wallis but obviously from his days somewhere other than on Keyboard
45 – Keyboard 700 – Gospel Extended Play – 1967
Jim Watson & Joel Cowan
Jim and Joe were an unlikely team of a “bawdy” comedian paired with an establish R&B musician who performed for a time at The Tropics nightclub. Their Band Box subsidiary release on Spicy Records was a short-lived effort to provide LPs in the genre by Band Box, joining three other acts with Spicy releases. The “Party Time” LP was released with two different sets of cover art and back liner notes. The 2nd variation back cover was also used on other Spicy comedy act releases. Jim Watson and Joel Cowan also recorded on Band Box long play 1002 as part of George Holmes’ Ink Spots. Cowan was a Denver resident and worked around town in various venues and also at Simmons Music Store in Denver. Holmes brought his version of the Ink Spots to Denver apparently for a time in the mid 1960’s. Band Box artists Dave Barhite and Joe Holenbek – both members of The Saints – recall seeing the group perform around the Denver area. Visit the “Ink Spot” Band Box Page to learn more.
LP – Spicy 5001 – Party Time (1st Variation)
LP – Spic 5001 – Party Time (2nd Variation)
Further – Cowan may have established his liking for performing on “bawdy” comedy type recordings with his participation on this Dooto LP:
Milt Watson’s Wildest Clan
This Band Box group was comprised of members of The Monarchs, including Jessie Garcia, Milt Watson and Chuck Mills. The released one Band Box single in 1965.
45 – Band Box 363 – Would You Believe That? b/w Ya Hoo Mountain Dew – 1965
Dick West with the Hymntones
Hazel Hedges provides organ support here – She also appeared on Daddy Ed’s children’s recordings on Band Box – Band Box founder Vicky Morosan is the composer of “Merry Christmas” here
45 – Band Box 223 – Merry Christmas b/w Trimming My Christmas Tree with Dreams
Sonny was a rock-a-billy singer with one 1961 release on the Band Box label. Sonny’s lasting fame will be his two compositions both recorded by Buddy Holly “Rave On” and “Oh Boy” which firmly establish his rock ‘n roll credentials for all time. Sonny is an inductee into the Rock-A-Billy Hall of Fame. His Band Box release is quite obscure and I haven’t been able to establish further ties to recording on this Denver local label. Sonny is not to be confused with Elvis entourage member West. Sonny was also inducted into the West Texas Music Hall of Fame for his composition of “Oh Boy”.
45 – Band Box 27 – Maybe You’re the One b/w Wasted Days and Wasted Nights – 1961
45 – Nor-Va-Jak 1956 – Sweet Rockin’ Baby b/w Rock-Ola Ruby – 1956
45 – Atlantic 45-1174 – Rave On! b/w Call On Cupid – 1958
45 – Brunswick 55035 – Oh, Boy! (composer) 1957
45 – Coral 61985 – Rave On (composer) -1958
45 EP – Cultures of Soul COS 009-7 – Jam Up Twist – 2014
(Includes “Rock-Ola-Baby” by West)
45 – RM Deluxe 2000 – Sweet Rockin’ Baby b/w Rock-Ola-Baby – 1978 (U.K.)
(Shown as by “Sonee West”)
Watch and listen to Sonny West and Tommy Allsup perform “Oh Boy” on YouTube:
Ed Whatley and The Hummingbirds
Ed Whatley was involved in two Band Box releases – one fronting the Hummingbirds in 1960 also accompanied by The Mile Hi Trio. His second release was also in 1960 as part of The Hummingbirds.
Band Box 246 – Bingo b/w No Love – 1959
He was an easy listening music provider with one LP release on the Band Box label (1015) titled “The Songs & Piano of Ronny Whyte”. Linear notes indicate that Ronny served in the Air Force and migrated from the Seattle area. On his Band Box LP he was backed by Roy Francis on bass and Dick Sheridan on drums. Ernest Kemm or “Ernie” is the producer on the LP. Ronny migrated away from Colorado and found fame on the East Coast recording for many labels and releasing many long plays including Audiophile and MES.
Ronny Whyte on YouTube:
Jimmy Wilkins & The Blue Falcons (Vocals by The Sarands)
These guys released two Band Box singles one in 1964 the other in 1965.
Band Box 356 – 1964
Jimmy Wilkins & The Sarands
Band Box 364 – 1965
Bernie Wingert with Will Graves & His Rhythm Rangers/
Pat Peale & Will Graves
Bernie and Pat shared this Band Box release from 1958 – one of the very first on the Denver local label.
Band Box 220 – 1958
Ursula released two singles on Band Box – one in 1962 and another in 1964. The B side of Band Box release was co-penned by Norman Petty along with an unidentified “A. Wilder”. This is interesting because Petty penned the hit single by The String-a-Longs “Wheels” but Wilder is not credited on that release. Wilder could possibly be Alec Wilder who composed a series of hits for artists such as Johnnie Ray, The Mills Brothers, Anthony Newley, Roger Williams and The Brass Ring. Wolter may have had a connection to Alec due to both sides of her Band Box 364 release being penned by him. His Wikipedia entry does not cite either of these two compositions.
Band Box 347 – 1964
The Wonderland Singers
This is another gospel recording group released on Keyboard – the Band Box subsidiary label in 1967.
Keyboard 703 Extended Play – 1967
Valerie 2004 – Mid 1960’s