From the Land of Band Box Records

Shooting for the Charts

September 11, 2019

Colorado Hits the Charts – Home and Away

Here are the 45’s (for the most part – a few LP cuts here) which managed to find their way onto either the national Billboard Charts – including Hot 100, R&B, Country and Bubbling Under charts- In addition I have included a group of strange extras which was concocted by Jerry Osborne – taking songs which placed below the Top 100 and were listed as ‘on the way up’ by Music Vendor and Record World Magazines – Osborne with his never ending ranking formulas came up with a formula to assign a number to these – for what that is worth.  Those listings can be found in his book “Hit Records 101-150”.

I have listed singles which first and foremost made it onto any of the national’s and then listed the second highest chart listing be it another national or a local radio survey listing – highest selected – regardless of State or origin – Where there is no national chart position for a song – then I list the two highest local radio survey listings (when there are two).  There are nearly 500 songs listed here which I was able to track down.

I was very surprised to see just how many radio stations from all across the mainland of the United States (as well as Hawaii and Alaska) charted so many of our musicians and often higher than our own local stations.

Chart Mania

What is missing is Glenn Miller, Billy Murray and Paul Whiteman charting records – Those three along would surpass this total list – Maybe another time.  I also listed songs which charted by non-Colorado musicians but were composed by a Colorado composer – Think the Strawberry Alarm Clock with “Incense and Peppermints” composed by CU students Tim Gilbert and John Carter.

I listed Earth, Wind and Fire but only singles which charted during the presence of East High musicians Larry Dunn, Philip Bailey and Andrew Woolfolk – I included groups like Firefall and Poco which both have very strong ties to Colorado but omitted the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – who came around for a time.  I did include Mary MacGregor who wasn’t born or raised here but spent a good amount of time in Steamboat – and also because I simply wanted to.  My Blog my decision!  I couldn’t resist including Jody Reynolds of “Endless Sleep” fame because he was born in Denver – He left as a little boy but so what?  I had to include him because he is so cool.

One and Done on Billboard

The coveted crown jewel – a number 1 ranking on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart – is elusive indeed and in the modern era has scarcely been achieved by any artist based in Colorado – musician or composer.  The Murray/Whiteman/Miller triumvirate is a different story of course – and from a very different set of times.  Billy Murray, who moved to Denver at age 5 and grew up here – placed more than 250 songs on the charts in the early part of the 20th century and hit the top spot a couple dozen times.  Paul Whiteman had several number one’s and placed nearly 200 records on the charts.  Glenn Miller enjoyed more than 2 dozen top hits.

But for everyone else number 1 in the nation was a rare event.  During the Bailey/Woolfolk/Dunlap era of Earth Wind and Fire – the highly successful group achieved 8 number one’s on the Billboard R&B charts and one of those went to number 1 Hot 100.  Wayne Thompson – who became known as Wayne Carson – and who had briefly played with Denver’s Freddie and the Hitchhikers” – had a biggie – He  composed “The Letter” which hit number one for the Box Tops (the Arbors would chart with the Carson song as would England’s Joe Cocker who took it to number 7 – Cocker eventually moved to Colorado living near the town of Crawford on Colorado’s western slope near the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.)

The Champs From East High School

EWF-intro-rowEWF-intro-rowThe late Michael Johnson who grew up in Alamosa, Colorado, enjoyed some nice Hot 100 presence but it would take a move to country music for Johnson to hit the top spot – twice on the country charts.  The one-time mayor of Ouray, Colorado – Chad a monster number 1 Country song with “Convoy”.  That one was played to death.  Another Colorado artist who went country was Gary Morris who came out of Texas to settle in the Denver area – first performing as part of the duo “Gary and Eddie (Johnson)” and appearing often at Taylor’s Supper Club – sometimes appearing as “Taylor’s Cowboys”.  Gary and Eddie would team up with Colorado musician Teri Hernandez to form a country/folksy type group called “Tomorrow’s Time”.

The Big Six

Morris would move as a solo and would enjoy four number 1 country hits.  Steamboat resident Mary MacGregor hit the top spot with 1977’s “Torn Between Two Lovers”.  Denver’s Kenny Passerelli was in demand as a session player by many prominent artists including Joe Walsh, Dan Fogelberg, Stephen Stills and Elton John, all musicians who made their way to Colorado’s Caribou Ranch recording studio.  Kenny co-wrote Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” (which Passerelli composed) and played on Elton Johns’ number 1 hit “Island Girl”.  Kenny appeared on many Hall and Oates charting singles (and LP’s) as a regular part of their band for a time.

Johnson & Morris Top of the Country

And finally, University of Colorado students Tim Gilbert and John Carter penned the monster hit “Incense and Peppermints” at the request of producer Frank Slay for The Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Number 1 On Fabulous KIMN (or KTLK)

The Moonrakers and Boenzee Cryque share the distinction of having two number one hits in Denver on Denver radio.  Firefall had one, The Soul Survivors one and Sugarloaf one.

Number One at One Mile High

Everyone But Them

The Astronauts, had one number one hit on KIMN “Baja” and just three singles which charted nationally, but just barely, “Baja” made it to number 94 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “Hot Doggin'” managed a number 101 ranking.  “Competition Coupe” just made a cameo appearance with a Bubbling Under rank of 124.  Denver’s favorite local band chosen by many, they did much better in Japan!

Going Local Around the U.S.A

Five Colorado musical acts who did not hit the top spot on a Colorado radio station but managed one each out of state include the Arizona to Colorado transplant Cornerstone on KFXM in San Bernardino, CA (“Holly Go Softly”). Flash Cadillac on WDNG in Anniston, AL (“Did You Boogie with Your Baby”), Bob Lind on KACY in Orlando, FL (“Elusive Butterfly”), The Serendipity Singers on WAKY Louisville, KY (“Don’t Let The Rain Come Down”), and Randy Van Warmer KOOK, Billings, MT (“Just When I Needed You Most”).

Beloved Band Box Records

Band Box – Registered in 1963 but in Use on Records by 1958/59

Nineteen Band Box label recordings managed to chart either here or in another state.  Three songs broke into the national charts – two by Van Trevor and one by Penny Starr (Dehaven) – both edging onto the Billboard Country charts and both times kicking off those two performers country recording careers.  Both musicians have passed away.

So that’s it – a total of six songs which hit the ‘toppermost of the poppermost’ of the Billboard Hot 100 – A damn rare thing as it turns out!

There are no doubt other tune I have missed as far as the total comprehensive charts go, and I welcome any additions or corrections.

The Chart History Colorado

Presented alphabetically by artist.


KIMN Boss Jocks (and more)

August 6, 2019

KIMN Boss Jocks on The Denver Tiger – 950 AM through the Years

Here they are – as far as I have been able to round them up – Many now deceased – more than we know – here are the on-air guys and gals who brought the music and the magic to the Mile High City!

The early team of KIMN Jocks were fascinating to me – older for the most part – not quite as “hip” as those who would soon follow – names like Gene Price, Al Lohman Jr., Morey Crowley to name a few from the mid 1950’s – Royce Johnson was there then and he certainly “had it” but wouldn’t survive his “flushing toilet” incident when KICN came along.

Immensely popular Pogo Poge came along in about 1958 and changed everything with his stunts on and off the air.  Character names were the rage “Frankenstein”, “The Night Creature”, Graham “Cracker” Richards, Roy “The Bell Boy”, and “Bells a-Popin”.

KIMN was located on the “West Side” so that sort of made it more our station – being students at Denver West – than any other Denver area high school – Jefferson was located just down the street in Lakewood so I suppose they made the same claim – but we were Denver West!

We used to drive over to the station located off 20th and Sheridan Blvd., by Sloans Lake every Saturday to pick up the latest KIMN weekly survey.  If they were out or locked up for some reason then we would just go to nearby Arlan’s Department Store and fetch one from the record department.  KIMN and Arlan’s were joined at the hip being so near to one another – with special recording artists sometime appearing just outside the store adjacent to KIMN to promote a new record.

KIMN was our soundtrack morning, noon and especially well into the night.  My friend and I would often stop by KIMN around midnight on a Saturday where Jay Mack would be broadcasting – He would let us come into the lobby and talk to us via a lobby speaker during song spins – no tape – all 45’s on turntables.  He seemed to enjoy having the late night company.  Best of times….

KIMN Chris Alexander – 1971

KIMN Steve Alexander – 1983-1988

KIMN Gary Allyn – 1965

KIMN Lee Anderson KIMN ‘Weather Girl’ – 1960’s

KIMN Paul Anderson – 1964

KIMN Paul Anderson – 1964

KIMN Mike Anthony – 1972

KIMN Fred Arthur – 1950’s

KIMN Ted Atkins – 1960’s

KIMN “Jolly” Roger Barkley – 1959-1961 (deceased)

KIMN John Bayliss – 1970’s (deceased)

KIMN Keith Beaver – 1964

KIMN Dan Bell – 1967

KIMN Glen  “Bells-a-Poppin/Boogie” Bell -1958-1964

KIMN Jerry Bell

KIMN Eric Birch – 1980’s

KIMN Dave Bogart – 1970’s

KIMN The Boogeyman – 1980’s

KIMN Phil Boyce

KIMN Barry Bradley – 1964

KIMN Big Al Brady – 1972-1973

KIMN Tom Brennan – 1960

KIMN Tom Brewer – 1980’s

KIMN Ray Bridges – 1962-1963

KIMN Chuck Buell – 1964-1967 & 1982

KIMN Eric Burch – 1980’s

KIMN Mike Butts – 1974

KIMN Warren Byrne

KIMN Sandy Cate – 1964

KIMN Jim Chenevy – 1979-1980

KIMN Bill Churchill – 1963

KIMN Dick Clark (Syndicated ) – 1964

KIMN Gary Clark – 1972

KIMN Richard Clear – 1971

KIMN Michael “Mike” Collins – 1971

KIMN Jack Colon  1958

KIMN Mark Copeman – 1980’s

KIMN Lee Corey – 1982-1985

KIMN Scott Cortelyou News – 1978-1988

KIMN Mort Crowley – 1957-1958

KIMN Gary Cruz News – 1970’s

KIMN Bill Davidson – 1965-1966

KIMN Danny Davis – 1968-1970’s

KIMN Jay Davis – 1970

KIMN Dr. Demento (Syndicated) – 1975

KIMN Neal Dionne – 1981

KIMN Dick Dillon – 1980’s

KIMN John Duane – 1980’s

KIMN Chuck Duncan News – 1960’s

KIMN Charles Eastwood – 1972

KIMN Dwight Edmund News – 1963

KIMN Gloria Eflin “Weather Girl” – 1960’s

KIMN Doug Erickson – 1976-1986

KIMN John Erickson (aka “Bill Calm”) – 1971-1972

KIMN Stu Evans – 1980’s

KIMN Tim “Finneley Beangrab” Findley – News Team/Boss Jock – 1962/1964

KIMN Chris Fitzrandolph – 1979-1980

KIMN Don Fortune – 1964

KIMN “Big” Bob Foster – 1970’s

KIMN Linda Fox-Kamen – 1974-1976

KIMN Dave “Franzanstein” Fransen – 1957-1960 (deceased)

KIMN Ron Fritz (News) – 1970’s

KIMN Jim Fulcher – the “KIMN Chicken” – 1970’s

KIMN Ed Greene – (future Denver News anchor) – 1973-1974

KIMN Roy “The Bellboy” Gunderson – 1958-1961 (deceased)

KIMN Gary Hamilton – 1971-1974

KIMN Don “The Hawk” Hawkins – 1980’s (deceased)

KIMN Jim Heath (“Johnny Presley”) – 1966-1967

KIMN Cecil Heftel (station owner) – 1957-1962

KIMN John Hendricks

KIMN Jim Herron – 1976-1978

KIMN Al Hogan – 1961

KIMN Bruce “Happy Holiday” Holland – 1958-1962

KIMN Bill Holley “The Night Creature” – 1960’s

KIMN Howard Hughes – 1971

KIMN Bobby Irwin – 1980-1981

KIMN George Jay – 1972

KIMN Randy Jay – 1980-1988

KIMN Al Jefferson – 1970’s

KIMN Royce Johnson – 1958-1960 (fired for “flushing” the competition “down the toilet” (deceased)

KIMN Jackson Kane – 1973-1975 (deceased)

KIMN Casy Kasem – 1971 (Syndicated)

KIMN Bruce Kamen (News) – 1970’s (deceased)

KIMN Bob Karson – 1979-1986

KIMN Sharon Katchen – 1970’s-1980’s

KIMN Jack Kaufman – Owner of Harmony Record Store downtown and the “trumpet playing” cab driver – 1961-1964

KIMN Steve Keeney – 1973-1986

KIMN Steve Kelley – 1977-1986

KIMN Chuck Kelly – 1970’s

KIMN Scott Kenyon – 1972-1974

KIMN Scott Killgore – 1986-1988

KIMN Lynn Kimbrough News

KIMN Mark Kochman – 1980’s

KIMN Dave LaFrance – 1970’s

KIMN Tony Lamonica News – 1960’s – 1970’s

KIMN Robert E. Lee – 1960-1969

KIMN Stan Levitt News Team – 1964

KIMN Niles Lishness – 1960’s (with Jay Mack)

KIMN Dana Logan – 1980’s

KIMN Al Lohman – 1957-1958 (deceased)

KIMN John London – 1970’s

KIMN Jay Mack – 1963-1971 (deceased)

Marsilio – 1962

KIMN Don Martin – KIMN “Sky Spie” News Team/Director – Early 1960’s-1971

KIMN Marti Martin

KIMN C.C. “Nightsmoke” McCartney – 1973-1976

KIMN John McGuiness General Manager – 1972-1977 (deceased)

KIMN Farley McKluth – 1960’s (with Jay Mack)

KIMN “Smilin” Jack Merker – 1950’s-1963

KIMN Mike Metz – 1961-1962 (deceased)

KIMN Brant Miller – 1971

KIMN Paxton Mills – 1980’s (deceased)

KIMN Bill Minckler – 1974-1976

KIMN Johnny Mitchell – 1963-1964

KIMN Hal “Baby” Moore – 1960’s

KIMN Mike Morgan “Rick Shaw” – 1966-1967 (deceased)

KIMN Roger W. Morgan – 1969-1970

KIMN Phil Mueller – 1965

KIMN “Mountain Man” Murphy – 1986-1988

KIMN Johnny Nelson – 1963-1965

KIMN Jim O’Brien – 1966 (deceased)

KIMN Mike O’Meara News – 1964

KIMN Charlie O’Neill – 1970’s

KIMN Kris Olinger – 1970’s-1980’s

KIMN Gary Owens – 1957 (went on to Laugh In etc.)

KIMN Loren Owens – 1978

KIMN Ken Palmer – owner 1960’s into 1971 (deceased)

KIMN Gary Paxton – 1970’s

KIMN Wayne Phillips general manager – 1980’s

KIMN Judy Plumlee KIMN ‘Weather Girl’ – 1960’s

KIMN – Pogo Poge – 1960-1965 (deceased)

KIMN Gene Price – 1957-1958

KIMN Lee Randall – 1960’s

KIMN John Ravenscroft – 1964

KIMN Ross Reagan “Ross Jay” – 1960’s (deceased)

KIMN Jon Reed – 1971-1972

KIMN Grahame “Crackers” Richards – 1958-1960’s (deceased)

KIMN Stan Richards – 1965

KIMN Randy Robins – 1971

KIMN Ted Rogers

KIMN Dave Rogers – 1958-1961 (deceased)

KIMN Dan Ryan – 1970’s

KIMN M.J. Ryan – 1970’s

KIMN Nick St. John – 1974

KIMN W.D. Sanaferd – 1972-1973

KIMN Cliff Saunders – 1968

KIMN Henry (“Harry”) Scarborough – 1971-1972

KIMN Bob Scott KIMN News – 1962-1970’s

KIMN Tony Scott

KIMN Norm Seeley – 1963

KIMN Gary Semro – 1971

KIMN Mike Shannon – 1969

KIMN R.T. Simpson – 1968-1971

KIMN Harry Smith – Went on to work as major host of CBS “This Morning” TV show

KIMN Jack Sorbi – 1965-1966

KIMN Bill Stevens “Dave Shaw” – 1970’s (deceased)

KIMN Dave Stewart – 1962-1963

KIMN Greg Stone – 1967

KIMN Carl Strandell – 1968

KIMN Tina Tafolla – 1970’s

KIMN Doug Taylor – 1957-1958

KIMN Gary Tessler – Became a KOA talk show host

KIMN Dave Thomson – 1968-1973

KIMN “Tiny Tim Tindall – 1958-1963

KIMN Gary Todd – 1964

KIMN Walt Turner – 1971

KIMN Todd Wallace – 1962-1967

KIMN George Weber – 1980’s

KIMN Don West – 1967-1971

KIMN Bill Western – 1964-1969

KIMN Hal Widsten – 1976-1978

KIMN Carl Truman Wigglesworth – 1973

KIMN Johnny “Dapper Dan” Williams – 1959-1961

KIMN Wayne Yaffee – 1982-1983