From the Land of Band Box Records

Around Denver Back in the Day

For me my fascination with rock and roll began in the 5th grade when I was attending Newlon Elementary School in West Denver (located adjacent to Denver’s Barnum neighborhood).  The year was 1957 – late in the year.  Local radio station KIMN was counting down the KIMN Top 50 on a Saturday morning and near the top of the countdown they spun a song which spun me around “Get a Job” by the Silhouettes.  That was the beginning. Soon I entered junior high first at the brand new Kunsmiller located in what was then in the outreaches of Southwest Denver.

For a 7th grade music class we were each required to perform a musical presentation.  I couldn’t sing or play an instrument and so I created a silly little hand puppet and box stage – and had the puppet pantomime Frankie Avalon’s “Venus”.  I was a huge it!

Next it was on to another brand new Junior High – closer to my home – Rishel located near Tejon and Alameda.  It was at Rishel that my big project was to compile a list of every rock and roll song ever!  This was 1959 and so the task seemed doable.  I passed a notebook around the school for contributions.  I recall that hot chick, gum chewing Kathy Mercer contributed more than anyone else simply because she was just so cool!

Then in high school while attending Denver West on 11th and Elati streets in downtown Denver, I was cruising down Sheridan Blvd., one weekend evening heading toward Arlan’s Department store to peruse the record department and the latest 45’s when the KIMN DJ came on and said something like “This next song is creating a big stir in England.  The group is causing hysteria among their female fans wherever they appear.”  He spun “I Want to Hold Your Hand” about three times and that was that.

The Band Box record studio was located just a bit further north right off Sheridan (41st Avenue).  I drove by a thousand times but never stopped in.  Hundreds of musicians would record either there or in remote studios on the Band Box family of labels.

So it was rock and roll – The Beatles – Colorado music and the great State of Colorado for me!  And thus, “PopBopRocktilUDrop”!

Band Box – the Local Colorado band scene from the 1960’s – Local labels – Great Pop Writers – The British Invasion (oh yes, Motown) and More!

Tour the Barnum Neighborhood and the West Side as They Appear Today

My Baby Boomer Class of 1964 at Newlon Elementary School

I began school in Denver in 2nd Grade coming in midway into the year for 2nd Grade.  My first full year of school was 3rd grade, 1954/1955 with first year teacher Miss Homfeld (Norma Barney).  Shown below are the children of Miss Homfeld’s very first class.  She provided these photos recently to classmate Patty Gettman who passed them on for the purpose of documenting our class – many of whom continued on to – first Kunsmiller Junior High, then onto a newly built Rishel Junior High when we were all 8th Graders.  (Rishel was closed in 2008).  Next many of us continued on to West High School, while our Rishel 9th Grade Class was divided between West, Lincoln and South High Schools.


Lee & Norma Barney (Miss Homfeld) – 40th Anniversary – August 4th, 2008


Newlon Scenes

4th Grade Class 1956/1957 (Future Class of 1964)


5th Grade Class 1957/1958 (Future Class of 1964)




NEWLON MISC 1 (6) NEWLON MISC_0001 - Copy - Copy (2)

NEWLON MISC 1 (7) NEWLON MISC_0001 - Copy - Copy

NEWLON MISC_0001 - Copy (3) NEWLON MISC_0001 - Copy

NEWLON MISC_0002 - Copy - Copy NEWLON MISC_0002 - Copy (2)

NEWLON MISC_0002 NEWLON MISC_0002 - Copy (3)

NEWLON MISC_0002 - Copy NEWLON MISC_0003 - Copy (2)

Old Timers Baseball

My teams – 1959 and 1960

Rishel Junior High

I attended Rishel in 1960 and 1961 – the first two years of it’s opening.  Rishel took in students from Kepner and another new school, Kunsmiller and probably a few other – like Barnum and Valverde.

Below is the 1961 9th Grade Class.  We went on to either West, South or Lincoln.

West High School

1957 Football Game – Golden High School vs. West High – November 1st, 1957

Reunion ’63’, ’64, ’65 etc. – June 2nd, 2017

Reunion ’64 – 2014

(Attendees who went to Newlon Elementary School)


  1. I’m an old fan of George Weber & Medicine Bow Quartet. I’m trying to locate George or a Medicine Bow record or CD. Any help will be appreciated.

    • Russ – just sent you a link for their LP – Let me know any other information you might have about the group or George – Thanks

  2. My name is Rob Rose and I was percussionist/ drummer and vocalist for the Crystal Palace Guard from about 1966 through 1968. I believe the band dissolved in 1969 shortly after I left. There was an excellent mouth harp player and lead vocalist named Buss before Cris Williamson and I can look up names of others who were also short-term stand-ins.

    • Rob – by all means send in anything you might have on the Crystal Palace Guard and I will add it!

    • PS – If you can locate a photo of the group that would be much appreciated!

      • Craigr244: I just saw your reply today. I’ve been dealing with a broken ankle that required multiple surgeries. I have a few pictures of the Crystal Palace Guard but cannot send via this website. Please send me your regular eddress and I can attach. I’ll ID the people who I remember in the picture filenames or email. Over a year ago, I threw out posters and flyers that I’d made to promote the group for Family Dog, Summer of Love niversity.and some other venues. There were several popular groups that birthed from University of Denver and University of Colorado.

  3. I used to go with my parents and brother to the Bluffton Street Fair, in Bluffton, Indiana, every September; and seeing the Down Homers perform was always a special part of that. I have a publicity photo (printed on a large postcard) of the group which, at that time, consisted of Shorty Cook, Gene Masters, Guy Campbell, and Loyd Cornell. Three of the group signed the back of the card. The signatures of Shorty Cook and Gene Masters are fairly easy to read. The third one, though, could be either Guy Campbell or Lloyd Cornell. I’m leaning toward Guy Campbell, but the penmanship isn’t the greatest.

  4. Probably mid-fifties to mid-sixties.

  5. I heard a rumor you have a Colorado Doggies page?
    Can you provide a link?

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