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Hysterical Society article in the Grand Rapids Press

Reveling in Grand Rapids' music past: New 'Hysterical Society' website documents West Michigan bands, musicians | MLive.com

September 12, 2011 | Comments (Closed)

Phalanx: Kalamazoo Rocks Too!

And South Haven!

Got an email today from a guy who has compiled a collection of Phalanx Records artists from Kalamazoo, plus singles from the South Haven area.

See the track listing after the jump...

April 21, 2011 | Comments (10)

A Night With Me and Dem Guys

A Night With Me & Dem Guys - This great new site shares a bunch of live recordings. Very cool!

August 13, 2010 | Comments (3)

Great new article

From the Lansing City Pulse: Back to the Garage by Rich Tupica. Interviews with members of the Plagues, the Ones, the Woolies, the Ferraris, Tonto & the Renegades, and the Beaux Jens. Nice!

June 17, 2010 | Comments (Closed)

Kingtones inducted into Michigan Rock and Roll Legends hall of fame

"The Kingtones, Grand Rapids’ original garage band, finished first in the 2010 email balloting for induction into Michigan’s on-line hall of fame at www.michiganrockandrolllegends.com. Early Detroit recording stars, Hank Ballard & The Midnighters finished second in this year’s vote, closely followed by Motown’s famous house band, The Funk Brothers. Two outstanding Detroit/Ann Arbor rock bands, The Rationals and SRC (Scot Richard Case) were also voted in. This year’s honorary induction went to the great songwriting/production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. One hundred ninety-six Michigan artists received at least one vote in the balloting. The six inductions bring the total number of inductees in Michigan Rock and Roll Legends to forty-eight. The on-line hall of fame was established in 2005."

June 3, 2010 | Comments (0)

Michigan 60's Garage Bands on Facebook

Michigan 60's Garage Bands on Facebook. Run by Kip Brown, publisher of late 1980s/early 90s zine "12 O'Clock July."

Become a fan!

February 23, 2010 | Comments (2)

Kingtones Live in Grand Rapids!

A message from the Kingtones!


The Kingtones have been asked to play Pulaski Weekend, Oct. 3 & 4, at St. Georges' Hall in Grand Rapids. Although we have been retired, we do remember the clubs and people that were good to us when we were playing on a regular basis and have decided that we will play for them. So on October 3 & 4, come on down to St. Georges' Hall and join the party with us. This could be the last time you will ever see the Kingtones playing together.

Check out the Kingtones Web Site, www.kingtones.com, "Tour Dates," for further details. We hope you can make it and would love to see you. Take care.

Bruce, Phil, George, Jim

Should be a good show!

August 18, 2008 | Comments (3)

New Soulbenders Videos

An update from Aris Hampers of the Soulbenders and Phlegethon:

It's nice to finally see the posts are being accepted at this site again. I tried for the first half of the year to make some corrections, but the site had errors. Dave Kalmbach made a wonderfully surprising visit to my Disc Shop (when it was still open) at the cd release party for the Soulbenders/Phlegethon "Michigan Tapes" cd release in 2000. It was difficult for him to walk, but there were lots of smiles as we both reminisced about making our two SoulBenders records in Sparta in the glory days. His battle with MS has probably taken it's toll by now, but I wish him the very best.

Earlier this year, just for grins, I created 4 videos of our 2 SoulBenders 45's and posted them on YouTube. Take a look if you find some time. (and make sure you click on the 'watch in high quality' blue link just below the YouTube player, if you want the audio to be in-synch with the video...a big difference.)

Now...regarding the 'missing numbers' in the Fenton numbering system...folks, those were 'not' Fenton numbers. Those numbers were assigned by American Record Pressing plant in Owosso before it burned to the ground decades ago. If you didn't request a number, they issued one of their own. The missing numbers could have been issued to 'anyone' 'anywhere' who pressed a private issue. (They pressed a lot of out-state records as well) Hope that clears it up for some. I've been trying to post that info here (among other stuff) for years, but the site wouldn't let me.

-Aris (of the SoulBenders and Phlegethon)

Video: The SoulBenders "7&7 Is" (1968)


August 12, 2008 | Comments (1)

Monthly eBay Roundup

Phlegethon - Last Voyage Home b/w Prelude To An Odyssey (Pre-Heat 202) went for $19.99 (VG) on June 11, 2006.

The Jades - Surface World b/w We Got Something Going (Fenton 2236) went for $100.99 (new, unplayed) on June 18, 2006.

Sheffields - Please Come Back to Me b/w My Lovin Days are Through (Destination 613) went for $19.99 (VG++) on June 21, 2006.

Don Hanke & Echo Men - You Put A Tiger In My Tank b/w You Are The One (Fenton 2064) went for $23.00 (VG+) on June 22, 2006.

Sheffields - Nothing I Can Do b/w Do You Still Love Me (Destination 621) went for $14.99 (VG+) on July 3, 2006.

July 5, 2006 | Comments (Closed)

Ebay Updates

Merrie Motor Company - Walkin Down the Street b/w Dream of You (Scott 3050) went for $6.00 (VG/VG+) on May 3, 2006.

Bobby Charles Quartet - Self-titled album (Fenton LP 2026) went for $9.99 (VG+ to VG++) on May 7, 2006.

The Plagues - I've Been Through It Before b/w (Clouds Send Down) Tears From My Eyes (Fenton 2070) went for $887.77 (un-played mint) on May 12, 2006. Congrats, Bosshoss!

The Plagues - That'll never do b/w Badlands (Quarantined 41269) went for $86.00 (un-played mint) on May 12, 2006.

The Fredric - Five O'Clock Traffic b/w Red Pier (Forte 3001) went for $19.99 (VG+) on May 13, 2006.

The Quests - Psychic b/w Scream Loud (Fenton 2032) went for $208.05 (VG++) on May 14, 2006.

Me & Dem Guys - Black Cloud b/w Come On Little Sweetheart (Coral Gables 2082) went for $12.50 (Mint-) on May 16, 2006.

The Troyes - Rainbow Chaser b/w Why (Space 7001) went for $47.50 (VG+++) on May 16, 2006.

The Morticians - It's Gonna Take A While b/w With Another Guy (Palmer 5027) went for $104.49 (Mint promo) on May 18, 2006.

Jackey Beavers - Bring Me All Your Heartaches b/w Don't Wan'na Lose You (Grand Land 19.000) went for $40.00 (mint and unplayed) on May 21, 2006.

The Pedestrians - It's Too Late b/w Think Twice (Atco 6567) went for $10.00 (VG+++) on June 3, 2006.

The Bel-Aires - Ya Ha Be Be b/w If You Love Me (Discotheque 1004) went for $294.00 (Near Mint) on June 3, 2006. This is one of my all-time favorite songs from the West Michigan scene.

The Penetraters - What Went Wrong b/w Cross the River of Love (Fenton 992) went for $69.78 (VG+) on June 4, 2006.

June 5, 2006 | Comments (Closed)

Grand Rapids Mid-Sixties Rock

Detroit gets a lot of credit for its thriving local music scene in the mid-sixties, and rightly so. But over on the other side of state, in West Michigan, an equally crazed bunch of teenagers were buying records by the Kinks and the Stones, starting bands of their own, and heading out to their garages and basements to practice their craft. Or maybe just make some noise. Thank goodness some of that glorious noise was preserved on vinyl to amaze future generations of music fans. This website is my attempt to honor the rock and roll bands of West Michigan from roughly around 1964 to around 1967.

Grand Rapids was the home of Fenton Records, which released some of the greatest mid-sixties rock and roll ever recorded. Bands such as the Ju Jus, the Quests, the Chevrons, 9th Street Market, the Aardvarks, the Mussies, and the Legends all cut classic records out of Fenton's Great Lakes studio. There were tons of others as well, some who released stuff on other labels, and some who never quite made it out of the garage.

And don't forget about the big shots who came from West Michigan: from Del Shannon (Coopersville) to Tommy James and the Shondells (Niles), this side of the state has produced some of the rip-roaringest craziness in the history of rock and roll.

People often refer to this stuff as "garage rock," and since the Nuggets compilation was released in mid-seventies, some people have referred to it as the original "punk rock." While both of these phrases have become popular labels for this genre of music, I hope they don't seem condescending to the bands who were just trying to play some rock and roll as best as they could. I think they succeeded, don't you? Sometimes, some of this stuff is described as "psychedelic." Wanna see something psychedelic?

If you have any information about any of this stuff, please don't hesitate to contact me at

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Recent Comments

• crystyna on Me and Dem Guys: Question: where are they now-the Frank Eimer Band?
• len eyman on John Brown Trio: I lived at the Fordney Hotel in the 60's, in a room next door to John; such great memories, dancing...
• Craig Goebel on Mafia: I remember seeing them. I'm thinking that Bill Chrysler from Kenowa may have been the bass player.
• Andy on Lyn & The Invaders: Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed hearing 'Boy is Gone' and 'Secretly' for the first time. Glad to...
• Danny Wright on Thyme: To Tom Hiatt: I think it was "You're The One" by the Hitchhikers from Kalamazoo. But I think there's a...
• Mike Powell on More band interviews: Keith I first met you at a converted roller rink to dance club in Richland Michigan in the mid 60's.Geno...
• Bob 'Doc' Beaton on Fredric: 'Mary' in the Fredric's song "Cousin Mary Knows" is my sister Mary! She is about the same age as Steve...
• Dale Williams on Touchstone: Those were the days...open air concerts..what a time that was! Riverside Park...Saugatuck...Goose Lake...Conklin...Saranac. ..our own little Woodstock here in Western Michigan...
• Karim on Fenton 2032: Hi Andy, it is an honor to be on your website. Thanks for the nice wrtiuep and history. It is...
• Tom Shannon on Blokes: Holy cow, Erv! I have your record and I've been trying to track down you and your band members. I...

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