Kansas City amusement parks were often the site of rock concerts in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The tradition of "School's Out" concerts at Fairyland sponsored by Top 40 radio station WHB goes back farther than I realized in my earlier "World's Happiest Broadcasters" post. Those events took place in the early 1970s. I have since found a newspaper ad (above) from June 1965 touting such a show with Len Barry of "1-2-3" fame as the headliner. That song came out the following month on Decca Records … [Read more...] about Carney Rock
According to several sources, the Kansas City area’s first homegrown rock band of note was Larry Emmett and the Sliders. While African-Americans were playing and listening to rhythm and blues in local clubs at least since the early 1950s, the flowering of white rock bands did not occur until after the Elvis Presley explosion of 1956. In fact, Larry Emmett was not a white man, but a Native American who was born on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation near Mayetta, Kan. His parents moved to … [Read more...] about KC’s first homegrown rocker
Rod Peal is a rock musician-turned-entrepreneur who opened Halcyon Diversified Trading in December 2009 at 4706 Mission Road, Roeland Park, Kan. Peal buys and sells a variety of hip goods, from used vinyl records to musical instruments to furniture. On the second Friday of each month, he hosts an art opening with live music. Peal had heard that the location was once a rock club, but no one was able to confirm it for him until now. The building once housed not one but two rock clubs catering … [Read more...] about Site of early clubs rocks again
Stan Plesser, who died Sept. 1 at age 79, arguably did more to foster the pop music scene in Kansas City than any other single person. From 1963 to 1971, his Vanguard Coffeehouse, 4305 Main St., brought the stars and semi-stars of the folk movement to midtown. His subsequent (1971-74) Cowtown Ballroom, 3101 Gillham Plaza, and Good Karma Productions not only brought rock’s brightest stars to shine on local kids like me, but they gave Kansas City such gravitational pull that artists from … [Read more...] about The passion of Stan Plesser
Among the holy grails of the Kansas City Rock History Project, in terms of photos, is the Jimi Hendrix Experience concert Nov. 1, 1968, at Municipal Auditorium. If anyone out there has photos of Jimi, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell on stage in Kansas City, please be in touch with me. And anyone who attended, please feel free to share your memories by commenting below. I have found some ads for the concert, whose opening act was Cat Mother and All-Night Newsboys, on the back of a KUDL Boss 30 … [Read more...] about Calling all shutterbugs!
Those Chicago-based musical archaeologists at the Numero Group are offering up a chance to own a slab of Kansas City Rock History. Three years ago they released a brilliant 2-CD set titled “Titan: It's All Pop!” It is 40 tracks of locally recorded, 1970s-vintage power-pop from the Titan label, which was headed by Tom Sorrells and Mark Prellberg. Now Numero has released a four-LP version. Says Numero: “The original 40-song double disc was sequenced as a kick-ass mix tape. For the 52-song, … [Read more...] about Own a piece of KC Rock History