1960's Rock-N-Roll Bands from the San Jaoquin Valley
(K - M)

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  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
    Kings Verses

Kings Verses
​Fresno, Ca
​1966

 Band Members:

Bill Kufis; Lloyd Bell; Jim Baker; and Bob Melchor.
 




 
The Kings Verses was another great rock group that hailed from  Fresno (1966). The group is best known for their hard driving fuzz guitar leads.  Visit www.sundazedrecords.com or
www.reverbnation.com for recordings by "Kings Verses."  The group performed in Los Angeles duirng the late 1960's.


  1. The Rainbow Ballroom - Fresno, CA
    The Rainbow Ballroom - Fresno, CA
  2. Sam Swan "KYNO" D.J.
    Sam Swan "KYNO" D.J.
Kreem Puff War
Fresno, CA
​1968

Band Members:

 Bob Keefe (rest of band member name's not known)
 







 A great garage rock group that was based out of Fresno was called "Kreem Puff War."  the group was mostly a cover band and played the hits of the day.  "Kreem Puff War" played through-out the Fresno area.  The group recorded one single (1) Blue Grass and 
Mr. Lincoln's Dead.  

Many thanks Bob Keefe for sharing this information.

 

  1. The Rhythm Knights - 1965
    The Rhythm Knights - 1965
The Rhythm Knights
Merced, CA
​1965
Band Members:

  Sammy Smart (piano), Gary Boyer (drums), Buzz Buttes (bass),
and Eddit Rodrigues (guitar).
 







 The Rhythm Knights were a great R & B and rock band based out of Merced, CA.  the group performed through-ut the north valley area at teen night clubs and parties.  The
members were:  Sammy Smart (piano), Gary Boyer (drums), Buzz Buttes (bass), and
Eddit Rodrigues (guitar).




 

  1. Managing Director
    The Lee Riders
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director
    The Lee Riders - Hanford Civic Auditorium

The Lee Riders
​Hanford, CA

 Band Members:

​Frank Garcia (from Visalia), Bonnie Anderson, Bob Nunes (HUHS '67), Mark Hopper (HUHS '67), Jule Aslesen-Wootten (HUHS '76), Geary Wootten (HUHS '69), Ted Gomez (HUHS'71) and Doy Delarosa (Hanford resident).
 

The Lee Riders weere a great garage rock group based out of Hanford.  The group performed through-out the valley and continues to play at MELCO Dances today.  
  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director
    The Rainbow Ballroom - Fresno
  5. Managing Director

The Lavender Hill Mob
Fresno, CA
​1967

 Band Members:
 Dave Chavoya (vocals and harp), Steve Knapp (vocals and bass), Jon Knapp (vocals), Judy Knapp (vocals - later married Bill Bixley of The Cindermen), Dave Grazaini (drums), Denny Burt (guitar), and Gary Murphy (guitar). ​

Another great rock group from the Fresno area was named "The Lavender Hill Mob." The group was managed by Mark Chenault (The Cindermen). Mark's father was part owner of "KYNO" radio in Fresno. The L.H.M. would frequently  sell out places like the Rainbow Ball Room and the old Marigold Ball Room. The group opended for name acts such as The Greatful Dead, Quick Silver Messanger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Seeds, and Sunny and Cher(at the Sellen Arena).  

In 1967, The Lavender Hill Mob broke up and formed a new group called "Shag."  The members of "Shag" were: Larry Farmer (keyboards), Dave Grazaini (drums), Steve Knapp (bass), Denny Burt (guitar), and Dave Chavoya (vocals and harp). "Shag " went on to perform at concerts with The Doors, Blue Cheer, Santana, Canned heat, and The Dead.  **Many thanks to Dave Chavoya for providing me with this information.
  1. Rainbow Ballroom - Fresno, CA
    Rainbow Ballroom - Fresno, CA
  2. Jeff Christensen
    Jeff Christensen
  3. Denver Cross - 1966
    Denver Cross - 1966
  4. Denver Cross - 1977 - Bakersfield, CA
    Denver Cross - 1977 - Bakersfield, CA
Laviathan
Fresno, Ca
1969 
Band Members:
 
Denver Cross (lead guitar - formally of The Roadrunners);
Jeff Christensen (drums - formally of Jim Waller and the Deltas); Chuck Yrulegul (bass guitar); and Jack Baker (organ). 
Laviathan was another great garage rock group based out of Fresno, CA.  It was formed by former Deltas' drummer Jeff Christensen and The Roadrunners' lead guitar player - Denver Cross.   The group performed through-out the San Joaquin Valley (Atwater, Merced, and Fresno) area. "Leviathan" performed in many of the hot clubs in the area such as "The Whatever," The Maxatorium," The Apartments," "The Casual," and
"The Guys and Dolls." In late 1970 the group disbanded. Unfortunately, there is no photo of "Leviathan." The only evidence that the group existed is a live recording (10 songs) that was recorded in Merced at "The Maxatorium" night club. Many thanks to Jeff Christensen (percussionist) for providing this information and the 10 tracks.


  1. Rick Lee and the Rarons
    Rick Lee and the Rarons
Rick Lee and 
The Barons
Bakersfield, CA
​1960
Band Members:


Randy Cierley Sterling, Rick Lee Holguin, Mike Woods, Tom Salmons, Dave Pearson and Jim Burress.

 








Rick Lee and The Barons were billed as one of the best groups from Fresno to LA and from Tehachapi to San Luis Obispo. The Barons drew audiences from all over  central and southern California. To thwart negative press about Rock-N-Roll dances The Barons placed an ad in the "Bakersfield Californian" inviting parents to attend free of charge to see what good clean fun was being had at the  well attended, alcohol and violence free, concerts. The Barons backed "The Paradons" on Diamonds and Pearls" (1959) and "The Blue Jays" on "Lovers Island." Randy
Cierley later changed his name to Randy Sterling and continued in the music business. He worked with indviduals such as Larry Taylor, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, Sonny and Cher, The Kingston Trio, and spent three years as part of the road band backing Neil Diamond.
​​
Many thanks to Susan Burnett for providing these photos and information.
 


 

  1. Performing at  J.H. Sanders Ford in Clovis, CA.
    Performing at J.H. Sanders Ford in Clovis, CA.
  2. L to R: Steve Dunbar, Bill Lerma, Greg Dunbar, and  Kirk Pool.
    L to R: Steve Dunbar, Bill Lerma, Greg Dunbar, and Kirk Pool.
  3. Memories
    Memories
Light Switch
Fresno, CA
​1967
Band Members:
 
Steve Dunbar, Bill Lerma, Greg Dunbar, and
Kirk Pool.

 


"Light Switch" was a great garage rock group based out of Fresno, CA.  The group played the hits of the day and through-out the central San Joaquin Valley area.  Many thanks to Kirk Pool for providing photos and information.
​​
 

  1. "Lil Ray"
    "Lil Ray"
  2. 'Lil Ray" and the Progressions
    'Lil Ray" and the Progressions
Lil Ray
Delano, Ca
​1964
Band Members:
 
LIl Ray (other band member's names not known)

Lil Ray hailed from Delano, Ca and was a 13 year old singer with "The
Rhythm Kings" from 1960 through 1963. Lil Ray moved to the L.A. area
in 1964 and recorded numerous songs on different labels. He was the first
lead singer for "The Midniters" (Los Angeles) before "Little Willie G" took the lead spot. An excellent bio of Little Ray's career can be found at the
 following site: http://www.markguerrero.com/17.php.  Once again, a special thanks to Ray Baradat (The Charades Band) for his photo contribution.

Georgia Lynn
Bakersfield, CA
​1963
Band Members:
 
Georgia Lynn (other band member's names not known)

Georgia Lynn was a female vocalist from the Bakersfield area.  Her roots were founded in country-western, but recorded a cross-over track called "Sugar Shack Queen" in 1963.  Ms. Lynn recorded numerous other tracks and performed through-out the central valley area.

  1. L to R (top row):  Iggy Perez (bass); Mark Manroe  (guitar): Mike Morrison (drums); and Ed Burke (keyboards). L to R (bottom row): Ray Baradat (vocal-guitar); Syl (vocals); and  Johnny Johnson.
    L to R (top row): Iggy Perez (bass); Mark Manroe (guitar): Mike Morrison (drums); and Ed Burke (keyboards). L to R (bottom row): Ray Baradat (vocal-guitar); Syl (vocals); and Johnny Johnson.
The
Marvelous Vels
Fresno, CA
​1960
Band Members:
  
Iggy Perez (bass); Mark Manroe (guitar): Mike Morrison (drums); and Ed Burke (keyboards). L to R (bottom row): Ray Baradat (vocal-guitar); Syl (vocals); and Johnny Johnson.

 
"The Marvelous Vels"  were a tremendous soul group based out of 
Fresno.  The "Vels" played through-out the San Joaquin
Valley and performed the hits of the day.  The group performed
in the late 50's and early 60's in various clubs in the Fresno area.  In the
early 60's the "Vels"  appeared with The Charades  Band in a talent
contest at the Kearney Bowl Ballroom in Fresno.   The winner received
 a recording contract with "Swingin" records.  Ed Burke (the "Vels"
 keyboard player) later joined The Charades band in the 70's.  Ed still
 performs in the Fresno area as a single.
 
A special thanks to Ray Baradat (The Charades Band) for "The
Marvelous Vels" information.

​​

 

  1. The Merced Blue Notes
    The Merced Blue Notes
The
Merced Blue Notes
Mered, CA
​1962
Band Members:

The baddest band in the Central Valley: The Merced Blue Notes : George “Chief” Coolures, Kenny Craig, Gilbert Fraire, Carl Mays, Bobby Hunt and Bill “Tiger” Robertson.
  

 
The Merced Blue Notes formed in high school in Merced, CA, in January 1957, and would undergo numerous lineup changes over the course of their career, the constant element being singer/songwriter/guitarist Kenny Craig. They actually made their first contacts with the record industry back around 1958, when they auditioned for Specialty Records, with a young Sonny Bono in the control booth. Specialty only wanted to record their singer Roddy Jackson who made singles for the label in the late 50's..  The Merced Blue Notes  recorded a number of  singles on the Merced label in 1960, and they'd intermittently record over the next half dozen years for other companies, including Accent, Tri-Phi, Mammoth, and the Fantasy R&B subsidiary Galaxy.  The group's 1961 Accent 45 "Rufus"  received a lot  of airplay in Detroit  which resulted in concert and recording work (the latter for Harvey Fuqua's Tri-Phi label) in 1962.


 

  1. (L to R): Cecil Rhodes and Isaiah Willis, Jr. singing   "You've Lost That Lovin Feeling."
    (L to R): Cecil Rhodes and Isaiah Willis, Jr. singing "You've Lost That Lovin Feeling."
  2. L to R: Cecil Rhodes and Jim Runjavac (1965)
    L to R: Cecil Rhodes and Jim Runjavac (1965)
  3. L to R: Rich Planas (guitar/vocals) and Mick Kemmerer (guitar/vocals)
    L to R: Rich Planas (guitar/vocals) and Mick Kemmerer (guitar/vocals)
Michael 
and 
The Jesters
Dinuba, CA
​1965
Band Members:


Mick Kemmerer (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals), Jim Runjuvac (bass), Ron Schendel (Organ/Vocals), Richard Planas (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Danny Gomez (drums), Cecil Rhodes (lead vocals), and Isaiah Willis, Jr. (lead vocals).




 

  
"Michael and the Jesters"  performed through-out the San Joaquin Valley
and were based out of a town South of Fresno called Dinuba.  The group played rock-n-roll hits of day in addition to the Beach Boys and the British Mercey Sound.  Michael and the Jesters  were mainly known for their great Motown sounds of Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Bobby Blue Bland, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke.   Cecil Rhodes (lead singer) would frequently please and excite the audience with his performance of the entire James Brown album ("Live at the Apollo").   The 
group performed and won many battle of the bands and was frequently booked by MELCO.  Michael and the Jesters were frequent performers at The Crimson Castle, Cinamon Cinder, and the Marigold Ballroom.  The group disbanded in 1967 due to many members being drafted into the Vietnam War.  The band recorded two tracks (1) "Screwdriver" and (2) "Shirley."

Many thanks to Cecil Rhodes (lead singer) for providing the photos and bio information.​​
  1. The Misfits - Fresno, CA
    The Misfits - Fresno, CA
  2. (L. to R.) Pete Escobedo,   Bass guitar; Louie Gonzales, Drums; Albert Delgado, Lead guitar;   and Martin Montelongo, Keyboards.
    (L. to R.) Pete Escobedo, Bass guitar; Louie Gonzales, Drums; Albert Delgado, Lead guitar; and Martin Montelongo, Keyboards.
  3. (L to R): Martin Montelongo; Country Joe Navarro;  Albert Delgado; and Henry Ramirez.
    (L to R): Martin Montelongo; Country Joe Navarro; Albert Delgado; and Henry Ramirez.
The Misfits
Fresno, Ca
1965
Band Members:

 
Martin Montelongo; Country Joe Navarro; Albert Delgado; and Henry Ramirez. A special thanks to Albert Delgado for sending me these photos.
 







 

  
The Misfits were another great rock band which hailed from Fresno. The group played at the Pink Kitten in (Fresno) from 1965-1969. tThe band members were: Pete Escobedo, Bass guitar; Louie Gonzales, Drums; Albert Delgado, Lead guitar; and Martin Montelongo, Keyboards. Albert went on to play with Hayward Lee and the Marauders and later Jim Doval and the Gauchos. He currently plays with a Fresno group called "The 50's Connection."

  
The Mixture
Hanford, CA
​1966
  1. Vickie Luick (drums, songwriter);  Denis Garcia (lead guitar, backup vocals); Sue Weisenhaus  (keyboards, songwriter); and John Grant (bass, lead vocals).
    Vickie Luick (drums, songwriter); Denis Garcia (lead guitar, backup vocals); Sue Weisenhaus (keyboards, songwriter); and John Grant (bass, lead vocals).
  2. Memories
    Memories
  3. KAFY Radio - Bakersfield, CA
    KAFY Radio - Bakersfield, CA
  4. KAFY Radio - Bakersfield, CA
    KAFY Radio - Bakersfield, CA
  5. KLAN Radio - Hanford, CA
    KLAN Radio - Hanford, CA
  6. MELCO Dance
    MELCO Dance
Band Members:
 
Vickie Luick (drums, songwriter); Denis Garcia (lead guitar, backup vocals); Sue Weisenhaus (keyboards, songwriter); and John Grant (bass, lead vocals).
 


 







  

"The Mixture" was a four piece combo featuring two female members (Vickie Luick and Sue Weisenhaus).  The band was based out of Hanford, CA and performed at many local events including a MELCO Dance in 1966.  The Mixture is pictured above playing at a two day "Battle of the Bands"
in 1966.  Acording to Vickie Luick, The Mixture won the Battle of the Bands over another another local band which featured Steve Perry (who later became lead singer for Journey).  Many thanks to Vickie Luick for
providing the photo and information about "The Mixture."
 
When interviewing Vickie, she mentioned the following:
 
"Lights was our most requested song.  I must say that was the coolest
part of being in this band.  Writing our own songs and making the music to the words.  My step Father lived across the street from Mel Simas.  So we got free auditions when we practiced there.  One day Mel came over and said alright, alright Vickie,  you got a gig...   I will never forget that day." 

 

  1. lead singer Manuel Canez
    lead singer Manuel Canez
  2. Andrea's - Bakersfield, CA
    Andrea's - Bakersfield, CA
  3. KAFY - Bakersfield
    KAFY - Bakersfield
The
Montereys
Bakersfield, CA
​1962
Band Members:

 
Manuel Canez (lead vocalist and song writer), Tom Lopez,
Tom Rey, and Santos Cepeda.

 


 







   
"The Montereys" were a great doo wop group based out of the Bakersfield - Lamont area.  The members were Manuel Canez (lead vocalist and song writer), Tom Lopez,  Tom Rey, and Santos Cepeda.  "The Montereys" were original called "The Belvederes," but changed their name (producer request) to "The Montereys."  The group performed through-out the central valley area and recorded two great songs in 1963 (Send Me a Letter and Darlin' I Love You).
 




  1. Andre's Drive In - Bakersfield
    Andre's Drive In - Bakersfield
  2. Battle of the Bands - KAFY Radio
    Battle of the Bands - KAFY Radio
Augie Moreno
Bakersfield, CA
Band Members:

  Augie Moreno (band member's names not known)


 







 Augie Moreno was a great solo artist based out of Bakersfield, CA.  He performed through-out California and recorded numerous tracks that were produced by Bakersfield's Gary Paxton.  ​​





  1. Andre's Drive In - Bakersfield
    Andre's Drive In - Bakersfield
  2. Battle of the Bands - KAFY Radio
    Battle of the Bands - KAFY Radio
Mozes
Visalia, Ca
​1967
Band Members:

  Band member names not known.

 







 Very little is known about the great garage rock group from Visalia called "Mozes." 
The group recorded two tracks (1) Be Kind To You and (2) I live Life Because.




 

  1. The Morlochs - 1966
    The Morlochs - 1966
  2. The Morlochs - Merced - 1965
    The Morlochs - Merced - 1965
The Morlochs
Merced, CA
​1965
Band Members:

 Tom Salles, Jim Sanders, Jeff Sanders, Dave Sprinkel, Roger Henry and Andy Daniel.

 







 

 The Morlochs were a garage rock group that was based out of Merced, CA.   The  band play
through-out the north and central valley area.   The group performed for high school teen dances and other venues in the Merced area.  The group was noted for their five piece harmony and cover songs.   The Morlochs later morphed into "Crystal Syphon."   In 1970, two members of the group formed  a power group called called "Boogeyman."