Saturday, February 25 at 7 pm:
Jack Wesley Routh
Ray Bagby of Finnigan & Wood
Craig "Twister" Steward
Sunday, February 26 at 3 pm:
White Clover (only one song)
Tommy Stephenson with F5
Bloodstone was a key group in creating the shift from the R&B and soul group concepts of the '50s and '60s to the funk and black rock ideas of the '70s and afterward. The group began in Kansas City, while the original members were in high school, as an a cappella doo wop group, the Sinceres, around 1962. They evolved with the decade, and by 1968 were ensconced in Las Vegas, playing lounges like many other soul minor leaguers (Sonny Charles & the Checkmates, most notoriously). From there, they went to Los Angeles and did the unexpected: They learned to play instruments and became a band (like the Clash and Steely Dan, they never did settle on a permanent drummer). In fact, Bloodstone was a very good funk-soul group using the Hendrix-derived licks of Charles Love and Willis Draffen against multiple percussion ideas to underpin a vocal blend that still owed its soul to gospel and doo wop. (If this makes you think of the Isley Brothers of "That Lady," you're on the right track.) Bloodstone received no record company interest in L.A., however, so at the advice of its manager, the group relocated to London in 1971. There, they teamed up with Mike Vernon, founder of the Blue Horizon label, who'd made his bones producing an album with the great Chicago pianist Otis Spann; white blues acts like Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown; and early Euro-rock with Focus. Vernon took Bloodstone into the studio and by early 1973, its debut single, "Natural High," had cracked the R&B and pop Top Ten, becoming the group's defining song. Vernon produced the first five Bloodstone albums, which garnered seven Top 20 R&B singles, almost all of which made the pop Top 40. The group was a big concert draw, and its album sold well, if not spectacularly. Somehow, all of this was parlayed into a 1975 film deal. Train Ride to Hollywood is arguably the funniest picture of the whole '70s blaxploitation film boom, derived in equal parts from the Marx Brothers and such early spoofs as The Palm Beach Story and International House. Somehow, amidst the slapstick and the reefer jokes, Bloodstone wedges in a fairly complete history of black vocal harmony music from the Mills Brothers to the Coasters to their own bad selves. They do it even better on the soundtrack album. (All of the Vernon-produced Bloodstone albums contain versions of '50s and '60s oldies.) The group then faded from popular view, despite a brief stint at Motown, until the early '80s, when it hooked up with the Isley Brothers' T-Neck and scored a commercially and artistically successful album, We Go a Long Way Back, produced by the Brothers. The title track returned them to the R&B Top Ten in 1982, but although several other T-Neck singles charted, the group's recording career essentially ended there. Nevertheless, this heartland group had made a significant mark and can lay fair claim to being one of the first to figure out its particular era's future. ~ Dave Marsh, Rovi
An Interview with Greg (Gucker) Hartline
60s: Where was The Burlington Express formed?
GH: I am not sure how it all came together. I just remember rehearsing in all of our homes and getting complaints from the neighbors about the volume. We were very dedicated. Probably because none of us could play football. Blair Honeyman played bass and sang. Blair was always a fine vocalist and the young girls thought he was pretty hot. Mike West was originally trumpet player and actually played trumpet on one tune that I wrote, 'Black Hearted Woman.' Mike was a gifted multi-instrumentalist who performed on guitar, keyboard and harmonica. He also sang and, when he sang, he sang with lots of energy. He is a very talented guy. Eric Larson was our drummer. He was also a very spirited fellow. In about 1967 (I think) Blair left the group and was replaced by Bruce Lynn, bassist and vocalist. Both of these gents are fine musicians and good singers. I enjoyed working with both Blair and Bruce.
60s: How would you describe the band's sound? What bands influenced you?
GH: We were a British Invasion influenced group. In those days, you tended to be either a Brit band or a soul band of some kind. I'm sure both of these types of groups played some of each genre, but The Burlington Express strongly identified with the whole English sound and the look of those bands. I remember doing songs by The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Animals, The Dave Clark 5, The Who and quite a bit of material that we covered by The Yardbirds. We also wrote some tunes. Additionally, we did some R&B like 'Harlem Shuffle,' 'Midnight Hour' and a couple of James Brown numbers that Mike West sang quite well.
60s: Did you play any of the local teen clubs?
GH: I only remember The Empress Club which was a Sunday night gig and the occasional Crestview Recreation Center job, which was decidedly a teeny bopper venue.
60s: How far was the band's "touring" territory?
GH: Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado and Oklahoma (I think).
60s: What were the circumstances leading to the recording of the Cavern Records 45?
GH: I think that we decided that we ought to have a record in order to be real "recording artists." As I remember, Bill Honeyman (Blair's dad) and my father financed the whole thing and we eventually paid them back--slowly. The Cavern studio was a bizarre place built in a cave. It was our first attempt at making a record. Blair, Eric and I were still in high school at Topeka West when we did that. I think Mike West was studying music in his first year at Washburn University. The band recorded our little 45 at The Cavern studios outside of Kansas City. We also did a few sessions at Audio House in Lawrence. I only remember that there was not much overdubbing, if any. I know that we overdubbed some vocals on 'I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better' at the Audio House sessions. We were, in my opinion, a much better live band than we were a recording band. We could never afford to spend enough time in a studio to get really good at it.
GH: I left the group sometime in 1968, I think. I was not surprised when I was asked to leave, but it's all a little hazy. I have some memory that we had some serious differences about the direction that we were going in. My perspective is that I was a little more of a pop/rocker than a blues guy. The rest of the group was getting into the blues pretty heavy. Also, I was the only member who was living in Lawrence and attending Kansas University. The rest of the band was definitely Topeka based.
60s: How do you best summarize your experiences with The Burlington Express?
GH: The Burlington Express was a really fun young group. We had many great successes. We performed a lot. Every weekend we had gigs. We were regarded, I think, as a pretty hip band for our little world. I really enjoyed playing in Kansas City and, especially, opening for The Who. I learned so much by being a part of the whole experience. All things considered, even though there were some tough times and some disappointments, I greatly value the experience as a whole and would not want to trade it for anything. I hope that all the other members of the band feel the same way. I wish all of them my best. They are a bunch of talented fellows and we shared some unbelievable experiences.
Max Carl Gronenthal is an American rock singer, keyboardist, guitarist and songwriter. He is the current lead singer of the classic rock band Grand Funk Railroad. In addition, he spent several years as the keyboardist and lead singer for the mainstream rock band 38 Special, for whom he co-wrote and sang lead on the hit song "Second Chance".
Carl was born in 1950 in Platte Center, Nebraska and raised near the town of Humphrey, graduating from high school in Norfolk, Nebraska in 1968. Throughout 196869, he played a significant role as a member of the Norfolk-based New Breed Blues Band, during which time he enhanced his interest in rhythm and blues music. Beginning as a saxophonist in this band, he later became the lead vocalist/keyboardist in the group. However, in 1969, he left to join the Lincoln-based Chancellors.
Developing musical skills during the 1970s, Carl served stints with numerous bands across the Midwest, including the Fabulous Flippers in Lawrence, KS, pausing briefly in 1976 to study piano and refine his songwriting abilities in Oklahoma City. He frequently performed with fellow Midwesterner Tommy Bolin in various jazz/rock fusion groups. By the late-1970s, Carl had graduated to performing on albums by "bigger names," such as Rod Stewart and Dusty Springfield.
Around this time, Carl decided to begin recording as a solo artist. His debut album, Whistlin' in the Dark was released in 1979 under his given name, Max Gronenthal. A second solo album, Max followed in 1980.
Throughout the 1980s, Carl immersed himself in session work, singing and/or playing on albums by artists such as Elton John, Dan Fogelberg, Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Timothy B. Schmit, Bette Midler, and Kenny Loggins. In 1982, he also formed a 60s R&B cover band, which was eventually named "Jack Mack and the Heart Attack". This project also incorporated some Max Carl-penned original R&B-styled songs into their repertoire, including the semi-classic "Cardiac Party."
In addition to performing, Carl also found time during the mid-80s to compose tunes for various movie soundtracks, performing on many of them as well. Films such as Police Academy (1984), Grandview, U.S.A. (1984), and Doin' Time (1985) include his compositions. In 1986, he would co-write "Come and Follow Me" as a duet with Marcy Levy, which played during the closing credits of the movie Short Circuit.
Meanwhile, in 1985, Carl left Jack Mack and the Heart Attack to record his third solo album. Unlike the first two solo albums, The Circle would be released under his stage name "Max Carl." The album's title track would be included on the soundtrack for the John Hughes film Weird Science. Later that same year, Carl was invited to join .38 Special, a request that he eventually accepted.
Carl rehearsed with the band frequently, and by 1988, he joined forces with the southern rock stylings of .38 Special. That year, the band would release the Rock & Roll Strategy album, which included the Cal Curtis/Jeff Carlisi tune that was reworked into (giving additional writing credit to Carl) "Second Chance," featuring Carl on lead vocals. "Second Chance" introduced .38 Special into a whole new market, when it reached the top of the Adult Contemporary chart in early 1989. Carl remained in .38 Special into the 1990s, but left shortly after the release of the band's Bone Against Steel album in 1991.
At this point, Carl moved to Nashville, where he continued to write/perform on tunes for the likes of Joe Cocker, Bad Company, Richard Marx, and Charlie Daniels. Later in the 90s, he became fascinated with a "family" of musicians in Mississippi who performed a very original historical and heartland-infused brand of music. Relocating to Mississippi, Carl began performing with this group of musicians, forming what would become Max Carl and the Big Dance. This experience ultimately culminated in the release of the album One Planet One Groove (under the "Max Carl and the Big Dance" moniker) in 1998. Featured on this album are several of Carl's original compositions fused with this new "southern funk"/"Mississippi sound," as well as covers of various 60s hits done in this style.
The Wichita based band Clocks, arrived on the pop rock scene in 1982, and almost immediately got lost in the shuffle of the era - But not before giving us one of the most identifiable songs from that time.
Produced by Mike Flicker (Heart), this one-off album by the band has some nice moments, which fuses the styles of numerous other acts from that same imprint in time. A sound similar to The Cars, Tommy Tutone, The Romantics would be a fair description for Clocks.
Their song 'She Looks A Lot Like You' was released as a 7" single, and moved up the US charts nicely at the time.
Very little has been written about Clocks over the years, apart from a short review in Issue #2 of AOR Classics magazine. But we've found a recap of their career written by their bassist Jerry Sumner that captures the excitement and promise that Clocks had before them.
Jerry writes: "She Looks a Lot Like You was written by our drummer Steve Swain in a hotel room in Selkirk, Manitoba in Canada. We spent a lot of time up there when we first started playing original music. The Canadians were very receptive to new music.
"Anyway, Steve saw some model on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine and thought she looked like his ex-wife, as well as the girl he was seeing at the time. The first time I heard the song, I thought we might have a chance to do something as a band. That is, if we could just keep coming up with songs like that. The song did get us a record deal with CBS-Boulevard Records. Steve did manage to come up with quite a few additional songs for the album. We actually had a good chance of getting somewhere in the music business.
"Our album was released in June of 1982. It ended up charting, as did the single. We toured with Rick Springfield and Cheap Trick, so things were definitely looking up for us until when things abruptly changed at the label and our second album wasn't picked up. It seems that was the beginning of some big changes in the music industry. MTV came on the scene and suddenly there was a whole new way of doing things."
The band did flourish a bit with the launch of MTV as their video for "She Looks a Lot Like You" receiving some decent airplay. It showcased the band's signature keyboards and had a hint of a New Wave vibe that made it popular with the viewers.
Unfortunately, a second album was not in the cards for Clocks in the 1980's, but some of the band did reunite in 2003 for a recording session that produced some new tunes. Songs from those sessions were combined with some early demos and released in 2004 as The Black Box on Zip Records.
I've been meaning do this for awhile - namely, telling the brief history of a band I was involved with during an earlier time.
Cole Tuckey, a band that blended folk and rock into original music, played in Kansas and the Midwest from 1975-1980. Inspired by the early success of having one of its songs (Passing Fancy) as a top favorite on the main KC rock station (KY102), as well as songs played on stations in other cities, including Saint Louis, Columbia, Mo, and Wichita, and opening for Lynard Skynard and Bonnie Raitt, the band went on to play major venues and clubs making the Lawrence Opera House its home. Due to its large fan following, the band was picked up by major recording artists (Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Kenny Loggins) to be the opening act when they came to the Midwest.
Eventually, the band headlined in concerts in Kansas City, Saint Louis and elsewhere. The band was composed of Janet Jameson (lead vocals, violin), Allen Weiss (songwriter, lead vocals, guitar, and piano), Paul Dalen (guitar), David Grund (bass), Bill Brennan (drums), with other drummers including Stuart Doors and Keith Boucher. Jimmy Harlow also spent time in the band on keyboards. Jim Stringer joined us as well.
Janet recently recalled the events in Lawrence and Columbia when we played, of how people lined up/ camped out / with the lines winding around the block as early as 2:00pm to get in for our final shows. They even covered the people lined up on the localTV stations. I was told we held the attendance record at the Lawrence Opera house long after that.
Cole Tuckey focused on original music but also played songs that highlighted Janet's unique singing and playing styles. This led to some songs (e.g., Nobody Knows You When Your Down and Out) becoming standards for the band. Other major songs that received airplay or became favorites of the band's followers included Jitterbug Cowboy, Last Chance Fever, Takin' More Time Now, and It's Got to Feel Right.
Finally, how did we get this funny name? Try coming up with name for a band sometime, and then if you choose something good enough, well, if you become somewhat successful, the name stays with you.
Allen Weiss, October 2010
Finnigan & Wood
Jerry Wood and his band showed up in San Francisco in early 1971. Soon the guitarist and organist Mike Finnigan put together a six-piece group of former Kansans who all lived in the Bay Area...Ray Bagby (percussion) had played in Kansas City's Roger Calkins & the Holidays and Dani & the Roulettes, later known as Garry Mac & the Mac Truque...Don Clary (drums) had been with Wichita's Soule Survivors...Dave Gates (bass) had played with Wood in KC's Tiny & the Jukes and Jerry & the Pegs...Ray Loecklie (sax) was a veteran of North Texas State's One O'clock Lab Band and the Air Force's NORAD Band. Finnigan and Wood shared lead vocal responsibilities in the band.
Finnigan and Wood was a helluva rockin' band. The guys knew so many of the same songs that they played their first gig without a rehearsal and blew away the complacent music fans of Marin County. According to Mike they'd never heard any rhythm and blues like that out there. "Hell, they thought that 'Turn On Your Lovelight' was a Grateful Dead song." The band was as much a favorite around Kansas and played the Midwest often.
Finnigan and Wood recorded two albums for Blue Thumb Records, but only the first, Crazed Hipsters, was released. The second one featured the Pointer Sisters and the Tower of Power horns. Both Finnigan and Wood albums have been bootlegged by a California fan.
Like too many good bands, the breakup of Finnigan and Wood came about for non-musical reasons. A lot of nights the band was having a better time onstage than the audience was having on the dance floor. Fans still talk about how incredible it was to watch Finnigan play the Hammond B3 one-handed, singing his ass off, while hoisting what seemed like a never ending supply of beer bottles. It was alcohol and drugs that broke up the band. Jerry Wood was abusing them even more than Finnigan, and are what eventually led to his death in 1993. Mike has been clean and sober for more than a decade and has forged a solid career with work in TV commercials and theme songs, movie soundtrack work and led the band for Crosby, Stills and Nash for many years. After playing with blues artist Taj Mahal for many years, he some of the others from Mahal's band formed the Phantom Blues Band. They are twice winners of the W.C. Handy Blues Music Award for their work with Taj Mahal. Ray Bagby's back in Kansas City playing drums in a country music band.
John Isom, or Johnny I, as he's been known since the mid eighties, is a true veteran of the Midwestern music scene. Partially because of a lifelong struggle with the effects of Spina-Biffida, Johnny's focus and efforts have been put into making himself the best musician/singer he can possibly be.
Just having played the guitar for almost 50 years isn't what makes Johnny I a great guitarist. The years of playing, singing and performing with some of the most talented artists around have helped mold Johnny I into the superior songsmith he is today.
Developing his talents in the KC music scene from the 2500 and 3100 Clubs in the 60's, Marge's Disco-A-Go-Go and The Attic in the early 70's, the corporate hotel chains of Holiday Inn, Marriott and Ramada Inn. He has played on stage with the likes of Tony Orlando, Ritchie Havens, Buddy Miles Johnny Adams, and Chick Willis as well as doing shows with Chicago, Steve Miller, Del Shannon and many more. Johnny even did a couple of years with the KC Chiefs in Tony DiPardo's Pac Band. And the band he put together back in the late 60's (The Stoned Circus) were invited to perform in Germany, in 2005. In Westport, The Plaza, North, South, East and West of Kansas City, Johnny I, at one time or another, has wowed these audiences with his lightning guitar, impeccable voice and outstanding musicians!
FIFTY-FIVE YEARS OF ROCK AND ROLL!
How many bands can say that they have existed that long, with ALL the original members intact? Well, the Kats can! They've been rockin' together for the past seven decades, and see no end it sight! Their classic tune, "Still Rockin' After All These Years!" says it all!
The legendary Krazy Kats were formed on Valentine's
Day 1957, when guitarist Lee Dresser, piano man Willie Craig, and drummer
Freddie Fletcher, three Moberly, Missouri high-schoolers, decided they wanted to
rock 'n' roll just like Elvis, Jerry Lee, Fats, and all the rest of their
Now based in the Kansas City area, the talented trio has more than 4000 performances together, thrilling audiences with their unique style of classic 50's and 60's music. Their remarkable career has included appearances with Bill Cosby, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, The Platters, and many others. They were voted "Best Band in Kansas City" in 1991, inducted into the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame in 1999, and their original songs are included in many compilation albums, both in the US and Europe.
The crowd can always count on having a fun time with the guys, whether it is a show or dance. They are known for their dependability, as well as their neat, uniform stage appearance. Their "Elvis" routine, performed in full costume, has become a crowd favorite.
The group comes equipped with professional sound and lights. They have appeared at many major fairs, including the Missouri and Kansas State Fairs. So if you want to re-live the musical past and have a rockin' good time, let the Krazy Kats bring their authentic brand of "Yesterday's Rock 'n' Roll" to your event. You'll be glad you did!
Morningstar first formed in 1969. The line-up went through many changes before settling in to the final five of Rick, Mike, Jerry & the two Gregs. The original line-up consisted of Michael Waggoner, Butch Soto, Greg Leech, Greg Harris & Melinda Mendenhall.
This line-up would release the single "Virgin Lover" (Butch Soto) / "If I Didn't Want to See You Anymore" (Michael Waggoner and Larry Sands). Kip Cohen (later with Columbia) heard the single and asked the band to drive up and play for $200 on a cold Tuesday night at the legendary Fillmore East in January of 1970.
1970 Dave Lorenz replaces Butch, Ken Rowe replaces Dave and Joel Weinberg then replaces Ken. Melinda exits, Janet Jameson enters. Greg Leech exits, Scott Donaldson enters.
1972 - 1973 Exit Joel, enter Jerry Chambers. Exit Michael, enter Steve Starr. Exit Scott, come back in Greg Leech. Exit Janet, exit Steve, enter Rick Bacus.
1975 or 1976 Enter Mike Edmunds.
Before their recording contract, Morningstar had amassed quite a following in the Kansas City area. Their sets consisted mostly of original music instead of covers. Michael Waggoner, now the band's manager, was able to get them some pretty prestigious gigs prior to their record deal and it was Good Karma Productions that helped them secure a deal with Columbia/CBS.
In 1978 the debut album was released. Over the next two years, the band would play a lot of concerts, and I mean a lot. They seemed to be willing to play for anyone, anywhere
1979 saw the release of their second and unfortunately their last album.
In 1998 both albums were released on CD in Japan. Many of us were lucky enough to have copies imported (at a hefty price). Like many artists through the years, Morningstar tried to leave their mark against the harsh reality of the record industry. For those of us lucky enough to have experienced them live and/or recorded, their mark was left and judging by the sales of the re-release of this music on CD, they aren't done yet.
Stanley Sheldon is a bass guitar player best known for his work with Peter Frampton. He is notable as an early adopter of the fretless bass for rock music.
His first recorded work with Frampton was the wildly successful live album Frampton Comes Alive! in 1976. He played on subsequent Frampton albums, I'm in You, and Where I Should Be. In 2007 he contributed as co-writer and bass player on Frampton's 2007 Grammy winning instrumental album Fingerprints, and was part of Frampton's touring band on the 2011 UK leg of Frampton's Thank You Mr Churchill tour.
Sheldon spent most of the decade of the 1990s devoted to Latin American Studies at the University of Kansas. During this period Sheldon traveled widely throughout Latin America with his studies focused on slave society of the nineteenth century in the various Latin countries, and how its influence on past music continues to affect the transformation and hybridization of world music today. During this time, he played with various versions of a band that played son and salsa, often to sizeable dance crowds.
Sheldon has also recorded with his late friend Tommy Bolin, on Teaser for the Nemperor label, and also performs on various Bolin archival releases. Other recorded works include Lou Gramm Ready or Not, and Ronin, a co-assembled group of session musicians, Sheldon, Waddy Wachtel, Rick Marotta, and Dan Dugmore. Sheldon has also toured with Warren Zevon on Zevon's 1978 Excitable Boy tour. Additional recording work for the Christian music songwriter David Ruis and more recently Sheldon co-produced and played on the Mayhew Family album Songs from the Third Floor (2004) and EP Watch Out (2009). In 2008 he began touring as the bassist for the Delbert McClinton band.
Sheldon has performed on Hollywood movie soundtracks, most notably the Cheech and Chong comedy Up in Smoke.
Sheldon was born in 1950 in Ottawa, Kansas where he joined his first band, The Lost Souls.
Sheldon is also passionate about teaching. He was recently giving bass lessons at Blues to Bach music store in Shawnee.
Sheldon is currently playing bass guitar on tour with Peter Frampton as they celebrate the 25th anniversary of Frampton Comes Alive!
Originating in the front-range area of Colorado, F5 is a fresh sound with Tommy Stephenson on keyboards, Michael Reese on guitar, Jimmy Lange on vocal/keyboard, Chris Wright on bass guitar, and Britt Ciampa as percussionist. The group, which started originally in 1996 and has transformed into the creative genus that it is today, has worked to create a sound familiar to classic rock with the infusion of funk jazz.
Tommy Stephenson is an award winning keyboardist, composer, and producer of several television and music projects. Stephenson joined the great, innovative guitar player Tommy Bolin to form the 70's fusion band Energy. During the subsequent years, Stephenson has recorded or played on tour with numerous major artists, including: Joe Walsh, Eric Clapton, The Eagles, Gary Wright, Paul Butterfield, Joe Cocker, Albert King, Albert Collins, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, Big Mamma Thornton, The Pointer Sisters and many more.
I am married, and my marriage has always been my first commitment in respect of my love for my wife and the vows we exchanged. This has had a defining impact on my music career. I started work in the tree care industry approximately the same time I began harmonica, 1968. I can not think of anything more in harmony with themselves as music and nature.
The '74 audition was established when Frank Zappa heard me in a club in Wichita, my home town. He invited me up on the stage which was featuring my friend's band called Bliss. We played a slow blues in the key of A and afterwards he said he would be flying me out to LA to audition. He had Smith, Ponty, Duke, Underwood, Fowler and others at that audition. I really wasn't able to play ensemble work as I had only been playing 5 years. After 3 days FZ called me over and asked me what I thought and I said, "Frank I think I should go back home." He graciously smiled and said, "I think you are right! Please don't think of this as being a failure. You go home and practice, call me when you feel you are ready." Frank felt I had a style on the Diatonic Blues Harp unique to anything he had ever heard. He said, "You put notes together in an innovative way." Nice compliment! I told Frank for a tree trimmer to have a chance to jam with him and his personnel was not a failure! Besides, Jean-Luc Ponty and I had a warm friendly relationship that I treasure to this day. I went home, practiced 5 years, called him back and he flew me out to record on Joe's Garage Act I. Thus began a 3 year studio session relationship with the Zappas, plus I trimmed their trees on several occasions. I performed live with FZ in Wichita and the Santa Monica Civic Center when FZ had Steve Vai with him, 1983. Rip Rense wrote a beautiful article in the Herald Tribune complimenting my performance and career.
My book, Book of Juke and Music will be available on the website I am presently putting together. All of these efforts have had to wait until my wife and I established the move back from 20 years in the LA area to return to my hometown of Wichita for the City Arborist position.
Left to right: Ferdy Baumgart, Bill Fast & Phil Ehart
Phil Ehart was born in the state of Kansas. This was to work well geographically, but Phil lived all over the world as his Air Force father was stationed in such places as the Philippines and Japan. Living in such remote places, Phil, at a very early age, taught himself to play the drums. His father having retired from the Air Force, Phil found himself living in Topeka. He played in numerous local bands and in 1969 moved to New Orleans to play 3 months in the French Quarter. It was here that Phil's band played with Joe Cocker, Iron Butterfly, and was joined on stage by Jim Morrison for a soulful rendition of "Light My Fire." In that summer of 1969, Phil played the New Orleans Pop Festival with Janis Joplin, Santana, and many others. It was at this time Phil knew that this, playing in a band, was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Returning to Topeka, Phil found the musical scene in Topeka not to his liking. He packed up his drums and moved to London, England. After 3 months of playing there, and an expired visa, Phil returned to Topeka and formed the band White Clover. Six months later, Phil added guitarist/songwriter Kerry Livgren to the fold and White Clover became KANSAS.