2005 Inductees

2005 Inductees
The Bluethings Brewer & Shipley The Chesmann Mike Finnigan
The Fabulous Flippers Kansas The Red Dogs Rodney and the Blazers
Big Joe Turner John Brown Mike Murfin
The Blue Things
Brewer & Shipley
Chesmann/Chesmann Square
Mike Finnigan
The Fabulous Flippers
Directors Award:
John Brown
Mike Murfin

2005 Induction Ceremony: story

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The Blue Things

The Blue Things (also known as The Bluethings ) were a folk-rock and, later, psychedelic band from Lawrence, Kansas (originally from Hays, Kansas) that played from 1964 to 1968 , recording one LP and several singles for RCA Records in ’66 and ’67. The RCA recordings remain their best-known material, although they had previously released singles through Ruff Records, a tiny Texas label. Today the Blue Things are remembered as one of the best bands to come out of the Midwest in the 60’s, although they were mostly unheard of outside of the Midwest in their brief lifespan, and remain largely unheard to this day.

 


Brewer & Shipley

Brewer & Shipley were a folk rock duo of the late 1960s through 1970s, consisting of singer-songwriters Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley . They were known for their intricate guitar work, vocal harmonies and socially conscious lyrics, which reflected the concerns of their generation?especially the Vietnam War , and the struggles for personal and political freedom . Their biggest hit was the song “One Toke Over the Line” from their 1970 album Tarkio . They also had two other singles which made the Billboard charts: “Tarkio Road” (1970) and “Shake Off the Demon” (1971). They continue to perform, both separately and together, usually in the Midwest .


Chesmann/Chesmann Square
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Chesmann and Chesmann Square were a very popular, long-time Kansas City rock n’ roll band which played Beatles, Hendrix, Clapton, Stones, and soul music in the late 60s and early 70s. They playe their last gig in the fall of 1974. The Chesmann combined the musical talents of the three West brothers: Ron, Steve and Gary. Dave Huffines provided lead guitar for the first three years, and Jim McAllister joined the band in 1968 to fill Dave Huffines’s spot in the line up.


Mike Finnigan

Mike Finnigan is one of the most successful and accomplished keyboard players and vocalists of his generation, his specialty being the Hammond Organ. Finnigan has toured and recorded with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Sam Moore, Crosby Stills and Nash, Dave Mason, Buddy Guy , Manhattan Transfer, Taj Mahal, Michael McDonald, Maria Muldaur, Peter Frampton, Cher, Ringo Starr, Leonard Cohen, Tower of Power, Rod Stewart, David Coverdale, Tracy Chapman and Destruments . His recording with the group Finnigan & Wood entitled “Crazed Hipsters” is considered a midwest R&B/Rock cult classic. He recorded two solo records in the 70’s, one notably with legendary rhythm and blues producer Jerry Wexler . He later collaborated with two other Columbia Artists, Les Dudek and Jim Krueger, with whom he formed DFK (Dudek, Finnegan, and Krueger) in 1978. Finnigan continues to tour and perform and is considered by many as one of most soulful vocalists ever.

The Fabulous Flippers

Probably no other single musical group had such an impact on the music of Mid America in the 60s as The Fabulous Flippers. They were the lead act in the legendary Mid-Continent Productions booking agency owned by John Brown and Mike Murfin. Throughout the Flipper’s career, they recorded eight singles, one LP and one EP. They are best remembered for their release on Chicago’s Cameo-Parkway Records “Harlem Shuffle/I Don’t Want To Cry”. (Cameo-Parkway 439) In 1970, the Flippers broke the all time attendance record at Darlowe Olesen’s Roof Garden Ballroom at lake Okoboji, Iowa. On July 4th of that year, they drew over 6000 teens for a dance, beating the old record of 4,000 set in the early 60’s by The Everly Brothers.


Kansas

Kansas has a history going back 40 years. With the release of their first major album, “Kansas,” in 1974, Kansas moved into the national music spotlight as a progressive rock band, offering music which combined rock interwoven with classic symphonic tones and complex arrangements. Years later Kansas is still entertaining crowds of new and old fans with its distinctive, musical style and rich, reflective lyrics. Their hits include “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind.”


The Red Dogs

In the spring of ’65, a band called The Limits was hired to be the ?house band’ for the Red Dog Inn in Lawrence, and renamed the Red Dogs. The band played Lawrence monthly and was on the road every weekend plus summer tours. With horns, organ, guitars, drums and well-choreographed routines, the Red Dogs were a terrific and very popular show band. Although they had a Chicago-like structure, they also liked to play music ranging from Lonnie Mack, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to a James Brown-like revue.


Rodney & the Blazers

During the first half of the 1960s, when the Beach Boys and the Beatles were bombarding the American charts and rewriting the rules of rock, Kansans Rodney and the Blazers were crossing the country as rock & roll throwbacks, a raucous, wild combo that was more Little Richard than British Invasion, and more R&B than pop. They proved to be a very influential Midwestern band, employing both a saxophone and a trumpet (expanded into a full horn section later in the decade by admitted fans Chicago) and touring as one of the first truly biracial aggregates. Bass player Rodney Lay Sr. and drummer Bob York kicked around together in a band known as the Off Beats throughout the last couple years of the 1950s. By 1960, with the addition of Bob “Sir Robert” Scott on saxophone and Pete “Peaches” Williams on guitar, they had transformed themselves into Rodney and the Blazers, named after their habit of wearing blazers instead of normal jackets for their stage show. It wasn’t their only idiosyncrasy in appearance — they also dyed their hair silver and wore sunglasses onstage. Don Downing was soon added on piano as well as sharing lead vocals with Lay, and they were soon playing regular gigs every Friday night at the El Rancho Opera House located between their Coffeyville hometown and Independence, KS. That summer, they recorded and released their first single, “Teenage Cinderella,” on their own Kampus label, which became a number one hit in several large markets around the country.


Big Joe Turner

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee (1987)

Big Joe Turner (born Joseph Vernon Turner Jr., May 18, 1911 ? November 24, 1985) was an American blues shouter from Kansas City, Missouri. According to the songwriter Doc Pomus, “Rock and roll would have never happened without him.” Although he came to his greatest fame in the 1950s with his pioneering rock and roll recordings, particularly “Shake, Rattle and Roll”, Turner’s career as a performer stretched from the 1920s into the 1980s.


John Brown, 2005 Directors Award

John Brown and Mike Murfin opened the Red Dog Inn in Lawrence, KS on Jan. 1, 1965, and started Mid Continent Productions in the mid 60’s and built it into one of the most successful booking and management agencies of all time.

Brown and Murfin helped form and in some respects create such groups as The Fabulous Flippers, The Red Dogs, The Blue Things, The Young Raiders, The Rising Suns and Spider & the Crabs. Their radio ads on 50,000 watt KOMA in Oklahoma City reached what has been estimated at three million listeners per night all the way from Oklahoma to the Canadian border.


Mike Murfin, 2005 Directors Award

John Brown and Mike Murfin opened the Red Dog Inn in Lawrence, KS on Jan. 1, 1965, and started Mid Continent Productions in the mid 60’s and built it into one of the most successful booking and management agencies of all time.

Brown and Murfin helped form and in some respects create such groups as The Fabulous Flippers, The Red Dogs, The Blue Things, The Young Raiders, The Rising Suns and Spider & the Crabs. Their radio ads on 50,000 watt KOMA in Oklahoma City reached what has been estimated at three million listeners per night all the way from Oklahoma to the Canadian border.