A Quiescence From Travel…………..#113 (60’s)

B-58 Husler bombarding Oklahoma City

Convair B-58 Hustler bombarding Oklahoma City

It was the sound of progress,  eight times per day the government sanctioned atmospheric detonations would occur,  the tremulous vibrations shattering windows and causing closeted repositories to discharge their contents.  The F-104  Starfighters and B-58 Hustlers  traversing the empyrean space above Oklahoma City at speed attaining Mach 2,  the City chosen for six months of sonic boom testing.   Another detonation transpiring in the municipality,  not sonic but booming,  the media appearance of local entertainment,  including The Untouchables.


A 3 octave addition to the Untouchables

A three octave addition to the Untouchables

Gary - mallets in hand

Gary – mallets in hand

Gary’s reason to visit the N.W. 39th St. Expressway Bethany Music Store was to inquire about the metal reeds for his Wurlitzer #120 electric piano after finding  the store on N.W. 23rd in Oklahoma City devoid of reeds.   The musician entering  having no other volition to procure any other  commodity,  especial to disburse monetary  funds he didn’t have.    From within he became aware of a summons causing him to stop, before him a three octave vibraphone for sale, his immediate thoughts, the right place at the wrong time,  especially when a desiderative feeling decides to surface.  A flashback to an earlier time, Martin Denny,  his top 10 hit, Quiet Village having been firmly imbedded as a memorable structure because of its reminiscent  popularity during Gary’s basic training days at Fort Ord.   The Musician recalled reading that Arthur Lyman accorded the vibes for Martin Denny on this recording and later  initiated  his own success with Yellow Bird.  The Pianist finding the  bravado beckoning him to grasp the mallets and give it flight,  thus coercing acceptance and making it unable to deny its appeal.  The inner feeling persisted,  the uncontrollable longing to give this convenience recognition,  to have its proclamation voiced,  to let it display its painted canvas of sound.   Gary once again a victim of an unspoken manifesto, the purchase of the vibes satisfying both worlds,  his and the captive  vibraphone’s release.  The addition of the vibes meant securing  an electric bass for recourse,  thus allowing the keyboard bass player the freedom to enlighten his newly acquired friend.   The additional instrumentation greatly enhancing The Untouchables capabilities,  a Henry Mancinni,  Peter Gun selections could be duplicated,  increasing the Untouchables number of instrument vehicles to a  total of nine.

The Untouchables, four musicians - nine instruments

The Untouchables, four musicians – nine instruments

The band having assembled in the confines of Staff Studio,  owner and sound engineer Larry Frazier calibrating the equity from the positioned microphones.    A first session,  then a second,  arriving at a parity was onerous,  Glenn and Gary were cognizant of the financial aspects,  time was  discerned as currency in a recording studio.  The group having assembled to record a demo-tape for publicity purposes and the individual sessions were extensive and expensive.    Gary finding a solution to rescue the time consumption for the demo tape recording suggesting to Larry that he let the mic’s pre-set recording tracks run,  chronicling the total session until completion, then later perform an edited benediction.  The  session was a success,  the demo songs, some with more than one take were recorded,  the  conversations between the selections and duplicate takes could be edited out.  The recording wasn’t of outstanding quality, but more than satisfactory for the demo-tapes booking purpose..

Dale Wehba WKY D.J. recording on FEE Records

Dale Wehba WKY D.J. recording on FEE Records

Glenn having called and was on his way, Gary was forecasting WKY radio disc-jockey Dale Wehba to arrive anytime at his S.W. 46th St. Terrace residence.  The Untouchables having associated with WKY’s Danny Williams and performed at Ronnie Kaye’s  teen-hop engagement at Wedgewood Village Amusement Park and thus the band  affiliation with Dale Wehba.   Dale desiring to make his melodious vocal presence known, capitalizing with aspirations to add the title of recording artist to his resume.  With Dales arrival the three discussing  his vocal selection, Gary at the piano with a brief run through with Dale to structure an  arrangement, Dale insisting on a background vocal group for the recording session.  The two musician setting about making arrangement with Larry Frazier at Staff Studio, Glenn placing a call to Ruth Salle the band’s booking agent asking her assistance in acquiring a vocal group.    With a little perseverance the recording session began to take shape, Ruth able to provide a four person black group, the recording ingredients meeting at Staff Studio an inaugural run thru of the songs.  It was soon became apparent that because of scheduling conflicts, it would be best if  the band and vocal group would record their  tracks together,  Dale arranging to add the vocal later.  The session being accomplished,  Wehba’s titled song  “I Love You Baby”  receiving ample air-time on WKY radio, Gary not too impressed but granting that it would provide a commodious give-aways at future Dale Wehba WKY sponsored  teen-hops.

All Sports Stadium

All Sports Stadium

Hit recording artist Dick & Dee Dee

Hit recording artist Dick & Dee Dee

The Untouchables FEE (Froman Entertainment Enterprises) label recordings of Black-Eyed Peas and Sliding Sideways received some applause and media exposure in Oklahoma City market.  The band making encore appearances on KOCO televisions Ida B Show, the Gaylon Stacy Show on KWTV and was asked to back Top 40 recording artist Dick St. John and Dee Dee Sperling better know a Dick and Dee Dee featured on Dick Clarks  Bandstand  at a Hootenanny sponsored by WKY television.  The Hootenanny, a musical presentation mimicking the hit TV program Shindig to be held between games at a 89er’s baseball doubleheader at All Sports Stadium.  The event being highlighted with a spectacular entrance,  all the featured performers paraded into the  stadium,  circling the outfield seated in the back of new Cadillac convertibles supplied by the local dealer.  The band having meant with Dick & Dee on the infield at All Sports Stadium the afternoon prior to the nights program, their producer handing the band sheet music for the song.  Gary somewhat taken aback explaining they had never played the song before and would need run through it with them,  the two vocalist  very impatiently  turning to the producer  saying they would rather lip-sync to the record.  Gary was somewhat relieved at not having to rush into the unknown, but also perturbed at the attitude displayed by the recording artist.

The Untouchables were scheduled as the opening  act and because of the hootenanny theme,  deciding to play a band original, Oklahoma Jazz.  The song a medley of country instrumental including Waterbaby Boogie, The Beverly Hill Billy’s Theme, Under the Double Eagle, Oklahoma Hills, Mountain Dew, Steel Guitar Rag, from the applause it was apparent that guitars Jerry Willis had captured the crowd.  Finishing their song the band  hastily packing up having to leave immediately for Chicasha and J.C. Hunter’s  El Rancho Club.   As they were leaving the stadium the event still in progress they were thankful that they were first on the program as the baseball fans got vocal,  shouting they came to see a game, not to listen to music.  Gary concluding the effort and publicity might lead to a sit-down engagement, a quiescence from travel would be a welcome change.


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