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 three octave addition to the Untouchables

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 music store on N.W. 23rd in Oklahoma City devoid of the necessity.   The musician entering  having no other volition to buy anything else.  Once inside he saw something that caused  him to stop, on the main aisle to the counter rested a three octave vibraphone for sale.  His immediate thought was of another place and another time,  Gary one of those who equate almost every past memorable event with a song and standing before the vibes, Martin Denny’s Quiet Village came to mind,  first hearing it during  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.  Noticing that the motor-driven butter-fly valves in the resonator tube were plugged in, the Pianist finding the bravado beckoning him to grasp the mallets and give the sound from the metal bars flight,  thus coercing acceptance and making it unable to deny its appeal.  The inner feeling persisted, Gary once again a victim of an unspoken manifesto, the purchase of the vibes satisfying both worlds, his and the captive  sound within the vibraphone.  The addition of the vibes would mean securing  an electric bass enlisting the talent of Jerry or even Larry,  thus allowing him freedom from his keyboard bass to enlighten the sounds of his  newly acquired friend.   The additional instrumentation would  greatly enhancing The Untouchables capabilities,  the sounds of  Henry Mancinni, his Peter Gun selections could be duplicated and also increasing the Untouchables number of instrument vehicles total to nine.

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 DJ – recording on FEE Records

Glenn was on his way, Gary forecasting WKY radio disc-jockey Dale Wehba to arrive anytime at his S.W. 46th St. Terrace residence.  The Untouchables having associated with the WKY radio’s premiere DJ  Danny Williams, performed at Ronnie Kaye’s teen-hop engagement at Wedgewood Village Amusement Park and made the acquaintance of 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.  Their meeting concluded, the two musician setting about making arrangement with Larry Frazier at Staff Studio, Glenn following up with a call to Ruth Sallee 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, all the recording ingredients meeting at Staff Studio for an inaugural run thru of the songs.  It was soon became apparent  because of time constraints and scheduling conflicts, it would be best if  the band and vocal group would record their  tracks together,  Dale arranging to add his vocal track later.  The session being accomplished,  Wehba’s A side song  “I Love You Baby”  receiving ample air-time on WKY radio, Gary not too impressed but granting that it would provide ample giveaway’s at future Dale Wehba WKY sponsored  teen-hops.

All Sports Stadium

Recording Artist Dick and Dee Dee

Glenn’s concept of FEE  Records (Froman Entertainment Enterprises) coming to fruition,  the recordings of Black-Eyed Peas and Sliding Sideways by the Untouchables receiving some applause and media exposure in the 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 Clark’s  Bandstand  at a WKY sponsored Hootenanny at All Sports Stadium. The Hootenanny, a musical presentation mimicking the hit TV program Shindig to be held between games at a 89er’s baseball doubleheader.

 The event being highlighted with a spectacular entrance, all the featured performers paraded into the  stadium,  circling the outfield positioned on the backseat of new Cadillac convertibles supplied by the local dealer.  The band having meant with Dick & Dee on the ball diamond 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, playing a band original, entitled Oklahoma Jazz.  The instrumental,  a medley of country gold hits 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 Chickasha 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 some of the die-heart baseball fans began to get 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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