A Game of Nisus Formativus…#107 (the 60’s)


It was a favorable circumstance,  Gary and Kaye discovering a house for sale, but at the same time, a very grievous event for the present owners.   The residence,  a modern brick two bedroom single car garage home on southwest 46th Terrace,  four doors west of Kaye’s mothers house.   In addition to the house,  most of the furnishing would also be available for sale, the prospective buyer given first option to purchase.  Upon meeting the seller,  Gary became aware of  the circumstance causing the elderly owner to part with the property, his wife was in the final stage of a terminal illness.  Gary visiting with the owner to finalize the transaction discovering there was a problem,  the owners wife signature would be required for the deed transfer, and her present medical condition was best described as one of low asymmetry consciousness.

The owner called asking the couple to meet with him and his attorney at Mercy Hospital,  to witness what amounted to,  a  hospital death-bed signature.  Gary and Kaye present for the heartfelt event as the tearful husband manipulating his wife’s hand,  placing the needed signature on the document.  The $10,500 mortgage secured,  the couple purchasing all the furnishings with the exception of a bedroom set,  including the television, stove and refrigerator for $250, plus an additional $250 for the relatively new 3 quarter ton Fedders window air-conditioner.  Gary and Kaye’s five months residency with Deana having come to a close,  their newly acquired residence was a blessing,   because a new representative would soon enter the world to enhance the Willson ancestral history.

A consensus was made by many of the nocturnal private club patrons,  that the Night Beats were considered one of the best versatile Oklahoma City five piece bands.   The combo having a well-established sound, utilizing a B-3 Hammond organ,  drums,  bass, guitar and a tenor sax player who also doubled on alto and a Acker Bilk clarinet.   Their repertoire was similar to the Untouchables, catering to a mature audience, but where the Untouchables touch upon country,  the Night Beats contemplated a modern R&B sophistication .   Saxophonist Larry Burns exhibiting an exceptional musical talent with the Night Beats since the groups conception, but the contemporary maestro from Burns Flat Oklahoma was given his liberty by the group, no longer welcome on the bandstand.

The reason remained unanswered, Gary suspecting a disagreement about the possibility of the Night Beats going on the road,  may have contributed to it,  but their loss was the Untouchables gain.  The band seizing upon Larry’s new status,  offering him posture with the group.   His accession to the combo,  bringing the additional  saxophone’s and clarinet gave the band greater instrumentation versatility,  Gary able to enhanced the arrangement capability and greatly expanding their repertoire and engagement prospects.

The band was now ready to expand their sphere of music engagements, included in the formula was the acquisition of an agent, and a venture into the realm of recording.   Gary and Glenn discovering a new association, Ruth Sallee, the owner of Ruth Sallee Entertainment company,  a booking and talent referral agency.  The two finding Ruth’s North Shartel Avenue office most entertaining,  the walls adorned with posters and pictures of various groups and artist,  especially the exotic dance performers, once referred to as vaudeville strippers.   Ruth,  in her fifties, was found to be very affable lady, astute in character, and very much aware of the music character of Oklahoma City,  and also of the Untouchables, willing to accept the group, drafting a concept to enhance their recognition.

Staff Recording Studio was situated high atop the municipal auditorium in a windowless room on the southeast corner of the complex,  and was accomplished by owner and technician Larry Frazier.   Larry having wired the stage of the concert hall for recording, able to catalog the audio of all performances of the symphony,  stage production,  and concert performers.   Staff studio was  compact in size,  but in addition to recording auditorium performances,  the studio recorded  piano recitals,  vocals,  and could provide acetate disk recordings of taped funerals and weddings.   Another source of income for Larry was the audio monitoring of television and radio commercials for time consistency,  his result petitioned by the sponsors to verify they were getting what they paid for.  Unlike the two other  studios in Oklahoma City which were endowed with a larger recording area and utilized eight and sixteen track recording capabilities,  Staff Studio’s size was limited to,  ample but advanced four track recorders.  Staff’s biggest asset was the pricing difference in recording cost, Gary’s optimism  was,  it’s wasn’t so much the studio size or the equipment as the caliber of music and performers.

Gary and Glenn were amazed at the opportunities they discovered behind closed doors, the two having made the acquaintance of Keith Philips,  Oklahoma City’s Seaburg  juke box and record distributor.  Keith’s business ventures and enterprises encompassing all of the Oklahoma City metro area and a good part of the state.  His behind the scene influence of the city’s night life abounded,  for the most part an unseen participant in the realm of club investment and entertainment, having provided many of the clubs with their PA and sound systems.  The two musicians discovering that Phillips had an ongoing venture in producing recordings,  his knowledge of the processing aspects, the actual pressing expenditure,  distribution outlets bartered  him an insight that most sponsors advocating a recording never acquired.

The two continuing to explore all the avenues of entrance to the recording world,  including their own record label.   Glenn having become addicted to Cadillac Limousines,  making another Oklahoma City acquaintance when soliciting for an oversized Cadillac.   It was when Less Hoffman, the used car dealer asked the drummer about the his need for a limousine,  Glenn responding,  “to transport band equipment”,  then explaining about the band.    The dealer in return  volunteering,  he was the proprietor of  BMI affiliated, Hit-Way Publishing Company,  and if there was ever a need for publishing or securing a copyright for a song or recording,  he would be more than happy to accommodate the band.   The musicians amazed at the coincidences,  but accepting the  visit to the car lot as just another card  dealt in the game of Nisus Formative us,   if effort was an indication of ambition,  then success would be a measure of fruition.

With  all the elements having fallen into place for recording and marketing their first record,  including  Glenn establishing a recording label, Froman Entertainment Enterprises., FEE   records.  the Untouchables assembled at Staff Recording Studio for their first recording session , their music to traverse a new medium, and opening another door to opportunity.


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