Area Bands*Musicians

Paul V. Stevens, Jr., Steve Stevens Orchestra, Savanna
Larry Busch Band, Lancaster, WI
Jack Busch & Busch Family of Muscians, Cuba City, WI area
Hank Winder * Sheridan, IL * Cedar Rapids, IA * Omaha, NE
The 5 Lampe Brothers, Lampe's Vaudeville Company, Minstrels, Shows, Concerts
THE ZAHINA SISTERS Performed: April 26, 2014
CLARENCE ZAHINA Newspaper Ads of the Nashville Stars
CLARENCE ZAHINA Bio Sketch & Professional Photos * Dubuque
CLARENCE ZAHINA 1940s History on KDTH 1370 AM * Dubuque
CLARENCE ZAHINA News Articles * Dubuque
CLARENCE ZAHINA Dance Date Cards * Dubuque
CLARENCE ZAHINA Promotions, Cards, Letters * Dubuque
CLARENCE ZAHINA CD's Barnstormin' Polkas, Daddy I, II & III
ZAHINA SISTERS - Since 2006 News & Photos
Wade Law and His Smokey Valley Boys Orchestra* Savanna
Oklahoma Cowboys * Maquoqeta
Glen Law Band - CD 18 songs * Savanna
Moeller's Accordion Band*Waterloo
GUS FUHRMAN*Dubuque*East Dubuque
Chuck Bregman - Pianist-Composer * Dubuque
New! RICK TITTLE BAND * Dubuque, Iowa
WAYNE KING and His Orchestra
WAYNE KING Memorabilia
The WAYNE KING Show on NBC radio in 1945*Directed by Fred Essex
Wayne King, Nancy Evans, Franklyn MacCormack, WGN
Vocalist NANCY EVANS with WAYNE KING and His Orchestra
WAYNE KING History & News from the SAVANNA TIMES JOURNAL and other newspapers
Vocalist Ed Bolton with WAYNE KING and His Orchestra
The WAYNE KING TV Show on NBC sponsored by the Standard Oil Company
The movie WALTZ KING: You Think of LOVE
The King family in Savanna in 2004
Savanna Museum and Cultural Center
Savanna Historical Society Fundraisers - News Articles
Savanna Historical Society Building Renovation Photos
News About The Savanna Historical Society
Dances Dubuque to Davenport/ Illinois and Iowa Areas
Dance Classes Dubuque to Davenport
NEW! Historical Photos to Identify
Dancehalls*Opera Houses*Theatres*Live Entertainment
Big Band Era Radio Shows Dubuque to Davenport
Area Bands*Musicians
Project Events
Project Articles/Advertisements
PRAIRIE ADVOCATE NEWS*Savanna-Sabula Mississippi River History
Weber Orchestra * Galena
Eddie Uhl and the Ranch Hands Orchestra
Floyd Curley and The Rythem Four * Hanover-Savanna
Ridge Runners Orchestra * Savanna
Reverend Bremicker * Savanna
Harry B. Grissinger/Merrymakers* Savanna
May's Paddock Room*Savanna
Charlie Vaccaro and His Orchestra * Savanna-Davenport
Ralph Bailey and His Midnight Riders *Savanna
Bud Riddle, Super Six Synchopators, Savanna
JACK COLE Orchestra * Savanna
Marv Schreiner, Temptating Rhythms, Savanna
Pianist Lyle Ham's Diary 1935-1947
Charlie Bertsch's Square Dance Orchestra*Savanna
Johnny and Anita Peschang Hanson, Savanna-Hanover
Rockabilly/Punk Rocker BILLY ZOOM is Savanna's Ty Kindell
New! Road Runners * rock-n-roll * Savanna, Illinois
ALAN ST. GEORGE, Facemakers, Inc. * Savanna
Don Karol *Main Avenue Jazz*Slap Happy Polka Band*Don Karol Orchestra (16-piece)*Clinton, Iowa
Lute Geisinger * Thomson, IL
Roy Harstick Orchestra*Hanover
ARNIE & KEN PAULSEN Orchestras*Davenport
HAL WIESE, Jack Manthey, Carroll Baker, Jimmy O'Dette, Ray Winegar, Wibby Fisher* Davenport
Steve Little 16-18 piece big band*Davenport
Lyle Beaver & Brass Notes*Iowa City
Little Vito and the Torpedoes*'50's & 60's rock-n-roll
Glenn Miller Orchestra at Savanna
Count Basie Orchestra at Savanna
Chicago Land Bands
Big Bands
Popular Songs
Record Labels
Music Stores
Lodging*Restaurants*Chambers*Business links Dubuque to Davenport

Please help the Project add to this musicians! Musician Marv Schreiner of Savanna who inspired the Project in 1996 and 1997, emphasized recording musician history. The Project researches, reasons, records and relates musician, orchestra, dancehall, opera house and theatre orchestra history. Updated April 3, 2006.

Dance band leaders from Dubuque to Davenport:
Please help the Project add to this list:

DUBUQUE, Jack Jenney, Clarence Zahina, F Hunter Fuerste
EAST DUBUQUE: Gerald Accola
DERINDA: Charlie Bertsch
HANOVER: Roy and Glen Harstick, Eddie Uhl, Floyd Curley
SAVANNA: Wayne King, A.J. Reihner, Lawrence Morse, Harry B. Grissinger, Reverend Bremicker,
Ralph Slade, Irv Martindale, Bud Riddle, Duane Lehr, Frank Espisito, Alan Campbell, Glen and Wade Law, Louis Reusch, Paul V. Stevens, Jr., Marv Schreiner, Ramsey Mason
Maquoqueta: The Oklahoma Cowboys
MOUNT CARROLL: Art Isenhart, Blendon Law
CLINTON: Tim Sheehan, Emil H. Flindt, Don Karol, F.A. Yates, Paul Strunk, Don Warren
RAPIDS CITY: Jack Morgan
DAVENPORT & TRI-CITIES: Bix Beiderbecke, Hal Wiese, Jack Manthey, Carroll Baker, Jimmy O'Dette, Ray Winegar, Wibby Fisher, Bob Lofgren, Hy Morgan
Idenified orchestras and musicians Dubuque to Davenport:

During the Roaring 1920's and especially during the depression years of 1930-1946, dance and music was regular entertainment for families, teens and adults. Playing in a local band provided income to local musicians, vocalists and their families.

The introduction of phonographs from about 1900 and radio from about 1920 into the homes of millions of Americans made it possible for thousands of musicians and song writers to become popular regionally and nationally.

In cities and townships all over America, local orchestras promoted the era of popular dance and music. The excitement created during this era was similar to the fascination of television in the 1950's and the INTERNET from 1995 to the present.

Savanna Band, Savanna Orchestra, Savanna Township Band
It's currently unknown how many or the exact years these orchestras played. There might have been a public band as early as the 1860's but at this time we still need to do more research. For example, a June 1900 Savanna Times Journal (or predecessor of the STJ) states that a dance was given in the rink at night under the auspices of the Savanna Orchestra. The public was cordially invited. A late September, 1900 article stated the band played a concert on Main Street to practice playing before large crowds. A late November, 1900 article states a group of Clinton young people came to Savanna to attend the dance and wound-up missing their train back to Clinton.

Savanna (Township) Band 1890's-1920's?
Some 1912 members were Charles Seitzburg, Chet King, Bill Tyler, Boyd Law, Irvin Benedict, Lyle King, Walter Bahwell, Bert Fuller, August Handel, Dan Holland, Harley Booth, Wayne King, JB Wallace and Ives Law.

Mississippi Orchestra (of Sabula, Iowa)
Savanna Times Journal article dated early October 1900 stated the orchestra played in Savanna for the "hop" a dance attended by 50 couples and given by the young ladies of the Nineteenth Century Club.

Savanna Cornet Band, organized June 1900
Elected Officers were Adolph Gifford, musical director; Edgar Stahl, president and manager; Will Pierrott, secretary; Gus Hampshire, treasurer; founding membership was Otis Brown, Harry Hoffman, Edgar Stahl, Gus Hampshire, Dan Holland, Harry Freeman, Bernie Heller, A.O. Elliott; Will Pierrott; Clarence Boyer; Adolph Gifford; H.B. Smith,; Charles Seitzburg; Irvin Albright.

The King Brothers Jazz Orchestra, about 1915-1922 (Lyle, Chester, Wayne King);
Lyle King, Director; Wayne King, clarinet, Speedy Greenleaf, banjo & cello; Gertrude Bahwell (Mrs. Chet King), piano; Rhene Law, original drummer; Ben Eldridge & Lawrence Morse, drums at different times; August Weise of Sabula, trombone; note: the original band might have been first called the King Brothers Band and then later the King Brothers Jazz Orchestra.

American Legion Band, (Van Bibber-Hansen Post of Savanna);

Savanna Boys Band, Sept. 5, 1921-early 1930's (Reverend Bremicker, aka The Music Man)

The Snappy Four (April, 1925 from Savanna Times Journal, played the Chestnut Park Dancehall and tickets were 75 cents.)

Brownie's Troubadors: (formed December 1925) Miss Juanita Shipley, piano; George Lanning, cornet; Harold Brown, alto and soprano saxophone; Charles Stitley, alto saxophone; Hurbert Williams, banjo; Charles Reese, drums.

The Weber Orchestra (Galena, Illinois)
Wayne King played for the Weber Orchestra sometime between 1917 and 1921. We need more research on the Weber Orchestra of Galena, Illinois.

Steve Stevens Orchestra 1942-1947; (Paul Stevens Jr., trombone; Anita Stevens, cornet; Jennette Truninger, piano; Danny Cottral, vocalist; Wade Law, drums; Dick Saltow, drums; John Hanson, trumpet; Bill Hawk, trumpet; Lawrence Hiher, trumpet; Marvin Schreiner, tenor saxophone; Bob Mitchell, tenor saxophone & clarinet; Bobby Marth, alto saxophone; Bob Kuntzelman, alto saxophone. Others included Frank Esposito and probably George Saltow. Theme song, 1942-1944; "It's the Talk of the Town;" from 1946 to September, 1947 it was "Marie."

The Ralph Slade Orchestra 1934-1940's; Ralph Slade, saxophone & clarinet; Art Isenhart, original piano; Lester Maurer, saxophone & clarinet; Charlie Vaccaro, bass fiddle; Don Wilson, piano; Tommy Kindell, saxophone & clarinet; Paul Melendy, saxophone & clarinet; Jack Colebaugh, trumpet; Lyle Meyers, trumpet; Don Yachik, drums.

According to Trumpeter/Saxophonist Bob Davis in April, 2000, as witnessed
from the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Mount Carroll, IL, Ralph Slade and Art Isenhart were the most schooled local musicians from the area during the big band era. Art Isenhart studied music at Francis Shimer College and at school in Chicago. Ralph Slade studied under Rev. A Bremicker and performed on flag ships Capitol and Streckfus. I'll ask Bob Davis again where else Ralph Slade received formal training in music.

Jack Cole Orchestra 1939-1940's;

Temptating Rhythms 1937-about 1944, Marvin Schreiner, leader & all saxophones and clarinet; Pianist C. Lyle Hamm; Bass Fiddler Frank Esposito; Clarence Eaton; Don Hansen, piano; John Mirosh; Vernetta Homedew Near, John Hanson, trumpet); (Vernette Homedew remembers playing high schools dances in 1937, 1938 before her grandmother made her quit because she was the only girl in the band.); (Marvin Schreiner's sister Norma remembers that Marvin won his first saxophone, which was soprano, in a contest at the Web Theatre during the mid-1930's in Savanna. Marvin Schreiner put together many five and six piece combos from the 1940's to the 1990's. Marvin, who lived in Savanna from 1922 until his death on December 25, 1997 was probably Savanna's most recognized musician during the 20th century.

The Melody Boys or Had's Bunch early 1920's-1925
Changed the name officially to The Merrymakers in 1925

The Merrymakers 1925-1930's; six to nine combo depending upon the engagement.
(Harry B. Grissinger, Lawrence Morse, Frank (Speedy) Greenleaf (banjo),
Luther Geisinger, Harry Gottis, Frank ???. Pat Davis from Lanark, Bud Riddle and
Paul Melendy from Savanna and Roy Harstick from Hanover also played some with The Merrymakers.)

Harry B. Grissinger and Orchestra 1930's-45; three to eight piece depending upon the engagement. (Harry B. Grissinger, saxophone, guitar, clarinet; Lawrence Morse, drums; Harry Gottis, piano Frank Espisito, bass fiddle; Art Isenhart, piano; Bob Smith, drums; Luther Geisinger, saxophone & clarinet; Russell Drain, tenor saxophone; LaMoyne Philmlee, bass fiddle; Others included Paul Melendy, alto saxophone, Bud Riddle, Tommy Kindell) Theme song: "Pretty Girls Like a Melody," sung by Lawrence Morse.   The Merrymakers/Harry B. Grissinger has his own page on the menu of the homepage.

The Super Six Synchopators 1931-1940's (Frank "Bud" Riddles's band) The VFW Club sponsored the Super Six during the later years of the band. Band members were Frank "Bud" Riddle, tenor saxophone and clarinet; Edgar Harry, trombone; Harry Dailey, drums, George Hanson, trumpet; Shorty Hale, drummer from Clinton, Iowa, and a banjo player from Shannon, Illinois. In April, 2000, Bud Riddle recalled The Super Six playing The Terra Aqua dancehall in Freeport, Illinois. The dancehall was surrounded by water.  Frank "Bud" Riddle has his own page on the menu of the homepage.

Lute Geisinger Orchestra (Thomson, Illinois late 1930's-1950's); Lute played flute, saxophone, and clarinet. Bob Davis in April, 2000 recalled that Mrs. Geisinger played piano in the band and that the band probably had as many as seven members for larger engagements. Bob Davis also recalled Lute Geisinger Orchestra members Trumpeter Emerson Sweeze from Clinton, Iowa, and Ozzie Stumbaugh, bass fiddle and tuba; Blanche Mitchell, pianist from Hanover, Illinois.  Lute Geisinger has his own page on the menu of the homepage.

Art Isenhart Orchestra from Mount Carroll, Illinois
Only known member so far was Art Fetterolf

The Irv Martindale Orchestra early-mid 1930's; (Irv Martindale, violin; Mrs. Martindale piano; daughter guitar; son-in-law, drums; Paul Melendy, alto saxophone. (Paul Melendy remembered in 1999 playing the dancehall at Wacker, Illinois in 1931.)

The Glen Law, Kings of Rhythm 1918-1978; (Glen Law, alto saxophone & vocalist; Helen Law, organ; Anita Peschang Hanson, clarinet & a few vocals; John Hanson, trumpet; Blendon Law, bass fiddle).  Glen Law has his own page on the menu of the homepage.

Blendon Law and his Blendonaires; (dates uncertain but still plays.)

Roy Harstick Orchestra 1930's-1950's; (generally 7-pieces; charts arranged by Allan Hammerstein)  Roy Harstick has his own page on the menu of the homepage. 

Glen Harstick Band 1950's (usually 3 to 4 piece combos). Known members were Glen, his wife and someone named Iggleston.

Charlie Bertch's Square Dance Orchestra 1940's-1950's;
Charlie may have also had an orchestra he called "The Ridge Riders."
(Charlie Bertsch, bass violin & violin; Murietta Gamble Haring, accordian; Lois Gamble Steffis, Hawiian Guitar; Ralph Bailey, bass violin; Anita Peschang Hanson, clarinet plus several more.

Eddie Uhl and His Ranch Hands 1940's-1950's;

The Smokey Valley Boys 1946-1952 (Wade Law, drums & some vocals; Louis Reusch, guitar & lead vocals; Ralph Bailey, bass fiddle & some vocals; Jake Neusum, trumpet; Gene McLaine, trumpet; Bob Mitchell, clarinet & saxophone; Bill Ritchie, clarinet; John Smolek, Jr. accordian; Frank Esposito, bass fiddle; Wayne Perkins.

Louis Reusch and Band (about 1952 to 1974)

The Rythem Four (Floyd Curley Bands 1940's-1975); Floyd Curley vocals, Hawiian steel guitar, acoustic & electric guitar, piano, harmonica; Trumpeter Frosty Winters; Drummer Charles Straight; Saxophonist/Clarinetist Buddie Anderson; Drummer Jimmy Straight, played with Floyd Curley after his father Charles Straight died in 1967.); (Not sure what the name of Floyd Curley's bands were before about 1962. A Savanna Times Journal ad identifies the band as the Rythem Four in 1967.) In the late 1930's & early 1940's Floyd Curley and his sister Bertha Curley (clarinet) played live radio in Freeport, Illinois. During their grade school years, they entertained at country schools near Hanover, Illinois. In the early 1950's, Floyd Curley was hired by the Red Fulley Show to perform a novelty act playing his harmonica and Hawiann Steel Guitar together. The week after Floyd had been hired, the famed Red Fulley was forced to quit his show due to serious illness. In 1978, Floyd Curley traveled to Nashville and cut four demo tracks at 33 rpm on a 7 inch disc. These recordings included "A Simple Melody," "Just Because," Whispering," and "Skirts." The Stevens Project possesses a 1969 or 1970 recording of the Rythem Four at the dancehall upstairs in John Schedler's Tavern in downtown Savanna. The Steven's Project also possesses late 1960's audio recordings made at home by Floyd Curley and his sister Florence Bearsley of Hanover, Illinois.

The Red Hinton Band

The Gus Fuhrman Orchestra (???)

The Fat Dutchman, Preston, Iowa (plays horn, wife plays piano??);

The Blue Souls 1965-1967 or 1968 (rock-n-roll, Ty Kindell son of Tommy Kindell);
Lead Guitarist Tyson Stewart Kindell from Savanna, IL; Bass Electric (Fender) Guitarist Marlyn "Rosco" Jones from Savanna, IL; Rhythm Guitarist Dan Hickman from north of Elizabeth, IL; Drummer Charles Crisci (6 months) from Savanna, IL; Drummer Rick Snyder from Lena, IL; Lead Vocalist Ralph Jones from Savanna, IL; The Blue Souls played some Savanna engagements but played mostly in Hanover, Elizabeth, Stockton, Galena, Illinois and Dubuque, Iowa. They played approximately 40 songs. Some of these were songs made famous by the Beatles, The Kinks, The Howies, Chuck Berry, The Association, The Yard Birds and the Rolling Stones. Some of the songs were Bus Stop, Pay You With Interest, Can't Get No Satisfaction, Play With Fire, Carasel, Don't Let The Sun See You Crying, Born To Be Wild. They also played the blues.

The Road Runners (rock-n-roll) mid-1960's to present.
Gary Goetz, Ramsey Mason,

Sounds of Gold (Marvin Schreiner (1970's-1997)
Main Avenue Jazz, Mount Carroll, Illinois (1990's?)
The Steven's Project possesses a one hour 1996 recording where the Sounds of Gold joined with Main Avenue Jazz . Members that day were Trumpeter, Don Karol; Clarinet and Saxophone Hal Whitmer; Saxophonist Marvin Schreiner; Trombonists Jerry Hartman and Bob Bullard; Bass Bill Lutz; Drummer Jim McNee; Keyboard and Vocals Jan Varner.

Freddie Behen Orchestra 1940's-1950's (from around the Albany, IL)

Joe Pole Orchestra 1940's-1950's (from around the Albany, IL area)

Identified Whiteside and Jackson County Orchestras
The Tim Sheehan Orchestra (Clinton, Iowa)
Wayne King played for The Tim Sheehan Orchestra sometime 1917 and 1921. We need more research on The Tim Sheehan Orchestra. According Trumpeter Bob Davis 1912-2000, Wayne King took over a band from Clinton, Iowa when the leader was ill. It was possibly the Tim Sheehan Orchestra.

The Dick Phelps Orchestra 1940's-1950's from Sterling, Illinois
Jimmy Bates is only known member at this time. According to Bob Davis the Dick Phelps Orchestra made a recording in 1940.

The Larry Palmer Band, believed Sterling, Rock Falls Illinois area (1960's-1990's)
Pianist and Vocals Larry Palmer; Trombonist John Sunday; Saxophonist and Clarinetist Marvin Schreiner from Savanna, Illinois; Bass Fiddle, guitar Aaron Johnson; Drummer Dick Synder. Note the project possesses a copy of the August 31, 1968 engagement recorded at the Rock River Country Club. This 1 hour recording was provided by Mrs. Jan Schreiner of Savanna, Illinois in May, 2000.

April, 2000, Trumpeter/Saxophonist Bob Davis stated he remembers Harry Gottis as a Ragtime style piano player. Mr. Davis also indicated that Art Isenhart was the most schooled and the best pianist from the entire area. Bob Davis left Savanna during the 1940's to make a living solely as musician for more than a decade playing as a trumpeter and saxophonist in many bands in Chicago. He purchased a home and lived in Maywood, IL during these years. During the 1940's he knew famous musicians who frequented Chicago establishments. He knew Trombonist and big band leader Jack Teagarten, Trumpeter and Band Leader Louis Armstrong, Trumpeter and Band Leader Roy Eldridge. Bob Davis stated he decided to leave Savanna and live in Chicago because he was influenced by the music played by black musicians. He often frequented and played in what were called "black and tan" establishments in the Chicago area. Bob Davis's mother was a sister to Van Bibber of the Van Bibber-Hansen American Legion Bands in Savanna, Illinois from the 1930's to the 1950's. Bob Davis was one of the music students of Reverend A. Bremicker (The Music Man) from 1921 to the mid-1920's.
As a final note, Mr. Davis stated that he once had a considerable collection memorabilia of his music career, but that it was lost during the 1950's when a moving van he hired veered off a bridge into a river. Bob Davis was born February 16, 1912 and died November 15, 2000. When I last interviewed him in April 2000, he was still very astute and possessed a clear memory. For example, Bob remembered that Wayne King once took over a band from Clinton, Iowa when the bandleader became ill. This was before Wayne King moved to Chicago to attend Valparaiso University and begin his professional career as a musician between 1920 and 1923.