web analytics

CONTACT US

Our E-mail address is:  wmmusichystericalsociety@yahoo.com

Kim Rush, Co-editor, Writer, Historian:  kimdonaldrush@hotmail.com

Doug Taylor, Co-editor, Writer, Webmaster: wmmusichystericalsociety@yahoo.com

Please leave a message, information about a band or musician, pictures, memorabilia, corrections concerning mistakes and misinformation, Top 40 play lists and posters, old newspaper ads about bands and musicians, notify us concerning other interesting music and history websites or band websites, and supply musician contact information such as addresses and e-mail addresses, etc.

Please include dates of pictures and other memorabilia whenever possible so that we can create a chronology. Please provide names of the people in your photos and where they were taken, etc.

Provide as much information as possible concerning your submissions, as it will ultimately make your postings more meaningful and interesting.

If you have a story to contribute, indeed contact us. If you need the story posted, but don’t want to write it, we will gladly interview you and write the story for you.

Thanks in advance for your contributions and comments. We appreciate it!

10 Responses to CONTACT US

  1. Steve Smith says:

    Jim, glad to see you’re still jamming. Drop me a txt.

  2. Rudy Kool says:

    Doug, saw your recent request on Veteran West Michigan Musicians Facebook Group. I’ve sent info to you several times via email on your format, but no response nor inclusion. Is there a better way to submit info?

  3. Doug Simmons says:

    TwDwlMKeICma

    Please add me to your e-mail list

  4. The White Summer band will come together to perform a Reunion Concert at Hidden Pointe in Benton Harbor, Michigan Saturday, November 28th, 2015 at 8:00pm. White Summer has produced five albums of original material, but they are most famous for their thousands of live appearances that never fail to generate tremendous excitement and large crowds. The many hardcore fans of the band are affectionately called “Whiteheads,” and some have been known to travel 1,000 miles to see White Summer.
    The story of the White Summer band begins in 1973. The group was formed as a power trio of eighteen-year-olds from Benton Harbor: Jim Watkins (drums and vocals); Rick Lowe (guitar and vocals); and David Wheeler (bass guitar). The boys had been close friends since the sixth grade, when they attended Pearl School together. Early influences included The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, and home-state favorites Grand Funk Railroad. The name of the band comes from a Mayan Indian term, the White Summer plateau, which means the highest level of human consciousness.
    The band’s first bar gig was at Babe’s Lounge. They also put on many shows at high school dances, outdoor festivals, and nightclubs. White Summer performed many times at the old Shadowland Ballroom, and were one of the last bands to play that hallowed venue.
    White Summer released their first album in January, 1976—the White Album. WIRX played the record in its entirety several times. Les Paul was in the control room during one of the recording sessions at Sound Machine Studios in Kalamazoo and praised the boys’ sound.
    White Summer was the last band to ever play the House of David Beer Gardens. In 1977, the band performed on that fabled stage in front of 5,000 fans as the opening act for Blood, Sweat and Tears. When the crowd began chanting “White Summer” during a long instrumental song by BS&T, singer David Clayton Thomas marched off the stage in anger. It would be twenty minutes before he could be coaxed into continuing the concert.
    In the mid-1970s, there were perhaps fifty clubs that featured live rock bands in Berrien County. But the drinking age in Michigan was raised from 18 to 21, and that combined with the Disco fad killed the live music scene. In 1979, White Summer moved to Ann Arbor before relocating to Florida one year later.
    White Summer went on to become one of the top rock acts in Florida. The group traveled around in its signature big white bus and by the end of the 1980s became famous for its classic rock shows, especially in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and in the Florida Keys. By the end of that decade, White Summer featured a repertoire of 1,000 songs and was known as the “All Request Band,” meaning the audience was challenged to try to “stump the band.”
    White Summer opened for many top rock acts, from the Buckinghams to Black Oak Arkansas. The band developed a reputation as a “Musician’s Band”—more musicians would come to see them perform than any other group. Eric Clapton caught a set at Sloppy Joe’s in Key West and exclaimed, “This is the best band I have ever seen in a bar!” Neil Young saw two sets in New Smyrna Beach and said, “This is the longest I ever sat and listened to a band.”
    White Summer performed at Walt Disney World and played for two months at the Hard Rock Cafe in Cancun, Mexico. In 1990, White Summer won a Jammy Award as “Best Classic Rock Band,” while Jim Watkins won the award for “Best Classic Rock Vocalist.” In 1991, White Summer appeared in front of its biggest crowd ever—25,000 souls—at the Indian River Music festival with Don Henley, Michael McDonald, and Arlo Guthrie. A major music magazine called White Summer’s set “the highlight of the day.”
    White Summer never neglected its Michigan roots. The band did a two year tour of its home state in the 1980s that covered a Michigan map with pins for the cities they had played. Three times the group returned to Southwest Michigan. One of their most memorable performances came at the 1988 Venetian Festival when they played in front of 5,000 people directly on Silver Beach.
    In 1984 White Summer returned to play at Chief’s Bar in Millburg. That gig started out as a joke as the drummer’s sister lived in Millburg and used to dare him to bring White Summer to Millburg. Chief’s built an addition for White Summer to accommodate its fans. The group became the house band at the Ramada Inn in Benton Harbor for six months in 1987, during which time it occupied one entire floor of the hotel—24 rooms. In 1989, White Summer lived and played at the Sweet Cherry Resort for six months.
    The 1982 White Summer Red Album drew the attention of Warner Brothers. During negotiations for a record contract, one of the three band members—Danny Misch from Chesterton, Indiana—suddenly left the band for personal reasons. That was the end of that.
    In 1984, White Summer recorded the Dreams Come True album in Detroit at the old Motown Studios. That record received airplay on over 100 radio stations. The band was nearly signed by United Artists, but the deal was squelched at the last minute by a top executive who didn’t like the way the band looked. He said, “If I close my eyes, White Summer sounds as good as any band in the world.” This was during the big-hair-band days. Video killed the radio star.
    The last White Summer album was recorded in 1990 at the Platinum Post Studios in Orlando, in between sessions by Al Di Meola and Judas Priest. There are many videos of White Summer’s music on YouTube but one has to be careful as two other groups are on YouTube that have stolen the name. Both are young kids, one group from Canada and one from Australia. They have been asked to cease and desist using the name “White Summer” but have ignored these requests.
    White Summer has featured many different lineups over the years. The constants have been drummer/singer Jim Watkins (since 1973) and virtuoso guitarist Jimmy Schrader (since 1976). One former member, Jeff Aldrich is deceased.
    Jimmy Schrader was born sightless in Benton Harbor and attended the Michigan School for the Blind in Lansing. Jim Watkins needed a guitar player in 1976 and a fellow musician told him about Schrader. He said, “I know a fantastic guitar player but he is having a hard time finding a band. He was born blind, and refuses to use a cane or a guide dog. So, if you hire him, you will have to lead him around everywhere you want to go and everywhere he needs to go.” Watkins went to hear Schrader play his 1957 Fender Stratocaster by himself in his basement through a double-stacked 200 watt Marshall—turned wide open (on 10). It was as loud as a freight train. Within one minute Watkins knew that Schrader was his man.
    For a long time, Jimmy Schrader was simply called “the blind man” by rock music fans, and White Summer “the band with the blind guitar player.” But by the mid-1980s, Schrader had been given a new appellation: The King—as in the king of guitar. He is truly the star of the show and a world-class guitarist.
    White Summer disbanded after founder Jim Watkins retired from the music business and got a real job in 1991. Today, he writes magazine articles and recently published his first book. Jimmy Schrader never stopped playing and today is in a top-notch Florida band called Bad Mannerz. Since 1991, the White Summer band has come together every year to do a one-night-only Reunion Concert, either in Florida or in Michigan. The lineup for this show includes, as always, singing drummer Jim Watkins and the extraordinary guitarist Jimmy Schrader. Long time bass player Randy Brown will also be there. Adam Watkins—Jim’s son—usually plays a set on the drums while Jim goes out front to sing. The last such show enthralled a jam-packed house. The “Whiteheads” are getting ready for the sets that will be all classic rock—Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top, Cream, Robin Trower, Pink Floyd, Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Grand Funk, Black Crowes, Bob Seger, Steppenwolf, Rolling Stones, Bad Company, Allman Brothers, Lynrd Skynrd, and CCR. A White Summer show is always a party. Be there!

  5. Fenton Records Revival is underway!!! We’re looking for ALL former recording artists and employees! PLEASE contact Debbie at FentonRecords@gmail.com, or reach out to us on Facebook (Fenton Records) or Twitter (@fentonrecords).

    Thank you so much!!!
    {}:o)

  6. Robin Nott says:

    Love the GR music history!! Brings back very fond memories of my roots in music. Here’s a list of bands for the record:

    Robin Nott

    The Laymen (Riverside Jr. H.S.)–John Throckmorton(Compact Farfisa), Ron Burke (guitar), Clayton Jones(drums), Brad Kik (guitar), Robin Nott (bass)

    The Seeds of Degeneration (Plainfield neighborhood)–Dick LeBaron (bass), Fred LeBaron(tamborine), Craig ?(guitar), Robin Nott (guitar), (drums)?

    Flakes & Walker (Forest Hills neighborhood)– Chet Witkowski (drums), Jim Jarvis (bass), Robin Nott (guitar), Jeff Bulson (keyboards)

    Bad Axe (E. Fulton neighborhood)–Fred Galis (Hammond B3), Mike Galis (bass), Chet Witkowski (drums), Robin Nott (guitar)

    This was a blast! Thanks for the effort you guys…

    Robin

  7. Your filter might have blocked it, but I sent you some relevant Grand Rapids Press clippings I got by staring at microfilms at the library.
    http://www.sendspace.com/file/1z1nps

  8. Tom Jones says:

    Just to add and update

    I was the keyboard player for many successful bans in the 60-70’s.

    Stated in Jr high with – Left Wing – with Dan Gerke (drummer at the Grotto), Dave Norman and Tom Rau – Guitars, can’t remember the bass payer.

    Then went to the Klansmen (yes spelled with a “k”) in 8th grand we won numerous Battle of the Bands, played coffee houses (Towne and Country comes to mind/along with the Boyfriends), and won the BofBands at Allegan County Fair and were then the opening act for the headline act, the Royal Guardsmen (Snoopy and the Red Baron). Played many college parties at Davenport and Hillsdale (remember we were only in 8th grade!)
    Klansmen = Gary Hagan – Drums, Randy Smith – Guitar, Tom Jones – Vox organ, Greg Billing – drums. Previous members were Dave Ross – Bass, Leo Najar – Guitar. Guitarist Dave Hawkins later joined the group in place of Randy Smith.

    in 1971 joined Albert Smith Group (ASG) as keyboard, jumped to the B-3 and piano.

    1973 – 1978 Ashes to Wind – OZZ

  9. Rod DeWitt says:

    Cool site! My bandmate Jay Fortier told me about you. You have my first band listed as “We Sandpipers” from Reed City. It actually was called “The Sandpipers”. I am going to put a package together for your web site.
    Talk to you later.
    Rod DeWitt
    Hammond B3 – “Bo White & The Bluezers”

Leave a Reply to Rod DeWitt Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *