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The Sixth Generation

Niles, Michigan


That was the Time: (3:59) YouTube


The Sixth Generation has been officially inducted into
the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends hall of fame!!

More information on this great honor will be coming soon!

The Sixth Generation is a dynamic rock and roll band at the forefront of musical style from the late 1960s. Playing hits of the time as well as original songs, the band delivers crowd pleasing performances that bring back fond memories for baby boomers and a surprising appreciation of good music for their children’s generation. With all of the original members from the 1960s still playing together, the band has a magical presence like no other of their kind.

This Is The Time
& Glitter and Gold
are now available on Amazon.com!!

Click here to download them now

A trip down Memory Lane
The Sixth Generation was formed in Niles, Michigan (home of Tommy James & The Shondells) during the summer of 1966.  Playing top hits of the time, the group became quite popular very quickly and began drawing large crowds throughout the region.  By early spring in 1967, the band was regularly booked for Saturday night dances at The Skyliner at Five Mile Corner in Dowagiac, MI (at that time, the most popular dance venue in southwestern Michigan).
The Sixth Generation appearing at The Skyliner with popular deejay Dex Card in 1967.
Marie Needham, a co-owner of The Skyliner, realized the group’s potential and became the Sixth Generation’s manager. Marie began booking the band across a broader geography and also arranged a recording session at Sound Studios in Chicago.  “This is the Time” was released by GMA Records in August 1967.
With “This Is The Time” being heard regularly on radio stations from Chicago to Pittsburgh, the group became more popular than ever.  The song went on to become #1 in several markets, even outpacing nationally known artists.  The group was on a roll!
What had started as a “garage band” in Niles, MI, gained prominence across the upper Midwest region, headlining with such groups as the Kingsmen (Louie, Louie), the Buckinghams (Kind of a Drag, Susan, Hey Baby), the Box Tops (The Letter, Cry Like A Baby), and many other prominent groups of the time.
Unfortunately, with the priority of college educations, changes eventually took place in the members of the group.  The college years found The Sixth Generation with 4 members: John Dale, Paul Davies and Dave Walenga remained in the group and Fred Hulce joined on keyboards and vocals.  The still ever popular group continued to play at high schools, colleges and dances all over the state of Michigan and in northern Indiana. The band sadly played its last dance in Buchanan, MI in December 1970.

More pictures from the past
Left to right:  Paul Davies, Fred Bachman, Ron Hamrick, John Dale & Dave Walenga
Listening to newly released “This Is The Time”
“This Is The Time”  Get it?
The Sixth Generation Official Photo
Loved those groupies!

On the road.

Setting up to play another dance.

Great friends on and off stage!

Welcome Fred Hulce (far right).
The Sixth Generation Today
Bringing back great memories playing top hits of the 1960s, The Sixth Generation captivates audiences with good music and high energy performances. Fans are as excited now to see and hear them as they were forty years ago, and the band even has a surprising following among Generation X. The Sixth Generation produces good shows not only because the members are all very good musicians, but also because they have been good friends since the 1960s when they first started performing together. Their long friendship adds a dimension to their performances that is unparalleled among bands of their genre. In fact, fans often describe their performances as magical.

The Sixth Generation has performed to capacity crowds at numerous venues, sometimes sharing the stage with other popular groups such as The Buckinghams, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, The Kingsmen, The Box Tops and many more. They never fail to delight audiences when they perform.  Their versatility allows them to perform a wide variety of 1960s hits made famous by groups such as The Beatles, Chicago, The Temptations, The Rolling Stones, The Rascals, Cream, Steppenwolf, The Association, The Turtles, The Kinks, Gerry & the Pacemakers, The Spencer Davis Group, Wilson Pickett and others.  Their performances are enhanced with original songs written in the 1960s style.

The band’s sound is nothing short of awesome.  With five vocalists, their harmonies are amazing and rich instrumentation includes guitar, bass guitar, drums and four keyboards providing organ and piano as well as brass, strings and other orchestral accompaniments.

Merchandise & Tickets

You can purchase Sixth Generation merchandise including official apparel, music downloads, and tickets to performances in our online store using a credit card or PayPal.  All transactions are secured using the latest technology.  Visit our store now!


June 1, 2011 Michigan Rock and Roll Legends
The Sixth Generation inducted into Michigan Rock & Roll Legends hall of fame
Sixth Generation
Hailing from Niles, Michigan–home of Tommy James & The Shondells–The Sixth Generation staked their own claim for fame by recording a 45 and playing all the area hotspots.  David Walenga recalls his time as the band’s drummer with nothing but fondness, and is looking forward to reconnecting with his bandmates later in the fall of 2010.
Sixth Generation, 1968 (L-R): Fred Hulce, Fred Bachman, John Dale, Paul Davies and Dave Walenga
An Interview With David Walenga 60sgaragebands.com (60s): How did you first get interested in music?
David Walenga (DW): I played trumpet in the school band but always wanted to be a drummer.  The Beatles fueled my desire to start a band and play drums.

60s: Was The Sixth Generation your first band?
DW: I started with The Vampires in 1965.  We were together for almost a year. 
60s: Where and when was The Sixth Generation formed?
DW: In Niles, Michigan in 1966.  Paul Davies and Dave Walenga (I) moved over from The Vampires and added new players.  The band consisted of Paul “General” Davies, bass/singer; Dave Walenga, drums/singer; John Dale, guitar; Fred Bachman, singer; Ron Hamrick, keyboards/singer; and Fred “George” Hulce, organ/singer. 
Sixth Generation, 1967 (L-R): Fred Bachman, Ron Hamrick, John Dale (seated), Dave Walenga and Paul Davies
60s: How would you describe the band’s sound? What bands influenced you?
DW: We were a cover band and played Top 40.  We had great vocals.

60s: What was the Niles rock and roll scene like in the ’60s?
DW: Niles was the home of Tommy James and The Shondells.  Area bands were The 5 Emprees, Tradewinds and Princeton 5. We had live music to watch and learn from.

60s: Where did the band typically play?
DW: We started playing YMCA, American Legions and school dances.

60s: Did you play any of the local teen clubs?
DW: We became the house band for The Skyliner at 5-Mile Corner in Dowagiac, Michigan.  We played there at least one Saturday a month for several years.  We also had the privilege of working with WLS Chicago deejays Dex Card, Art Roberts and Bernie Allen.
We also played at The White Rabbit in Niles, The Top Deck in South Bend, The Edgar Allan Poe Club and Factory in Holland, Michigan  and The Place in Grand Rapids.  The biggest club was The Shadowland Ballroom in Benton Harbor, Michigan and Tippy at Lake Tippy in Leesburg, Indiana; headlining with such groups as The Kingsmen (‘Louie, Louie’), The Buckinghams (‘Kind of a Drag,’ ‘Susan’ and ‘Hey Baby’), The Box Tops (‘The Letter’), Ides of March (‘Vehicle’), The Detroit Wheels (‘Devil with a Blue Dress’) and The Electric Prunes (‘Too Much to Dream Last Night’) became a regular event.

60s: How far was the band’s “touring” territory?
DW: Southern Michigan, Northern Indiana and Illinois.

60s: Did The Sixth Generation participate in any battle of the bands?
DW: Two that I can remember.  One was in
Mishawaka, Indiana.  I think we came in second place.  We were later offered a spot in a battle of the bands in Chicago however we could not take advantage of it.  We also came in third at Shadowland Ballroom in Benton Harbor.

60s: Did
The Sixth Generation have a manager?
DW: We did early on and she did get us local gigs.  However, when we started to college, we were not playing locally anymore.

60s: What were the circumstances leading to the band’s opportunity to record your 45?
DW: Our manager had connections and we went to Chicago to record our only 45, ‘This is the Time’ (GMA Records).  We recorded in one session in Sound Studios in Chicago. 60s: Did The Sixth Generation write many original songs?
DW: Not many, but Fred Bachman and Ron Hamrick were our primary songwriters.

60s: Are there any other Sixth Generation recordings? Are there any vintage live recordings, or other unreleased tracks?
DW: There is one unreleased song but no live recordings.  We had recorded ‘Glitter and Gold,’ a Turtles song, but could not it get approved to be released. 
60s: Did the band make any local TV appearances?
DW: We did appear on South Bend TV a few times.60s: What year and why did the band break up?
DW: We broke up in late 1970 or early 1971 due to college and one of the founding members (going) off to the Navy.




60s: How do you best summarize your experiences with The Sixth Generation?
DW: We loved it so much that we are getting back together this fall for the first time in almost 40 years–but there are no plans beyond making music and reconnecting with our brothers.

Sixth Generation, 1969 (L-R): Dave Walenga, Paul Davies, John Dale and Fred Hulce

‘This Is The Time’


Image: 25/27



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