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Record Roundup
by Burt Schneider and Ray Lindstrom   2/6/58

We hope you enjoyed yourselves at the record hop after the Tucson High-Catalina basketball game.
A number of celebrities were guests of the student body.  Two local disc jockeys, Harry Grant of KCNA and Buck Herring of KTKT were spinning records.  Assisting them were Burt Schneider, Ray Lindstrom, and Gary Palant of CHSMaybe by the Chantels was the song most requested at the dance.  Another popular song was This Is The Night by the ValiantsThe Collins Kids were a special attraction.  Everyone attending was happy they were able to stop in and say "Hi" to all their fans.  Larry's and Lorrie's latest record destined to be a hit is Hoy, HoyElvis Presley, whose Jailhouse Rock just left the top tune charts, has another big seller in Don't the flip side, I Beg Of You.  It appears that Elvis is trying to make all the money he can before he goes into the service next month.  You Are My Destiny by Paul Anka is another new one in the pop field for the 16-year-old singer.  He wrote the song himself, and could possibly be as big as Diana which sold over a million copies a few months ago.  Because of the actions of a few students, music is being discontinued in the cafeteria.  We hope that the broadcasting will be resumed in the near future.

The Lewallen Brothers

A mid-1960s record cover, shot near Soldier Trail: from left, Bobby Lewallen, Tim Lewallen, drummer Dennis Gamble, Cal Lewallen and Keith Lewallen.

Courtesy of Lewallen family

In Memory of Charlie Ruth Lewallen

click on article

 

Lewallens made name
plumbin'& strummin'

Opinion by Bonnie Henry Arizona Daily Star  Tucson, Arizona | Published:  2/8/2006

They may know their way around a pipe wrench. But it's their way with a guitar chord that Tucsonans of a certain age remember. Heck, you may have danced to their tunes at the old Sunset Rollerama or Hi-Ho Club.  Their name was, and is, Lewallen. As in the Lewallen Brothers one of the hottest bands rockin' in the Old Pueblo back in the '60s. Three of their songs got considerable airplay on Tucson radio. They also won a TV gig on the Dick Clark show, "Happening '68," featuring such luminaries as James Brown and Glen Campbell.  "It was really amazing to be on a show like that," says Cal Lewallen, 66, oldest of the clan.  If that name rings a bell in a different way, perhaps someone from Cal's Plumbing has unstopped your drains a time or two.  Unstopping drains and strummin' guitars both are a family tradition going back to Cal's father, Cal Sr. In 1936, Cal Sr. came to town with a wife and a promised gig with a band whose guitar player had taken sick.  "The guy stayed sick, Dad kept the job," says Cal Jr. And then one fateful day, the business agent from the local plumbers union talked Cal Sr. into an apprenticeship.  By 1948, he had his own company, Cal's Plumbing. Even so, the man kept his guitar pick in the music game. He also encouraged his sons to play, buying them guitars and a few lessons. First to take their dad up on the offer were Keith and Tim. Before long, Cal Jr. was joining in on bass guitar. Meanwhile, sister Gayle was singing with a band, the Marsades.  "Their guitar player got drafted, so Tim and I started playing with them," says Keith, 57. So, before long, did Cal Jr. Cal Jr., Keith and Tim started a band in 1963 called the Cokats, with Dennis Gamble joining them on drums.  Besides the usual teen hangouts, they also hit the bar scene. "I was playing in bars when I was 15," says Keith. In 1963, they recorded their first record, "Tough He Was," written by Cal Jr. They sent the song to record producer Bob Keane. A promoter with Keane told the band to change their name to the Lewallen Brothers. By that time, brother Bobby had joined them on keyboard and vocals.  Two more records followed: "It Must Be Love," and "Only a Dream," both recorded in 1967.  In 1968, the Lewallen Brothers won a battle of the bands contest at Old Tucson. First prize: an audition on "Happening '68." They made it through two shows, losing on their third appearance.  So they hit the road everywhere from Oregon to Wisconsin. Drummer Dennis Gamble dropped out, replaced by Mike Ramsey, who still plays with the brothers today.  Less than a year later, they were back in Tucson, where they became the house band for the Cedars and backed up everyone from the Turtles to Gary Lewis and the Playboys.  "We also played with Chuck Berry," says Cal Jr. "He always wanted the local band to play with him."  Years before, Cal Jr. had taken up the pipe wrench plumbing by day, strumming by night. Keith and Tim followed that route around 1970.  In 1981, Bobby died of cancer. The band quit for a decade. But by the early '90s, they were back on stage at various spots around town. Somewhere along the way, Tim dropped out to become a full-time plumber. Their latest gig: a high school reunion last spring. "If someone wants us now, it's $500 a night," says Keith, who plays with Cal Jr. and Ramsey. (Call Cal's Plumbing at 748-1105 for more information.) A CD of the band's '64-'68 songs is also available at Judy's Music Stop (881-2681). Asked if he still gets recognized when he makes house calls, Keith says, "All the time. I go there as a plumber and we wind up talking about the Lewallen Brothers.

 

Available at Amazon.com and Borders Music Store


Available at Amazon.com and Borders Music Store

Harold W. (Bill) Scott II writes, I was talking with my brother-in-law, Robert Dickey. He was a member of a rock group during our high school days called King Rock and the Knights.  They had recorded a couple of songs as did Pete Ronstadt & the Nightbeats and Jack Wallace and the Hi-Tones. Well, Two CHS students named Burt Schneider and Ray Lindstrom formed a record company called Zoom Records and all the songs were recorded in 7 months in 1959. Well, I think it was Burt, produced a CD of those songs and distributed them on Amazon.com. It is called "Zoom Records Anthology, Rockin' Tucson in the '50's!" Cool songs. I don't know if the CD is still available or not.

The Number One song of 1958 was Tommy Edwards' tune It's All in the Game. This song was originally written in 1912 as an instrumental by Charles Gates Dawes, who would one day become Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge.

SONGS FROM 1958 ARTIST HIT WEEK
At the Hop Danny and the Juniors 1/06
Great Balls of Fire Jerry Lee Lewis 1/06
All the Way Frank Sinatra 1/06
Stood Up Ricky Nelson 1/13
Don't Elvis Presley 2/10
Short Shorts Royal Teens 2/10
Sugartime The McGuire Sisters 2/17
Get a Job The Silhouettes 2/24
26 Miles (Santa Catalina) The Four Preps 3/10
A Wonderful Time Up There Pat Boone 3/10
Tequila The Champs 3/17
Sweet Little Sixteen Chuck Berry 3/17
Catch a Falling Star Perry Como 3/24
Are You Sincere Andy Williams 3/24
Lollipop The Chordettes 3/31
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands Laurie London 4/14
Twilight Time Platters 4/24
Witch Doctor David Seville 4/28
Wear My Ring Around Your Neck Elvis Presley 4/28
All I Have to Do is Dream The Everly Brothers 5/12
Purple People Eater Sheb Wooley 6/09
Big Man The Four Preps 6/09
Secretly Jimmie Rodgers 6/16
Hard Headed Woman Elvis Presley 7/21
Yakety Yak Coasters 7/21
Patricia Perez Prado 7/28
Poor Little Fool Ricky Nelson 8/04
Splish Splash Bobby Darin 8/04
Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Blu) Dominico Modugno 8/18
My True Love Jack Scott 8/18
Little Star The Elegants 8/25
Bird Dog The Everly Brothers 8/25
It's All in the Game Tommy Edwards 9/29
Rockin Robin Bobby Day 10/13
Topsy II Cozy Cole 10/20
It's Only Make Believe Conway Twitty 11/10
Tom Dooley The Kingston Trio 11/17
To Know Him Is To Love him Teddy Bears 12/01
Problems The Everly Brothers 12/15
The Chipmunk Song The Chipmunks/David Seville 12/22

SONGS FROM 1957 ARTIST HIT WEEK
Love Me Elvis Presley 1/05
Hey Jealous Lover Frank Sinatra 1/12
Blueberry Hill Fats Domino 1/19
Moonlight Gambler Frankie Laine 1/19
Too Much Elvis Presley 2/09
Don't Forbid Me Pat Boone 2/09
Young Love Sonny James 2/09
Young Love Tab Hunter 2/16
Teen-Age Crush Tommy Sands 3/16
Butterfly Andy Williams 3/30
Party Doll Buddy Knox/The Rhythm Orchids 3/30
Round and Round Perry Como 4/06
Little Darlin' The Diamonds 4/06
Marianne The Hilltoppers 4/06
All Shook Up Elvis Presley 4/13
Butterfly Charlie Gracie 4/13
School Day Chuck Berry 5/13
Love Letters in the Sand Pat Boone 6/03
A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation) Marty Robbins 6/03
A Teenagers Romance Ricky Nelson 6/10
So Rare Jimmy Dorsey 6/17
Bye Bye Love Everly Brothers 6/17
(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear Elvis Presley 7/08
Searchin' The Coasters 7/29
Old Cape Cod Patti Page 7/29
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter Billy Williams 8/05
Tammy Debbie Reynolds 8/19
Diana Paul Anka 9/09
Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On Jerry Lee Lewis 9/09
Honeycomb Jimmie Rodgers 9/23
That'll Be The Day Buddy Holly and The Crickets 9/23
Wake Up Little Susie Everly Brothers 10/14
Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley 10/21
Chances Are Johnny Mathis 10/21
Silhouettes The Rays 11/04
You Send Me Sam Cooke 12/02
April Love Pat Boone 12/16
Raunchy Bill Justis 12/16
Kisses Sweeter Than Wine Jimmie Rodgers 12/16
Peggy Sue Buddy Holly 12/30

CATALINA HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1958 TUCSON, AZ