“The Fabulous Flippers”Lead Singer
Guitar and keyboards
“THE EIGHT, EIGHTH WONDERS OF THE WORLD”
How did such a fantastic group get started? Moreover, how can they keep delivering that special mixture of rythm and blues, that captivated tens of thousands of fans, even after 35 years?
To understand the significance this band had on the developing music in the 60‘s, one must have a little back ground.
The beginning of the eight piece show band that influenced groups like “Chicago”, The “Mob”, “Jack Mac and the Heart Attack” and countless other groups in the Mid-West started in June 1964. Auditions were held over a four state area to come up with the best talent possible. Seven men were selected and were told they had two days to put together a show and get on the road. It was soon discovered that working together was easy. Each man selected had been playing in various bands for at least five years. The average age then was 19 and 20. Newest members were Danny Hein (Lead vocals, Hammond Organ and guitar), Dennes Loewen (Lead vocals, organ, Trombone and rythm guitar), Dennes Frederick (Vocals and Bass) Jerry Tammen (Drums and Vocals), Gary Claxton (Trumpet and Sax) Doug Crotty (Trumpet, Sax and Keyboards), Roger Lewis (Lead Trumpet) and Terry Wierman (Lead Guitar) who was also the original band leader since he started a smaller version of the group in Hays, Kansas a few years earlier.
The summer of 1964 proved to be one summer that the people of Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa will never forget. Radio station KOMA in Oklahoma City was used for advertising. Regular spots ran every day and people all over the central United States heard the name of the Flippers. Posters, handbills, and newspapers were used that summer as the Flippers started their journey across becoming a legend that was to build bigger every time they played. It was not uncommon at all for the Flippers to be mobbed when they came into town. Many times extra police officers had to be called in to hold back the excited mobs that would try to get to the band on stage. By the time the band had been on the road for five or six weeks the word began to get around about the band. Many newspapers interviewed the Flippers and did full page articles on the band. In almost every town pictures appeared in local newspapers about the band.
At first, The Flippers were playing current hits, but had re-worked the songs, adding horns, choreography, trick lighting systems, and a one of a kind sound system. This unusual combination of horns with popular songs was new to an ever growing audience starved for entertainment. Crowds were liking it so much that the Flippers would average 1,500 people a night playing in towns that most agencies have never heard of.
Probably one of the main secrets of the success of the band was the show they put on. On no song, at any time, was anyone ever standing still! The band had spent many hours practicing and working out routines for each song. Dance steps were used, and at points of the evening, a vaudeville show was put on. And it was done well. The band ended the summer playing 108 dances in eight states, and leaving people talking about the Flippers everywhere they went.
It's not even fair to compare this band with other groups. All you can say is they work together with a talent that is unbelievable. You can say all you want about this band, and when you see them, you'll have to admit that enough hasn't been said yet. The foresight and talent of this band is expressed by the way the band predicted a coming trend for horns and went to eight pieces. This gave them three horns on every number, and sometimes up to five since almost everyone in the band plays every instrument except the drummer. The drummer would if he had a chance, but to describe the drummer is like talking about the seven wonders of the world, so he stays on the drums. Bands all over the mid-west have copied the Flippers. Anyone who has ever been to a mid-west dance knows that there's a different kind of music out there.
In 1965, the Flippers changed the musical trends of the mid-west. They started playing Rhythm and Blues with a Blue Eyed Sound. They added horns to old blues songs which had not been heard of in the mid-west except by a few. Material from music greats like James Brown, Sam and Dave and Wilson Picket were re-arranged and presented to the public. The response was overwhelming! The Flippers had done it again! The whole mid-west was behind them. The Flippers were doing Taste Of Honey with two trumpets and a trombone three months before Herb Albert brought it to the public.
That same year, the Flippers were asked to play for the National Ballroom Operators Convention. After their performance a special meeting was held by the operators. They could not believe it! The Flippers moved into Minnesota and Iowa and completely upset the ballroom circuit The second and third times around many attendance records were set. Crowds over 2,500 were recorded. The Roof Gardens in Iowa saw Chuck Berry's record of 4,000 broken. Over 5,000 screaming fans poured into the Prom ballroom in Minneapolis!
WATCH OUT WORLD, the Flippers may be coming your way, and when they do, you won't believe it! It's easy to say that the world would stand, watch, and be entertained by this eight piece band like they have never been entertained before. Anybody who has seen this band once can't help expressing their respect, “The Fabulous Flippers” are currently working on new material for an upcoming CD. The best way to here all their “HITS” is to purchase their most current CD called “Then and Now” It contains newly recorded songs as well as remastered originals.