Monday, October 12, 2009

Vehicle City Bands

Anyone remember a Flint band from the late '40s called The Rhythmers, or perhaps it was The Rhythmaires?

UPDATE: The Rhythmers (?) had musicians from all over Flint. I knew of them as I played in Central High's band and Jerry Sawdon, the drummer, was a good friend of my family. His stepfather, George Domm, was a real estate agent and acquaintance of my dad. His brother was discharged from the Navy and came home and formed the band. His name was Dick Sawdon and he played sax. I often went to the Sawdons house with Jerry as he lived two blocks from Central off Second Street. His mother owned and ran Maria's Cleaners on Second near their house. The band rehearsed at Jerry's house and I became friends with one of the girlfriends of the bass player. She was Lois Scotton who in later life owned the Scotton Shop on Third Ave. in what's now called Carriage Town. She introduced me to her friend the bass player Earl Prahl, brother of Marie Prahl, who later became Dean of Women at Flint Community College. Earl and Lois went to Northern and brought another Northern alumni, Jack Thomas. I think he played the piano. He later went on to teach at Boston Conservatory of Music. There was another member I liked very much but can't remember his name. He was Polish and lots of fun. The band ended in tragedy when returning from a gig in Saginaw they were involved in a car crash and Dick Sawdon was killed. I moved to Detroit after that and aside from my life long friendship with Earl Prahl I lost contact with them and didn't return to Flint for many years.
— Pat Young


8 comments:

  1. Where's Uncle Buck when we need him?

    But Mom Young -- when do we get another retrospective on Diz, Bird, NYC, the whole be-bop thing?

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  2. Cooley, I remember the Rhythmaeres. In 1949, I dated the sax players sister-in-law in junior high. They played Beecher Gardens and other dancehalls around Flint. If Jordy McCree is still around, he could tell you of some of his sets with those big timers when they played Flint...unclebuck

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  3. Another biggie, Greenley's Green Arrow Ranch Boys... "Boil that cabbage down boys". How about the Teen Trio. (The Henden twins and a cutie from Fenton named Sandy S.), who went with Fred Wareing and the Pennsylvanians. I believe they were helped along by Bill Lamb in early fifties. Not very lasting though. Johnny Mungell,a southender.went with Lawrence Welk for a short period in 50-51 or there abouts. Matt Dennis, a very good tenor who worked at Consumers Power,made it big. I guess these were not all bands, but Flint performers just the same...unclebuck

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  4. I must be wrong on Matt Dennis, I googled him and the info don't match up with my comment. Sorry, but there was someone from Consumers who made it. Now I'm ashamed....unclebuck

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  5. Maybe you're not wrong about Matt Dennis, unclebuck - or maybe he just didn't work for Consumers, no idea there. But I turned up a number of entries for a singer-songwriter named Matt Dennis, who died at the age of 89 in 2002. He seems to have been fairly successful, and the age group would be right if he was getting his start in the 40's and 50's. I'm not actually sure if this was the guy who came from Flint, but it certainly could be.

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  6. Redgirl...Usually when I make a comment about the post, I'm familiar with the content because,I witnessed it, read about it,or participated in it. Otherwise,it's a tongue in cheek remark to see what it will generate, a sort of stirring of the pot,if you will. The info about Matt Dennis was passed to me through my Father fifty years ago or more. My Dad worked there (Consumers)for nearly forty years and knew everything about that place and the people who worked there. Thanks for the moral support and by the way, my kids used to bug me about stopping at Mary's Dairy every time we passed the one on Fenton Rd. I got a good laugh out your comment.If indeed it was you. unclebuck

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  7. When Cooley said,"Where's Uncle Buck when you need him"? He's now probably thinking, "How do you shut this guy up"? Amen,....unclebuck

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  8. Au contraire, Unclebuck. I always appreciate the comments of those senior enough to have witnessed the events discussed here. In fact, you should post more.

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