Thursday, June 25, 2009

Omer's Soul Rebellion - 1968

One of the top regional bands to hit the scene centered around late 1960s’ Indianapolis was Omer’s Soul Rebellion (OSR). OSR’s style of music was rock and horn-based rhythm and blues, with the band lovingly referring to itself as a group of “blue-eyed soul brothers”. The band featured many of their own arrangements of songs made famous by such artists as the Temptations, Sam and Dave, Blood Sweat and Tears, James Brown, and the Rolling Stones. Towards the end of their collaborative effort, the band began venturing into harder styles of rock doing arrangements by the Vanilla Fudge and Cream.

Members of the band included:
Mark Hewitt (guitar),
Fred Hayes (drums),
Jeff Brant (bass),
Terry Self (organ),
John Cotner (trumpet),
John Tarkington (sax), and
Jim “Omer” Hutto (trombone).

Upon Fred Hayes’ departure to Tucson, Carl Peterson took over the role behind the drum kit. Everyone within the band contributed in delivering the multi-part vocals with Omer taking a lead role.

In 1968 Omer’s Soul Rebellion was one of 172 bands competing in the Indiana State Fair’s “Young America Fair” Battle of the Bands. The band took 1st place making it the second year in a row bands from the Kokomo area had dominated the competition. The Clean Machine, a band from Kokomo featuring Frankie Watters, had won in 1967. Judging the competition were the WIFE Good Guys from the dominant youth centered radio station of the day in Indianapolis.

Though most members of the band were high school juniors at the time of the Young America Fair, they capitalized on their new found connection with the Good Guys and signed with Carousel Productions. This allowed the band to play weekends throughout the five state region for the majority of their senior year in high school. At the end of summer following graduation, the band came to an end as various members went off to their different colleges and lives. The crowds had loved them and just a whole lot of good times had come out of this band.

Complete contribution thanks to Mark Hewitt! Thanks Mark!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Caravans - 1967

Take a look at these blurbs for the Caravans, and you know what I know. Robbie Rogers was a member and a champion drummer. Whatever that is, I'm pretty sure it was very cool in the day. The pics were gleaned from May 1967. The band is credited with being "State Champions in Rock & Roll". Must be some documentation on a feat such as this.

Who else was on the State Champs roster? Time to honor these guys. How many years did the state determine champs? Who were the "not winners". This could be interesting.


Bob Walterman, founding member of the Caravans has checked in with the skinny on the band.

"The band was formed in 1963,and the original name was Satans Angels. However since our first job was for the CYO of our local Catholic church we had to change our name to keep the job. As we were all musicians in the school band it was a natural step to form our own band. We worked very hard to hone our skills and the summer of 1965 we entered the Battle of the bands at the state fair. We placed second in the state to a band from Fort Wayne called The Epics. The third place band was from Shelbyville called The Kandels. As a result of our success we were invited by The Beach Boys to be one of the opening acts at their concert at Ball State . The Vietnam War took its toll on our group as two of our members were drafted into the service. With replacements we contined on until 1971 and disbanded. Our drummer Robbie Rogers was an exceptional player and could be considered the best in the state at that time, but of course I'm prejudiced. Our lead singer and guitar player Dan Mobley when he left the service moved to Florida and still to this day is performing and recording.Our bass player was Frank Smith who moved to Batesville in 1963 from Fordyce Ark. Our keyboard player was Glen Dickman who was originally a trombone player and was self taught on the guitar and keys, he was very gifted. We were always a cover band and had no desires to do our own material or record. We simply loved to play for people. Jim Shelton of WIBC radio took us under his wing and we did dances all over the state of Indiana."

The Caravans on the night we placed 2nd in the state battle of the bands. We are holding a check for $2500.00. The members are from left to right:
Robbie Rogers - Drums
Dan Mobley - Guitar / Lead Singer
Frank Smith - Bass
Bob Walterman - Guitar
Glen Dickman - Keyboards - Trombone

"In later years after The Caravans disbanded I started a group called Blackwater Falls which had two musicians from Columbus,In. Jim Prazner on bass and Henry Smith on drums. Since 1963 I founded a total of six bands."

Great to hear from Bob, and really stoked that we can share the Caravans story with our dedicated followers! Thanks!