|The Fabulous Flippers|
|Claxton, Gary - Trumpet, Sax|
|Crotty, Doug - Horns|
|Frederick, Dennes - Bass|
|Gronenthal, Max - Vocals|
|Hein, Danny - Vocals|
|Lewis, Roger - Horns|
|Loewen, Denny - Vocals|
|Tammen, Jerry - Drums|
|- Cameo-Parkway - 45 Single - Harlem Shuffle|
|1970 - Veritas - LP - Something Tangible|
|No band in the Central United States drew larger crowds, caused more
excitement or had more influence on thousands of aspiring rock musicians
than “The Flippers”. Based out of Lawrence, Kansas – The Flippers
took the Midwest by storm throughout the 60’s – drawing sold out crowds
from Texas to North Dakota and from Colorado to Illinois. Advertising
their shows on KOMA Radio from Oklahoma City, OK they drew teens
driving hundreds of miles to a “Flipper Dance”. In the early 60’s through the efforts of John Brown (Mid-Continent
Entertainment), Terry & The Flippers – a very good rock band from north
central Kansas was turned into a professional, innovative and trend-setting
Rhythm & Blues Show – rivaled by no other band. Luring Danny Hein
from Oklahoma (who had gone to Tulsa Central High School with legendary
rockers like David Gates (“Bread”) and Leon Russell - and great
vocalist-instrumentalist Denny Loewen – Brown transformed “The Flippers”
into “The Fabulous Flippers” - an 8-piece Rhythm & Blues Show Band – that
patterned themselves after great southern RB Reviews like “James
Brown & His Famous Flames” & “The Bobby Bland Review.
Blued-Eyed soul was introduced white Mid-America and literally
all of the bands, after seeing a Flipper show – transformed their bands
from traditional rock groups (guitar-bass-drums) into 8-10 piece
RB show bands after witnessing a “Flipper show”.
The finest musicians in the Midwest were hired to compliment
Terry Wierman’s original band. In addition to the hiring of soul vocalists
Denny Loewen and Danny Hein – excellent musicians like Dennes Frederick
(Bass), Gary Claxton (Trumpet-Sax), Jerry Tammen (drums), Roger
Lewis and Doug Crotty (Horns) were hired. During the late 60’s a number
of other great musicians moved through the Flippers. Many members of the band were multi-instrumentalists – and their
stage show included moving from instrument to instrument, trading
lead vocals, excellent back up vocals by the horn-section, and “steps” that
would have found them a spot in an “Ike Turner Review”..
Their stage show was legendary – sometimes even making the stage looking like it was moving. They were cool in their matching suits and Tammen’s drum solo’s with black-lit drumsticks tore up the crowd.
They recorded a number of records on Fona and Quill Records – but their national release on Cameo-Parkway Records (“The Harlem Shuffle”) was their showpiece. They recorded a great album in 1970 on Veritas Records (“Something Tangible”) which featured excerpts from their “West Side Story Medley” which amazed those watching these “Flipper shows”. A number of musicians traveled through the Flippers including Norfolk, Nebraska’s Max “Carl” Gronenthal – who has been inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame with his 60’s band “The New Breed”. Max later went on to star with California’s “Jack Mack & The Heart Attack”, and sang and composed 38-Specials only #1 Hit – “Second Chance”. Max recently charted on Glen Frey’s label with “Max Carl & Big Dance” – keeping alive the soul music from the 60’s that were directly influenced by The Fabulous Flippers.
The Flippers appeared on stage with numerous stars of the day, including “The Rolling Stones” and appeared in several movies, filmed in New York. They reunited in the early 90’s and have been touring on a limited basis thrilling their fans that crave another “Flipper Dance”. The Flippers were inducted into the Iowa Music Hall of Fame in 1998.