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The Shadow Lake 8 in 1962-1963

After spending the summer of 1962 in Noel, when we went back to school, it was kind of a mess for a while.... Meaning all the players that were still at school, or in the general area, wanted their gig back, and for a while it was really very tense, and very dis-oriented.... Archie and Zoot were still in High School and Amos was at Tulsa University.... So it was kind of like whomever was free or was the closest to the gig, ended up playing.  In the end the group was made up of the above, with the exception of Bill Schooler, the piano player, who was replaced by Dave Hamilton, and sometimes my brother Gary.

That group was now solid and we played all the time, using The Del Chiffons as our singers.

This group stayed together throughout the year, basically doing the same thing, playing the same venues, etc... We went as far out as the Panhandle of OK and Texas, all through OK, into Arkansas and Missouri as far north as St Louis, and at road houses and Fraternity Parties, playing for Varsity Revue,  etc... 

In the summer of 1963 we went to Rockaway Beach, MO to play in the dance pavilion there, on the banks of Lake Taneycomo.

Dale and I drove up there in the middle of winter with a copy of a tape made of the group and ran down the guy who was running the Pavilion.... It was a guy named Carlos Rocco.  The name of the place was "Rocco's Gay 90's"..... Not Gay like we know today, the old version of the word Gay.... Happy, Party, etc....

Gary Washburn was now the full time Piano Player. That summer was a major  “hoot” to say the least.

Pictured (L-R): Gary Washburn-Piano, Kent Washburn-Tenor Sax, Amos Meng-Alto & Bari Sax, Archie Barnes-Guitar,

Bing Vassaur-Trumpet, Denny Freeman- Drums, Terry Mead-Trumpet, Dale Roark-Bass

During that summer of 1963, many interesting things happened, and some interesting people were met....

Picture this..... Rockaway Beach is right on the border between Arkansas and Missouri.... Their 1963 mentality was definitely influenced by the South, and segregation at that point in time was becoming the hot topic....

By then, we had a great following of party people, a lot of which came on the holiday weekends from St Louis.  We first met them over the Memorial Day Weekend (last Monday in May).... We had gone up to Rockaway Beach as just the 8 piece group, no lead singer.  We all kind of "sang at it" enough to get by.

BUT, for the Fourth of July Holiday and the rest of the summer, we wanted to bring up the two sisters from the Del Chiffons, (Kandi and Alda Moore) from Muskogee, Oklahoma.  The Third girl was Connie Smith.  She finished school the spring before this summer, and dropped out of the group and went on with her career.

The Owner of "The Gay 90's" Dance Pavilion, Carlos Rocco, an Armenian, and very East Coast-ish, etc... said. Great!!  He thought that they will be a great addition to his little empire...”The Gay 90's" 

They came up..... Alda, Kandi and Alda's husband, a big shot football player, AND Mr. Black Universe.  He normally came along because he liked to hang out with all of us, but also to thwart off any confrontations that might start, based on the area of the US that we were in.

Yes, they were a big hit, but the City of Rockaway Beach "Elders", etc....  flat told us that they were not welcome in Rockaway Beach as soon as the 4th Holidays was over.... Why???  They were Black.

We dealt with that mentality a number of times during the SL8 years, but in the end the people loved us, and that was what counted.  Thru those years we were told to leave some of the most Lavish Hotels, and all kinds of Restaurants simply because we were with Black People.

So we finished the summer and it was still a high spot in our lives, even though they put us through all that segregation crap... Rocco was really pissed about it, and raised some cain, but they just told him to shut up or leave town, and the city would run the Pavilion and make the big bucks that he was making on this "Roadhouse styled, open air pavilion, beer only sold, or special area bring your own hard liquor, that he could stuff 3,000 people into, So he shut up!!(chuckle).  We finished the summer and went back to college that fall.