Monday, September 23, 2019

The Return of the Catalinas?!

A new wrinkle in the timeline of the Catalinas has appeared in the form of this ad sheet we recently unearthed. Based on the Lake Street address on the bottom, it dates from no earlier than mid 1970.
 According to this page, the four original members of the Catalinas (Al Posniak, Jim Kelly, Harry Wheelock and Bob Dix) were set to reunite and start playing limited gigs again. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that day ever really came. By 1972, Al was in bad health. He chose to sell Target and the Neenah facilities to Dan Liebhauser, and moved to Illinois to recuperate near his family following surgery for a brain tumor. Harry went back to his day job in Milwaukee, and Bob went back to the Inn. It makes one wonder, what if...

This will be available soon in our text repository along with other written items, including our transcriptions of the Post-Crescent. Until then, please enjoy this slice of an alternative outcome for the boys (formerly) in gold.

From the ad copy:

"NEENAH, WIS. — One of Wisconsin's most famous rock bands from the past is returning after three years of retirement. The Catalinas, billed as Wisconsin's No. 2 rock band during most of the group's existence, is again playing on a limited basis only.

   The Catalinas were formed early in 1962 by Bob Dix, James Kelly, Alan Posniak, and Harry Wheelock, all from the Fox Cities area of the state. After achieving an almost immediate popularity the Catalinas went on to become the state's No. 2 rock band, to set record crowds at over a dozen clubs, bars, and dancehalls in the midwest, and to become the second band from Wisconsin to be signed to a major recording company, Chess Records of Chicago.

   In 1966 the Catalinas decided to broaden their horizons and to see the country. They dyed their hair gold, had special gold uniforms made, changed their name to the "Golden Catalinas," and left for a national tour, playing nightclubs throughout the country.

   The tour did little for the group except to extend their popularity. In 1967, Posniak decided to leave the group and enter the business side of the music industry. Shortly after leaving the stage he formed Target Productions, a recording company and a public relations firm. 
Kelly decided to leave the stage a short time later, forming J.K. Productions, a booking agency and management organization. 

   Six months later, in the spring of 1968, Wheelock and Dix, after a six-year partnership, dissolved the Catalinas completely. Dix bought a bar in Kaukauna, his hometown, which he calls Bob's Inn, and Wheelock accepted a position with Giddings and Lewis in Milwaukee. 

   Recently old rock and roll has been making a strong comeback, and Kelly has been getting numerous requests from his clients for his old band, the Catalinas. He asked the former members of the group if they would like to play again, on a limited basis. Be-cause of their commitments, the others agreed, but only on a very limited basis, at very select places. 

   Well, the Catalinas are back, so for rock of the '60s, as it was played in the '60s, by a band of the '60s, see the Catalinas."

Thanks to Dan Casaletto for finding this amazing relic!

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