Where to begin? The last 2 years have been a storm for everyone, not least of all us here at RRtV.
Obviously, lockdowns and health scares have impeded our ability to travel, meet with artists, and do much of our physical research. Now that the landscape seems to be evening out, we have begun planning our trips anew, and are already back to library research at Menasha. Thanks to the new overhead scanner we acquired, we are able to do full page newspaper scans far faster than before! Already, we have rescanned the weekday Post Crescents from 1965 and most of 1966 to be transcribed for the archive. What used to take hours per session can be done in mere minutes.
Additionally, we are going to be setting up our first interview related travel in over 2 years, to meet with some artists in central Wisconsin who have never shared their stories before! It may also hopefully lead to some critical discoveries in regards to photos and some recorded music as well.
On a sadder note, we do share our condolences with the friends and families of some wonderful people we lost since our last post. Raylene (Loos) Bartel passed in early 2021. I met with her several times, and we had become fast friends. A truly beautiful person, and a consummate professional. I went to see her band Nite Trax, and still still got a crowd up and dancing. What a voice, and what a heart. I miss her greatly.
Original studio engineer, and the designer of the first two Target studios (in the basement of Concerto Music and the location on Douglas St) left us in late 2019. Marty was a college trained electronics engineer, and was crucial in the Fox Valley music scene. Not only was he the local Fender amplifier serviceman, but the played in many local bands, and was rarely seen without his custom painted black sparkler Fender Jazzmaster, which he kept his entire life, along with many of the tape recorders and microphones he had used all the way back to those first sessions in 1965.
We also said farewell to one of the architects of Appleton's rock and roll foundation', Bob Timmers. Bob played in bands going back to the 1950s, having stints in the Rockets and the White Caps. His family even sponsored bringing English singer Bev Moss to the States to front his band! In the 1980s, Bob moved to Nashville and created the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, which is now a world renowned institution, and has recognized many artists for their contributions to that genre. He is mourned across the globe. Our sympathies go with his family and friends
In more pleasant news, we will be presenting an appreciation of Target Productions and discussing our work here at Rockin' Central tonight at the monthly Appleton Historical Society meetup! Please come see and hear some stories of the Fox Valley music scene, and support local history preservation.
And finally, I wanted to recognize Al Posniak's 80th birthday, which was yesterday, April 12, 2022. I went to visit his resting place and thank him again for his lasting contribution to Wisconsin, and the inspiration his has given me to continue to share the work of my and his fellow artists with the community and the world. Happy Birthday, Butch!