South 40

A strong R&B/Top 40 sound (1967-69)

History

Late Fall,  1966:  David Anthony and one of his booking agents, Bruce Brantseg, decide to put together a new band in the twin cities that will have a strong R and B/Top 40 sound, similar to Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, who were popular at the time. They put a plan in motion and hand pick local musicians that they feel will have the right sound and the right chemistry as a group.

December, 1966: David and Bruce contact Dick and Larry Wiegand from The Rave-Ons and Dave Waggoner from Jokers Wild, to discuss the concept of the new band.  The three musicians like the idea and the next step is to bring in a keyboard player and drummer.  Harry Nehls, also from the Rave-Ons, joins the group  on drums and vocals and Dave “Kink” Middlemist, from Jokers Wild joins the group on keyboards, guitar and vocals.

January, 1967: The band has their first trial practice to see how things go.  David Anthony and Bruce like what they hear and are confident with the lineup of the new band.  The next step is to come up with a name.  After one of the rehearsals, Kink is getting to ready to leave and states: “I think I’ll go plow the south forty…”  The phrase South Forty catches the ear of David Anthony and he states that South 40 would make a good name for the new band.  All agree and South 40 becomes an official band.  The lineup is David Waggoner on lead vocals; Larry Wiegand on bass guitar and vocals; Dick Wiegand on lead guitar and vocals; Kink Middlemist on guitar, keyboards and vocals and Harry Nehls on drums and vocals.  David Anthony and Bruce begin advance promotion of the band.  One of the promo ads uses the phrase: South 40: Under Construction.

April, 1967:  The band begins to play locally and also out of town and start to gain in popularity.  Some of the local clubs the band performs at are: The Prison (Burnsville); Magoo’s (Minneapolis); Casino Royale (Fridley); Bobby’s (Mendota Heights); Someplace Else (Robbinsdale); and The Purple Barn (Eden Prairie).  Some of the out of town venues include the Kato Ballroom in Mankato; the New Munich Ballroom; the Paradise Ballroom in Waconia; George’s Ballroom in New Ulm; and Club Irving Wildman in St. Cloud.  Across the border in Wisconsin the group plays the London Inn in Eau Claire and Proache’s Popular Ballroom in Ellsworth.

May 12, 1967:  The band plays a concert featuring The New Colony Six (from Chicago) at Aldrich Arena.  Also playing on the ticket are local bands The He – Too’s and T.C. Atlantic.  Encees for the concert are two DJ’s from KDWB, Tac Hammer and Jimmy Reed.

Summer, 1967: The band goes into Universal Audio (formerly Kay Bank) to record their first 45.  The record has “Good Lovin” (Rascals) on the A-Side and “The Penny Song” on the B-side, which was an original song written by Bill Normandin and Larry Wiegand.   The record is released on the Metrobeat label.  “Good Lovin’” was arranged by the band in a way that differed from the original version.

March 20, 1968: South 40 records a live album at Someplace Else, a teen club in Robbinsdale where the band was very popular.   The album is released on the Metrobeat label and contains 10 songs, including cover songs and originals.  2,000 albums are pressed and all copies are sold.   Shortly after the album is released the band returns to the studio to record their second 45.  This 45 has “I Want Sunshine” on the A-side and “Goin’ Someplace Else” on the B-side.  Both songs are written by Larry Wiegand and Harry Nehls.  “I Want Sunshine” gets local airplay and is also played in other markets including Fargo, Duluth and Sioux Falls. 

September 29, 1968:  South 40 are one of the bands that play at a competition held by the National Ballroom Operators Association at a convention in Des Moines, Iowa.  Timothy D. Kehr, an executive with Columbia Records and the judge of the contest picks South 40 as the winner and the band is awarded a  trip to Chicago to record and to audition for Columbia Records.  

Late Fall, 1968: Harry Nehls accepts an offer to play in TC Atlantic and is replaced by Mike Malasgar on drums.

January, 31, 1969:  The group travels to Chicago and record five songs at Universal Studio for Columbia Records:  “Time to make a Turn,”  “Busy Day,” “Gonna Leave a Mark,” “White Eyes” and “Evil Woman.”  Columbia Records does not sign the band to their label after hearing the songs.  During the recording sessions, Chicago based record producer Bob Monaco is present and takes an interest in the band.  Bob Monaco, from Dunwich Productions, takes over the management and booking of the band as well as the record production and obtains a recording contract with Amaret Records based in Los Angeles, California.  After the recording the band returns to Minnieapolis and continues to play live.

March 2, 1969: South 40 opens up for the Buddy Miles Express at The Labor Temple in Minneapolis.

April, 1969: Denny Craswell takes over on drums replacing Mike Malasgar.   The band decides to come up with a new name, Crow, and South 40 comes to an end.

UPDATE:

In 2011, Mike Jann of Metrobeat Records decides to make the album, South 40 Live At Someplace Else, available for the first time since 1968, through minniepaulmusic.com.

Photos

Recordings

Good Lovin’ / The Penny Song

Good Lovin’ – 45 Record  –  Side A

The Penny Song – 45 Record  –  Side B

 

I Want Sunshine / Goin’ Someplace Else

I Want Sunshine – 45 Record  –  Side A

Goin’ Someplace Else – 45 Record  –  Side B

 

Live At Someplace Else

Fire  – From Live at Someplace Else LP

Show  Me You  Keep  Me  Hangin’  On   –  From Live at Someplace Else LP

If  No  Love  – From Live at Someplace Else LP

99  1/2  – From Live at Someplace Else LP

Get  Out  Of  My  Life  Woman  –  From Live at Someplace Else LP

I  Want  Sunshine  – From Live at Someplace Else LP

Ride  Your  Pony  – From Live at Someplace Else LP

Goin’  Someplace  Else  – From Live at Someplace Else LP

Take  M– From Live at Someplace Else LP

What’s  Happenin’  – From Live at Someplace Else LP

 

Live Again

Get  On  Up  Big  Bird  – From The Live Again CD

She’s  Lookin’  Good

Hound  Dog

Stormy  Blues  Jam

Get  Ready

Purple  Haze

Vanilla  Fudgie

 

 

Interview  Part  ONE

 

Interview Part TWO  –  Time =  19:49

 

Interview Part THREE  –  Time =  20:05