19th Amendment

Pioneering all-female band from Owatonna

History

The 19th Amendment (and the Exotics)

 

1964 – 1970

 

1964:  Suzie Mork is in the 9th grade in Owatonna, Minnesota and playing violin in the school orchestra.  Her mother is concerned about the amount of time she is spending in the orchestra which appears to be impacting her grades and asks Suzie if she would be interested in trading in her violin for a guitar.  Having watched The Beatles make their United States debut performance on the Ed Sullivan Show in February, Suzie agrees to the deal and picks up a Fender Duo Sonic Guitar and a Fender Vibroverb Amplifier at Hansen’s Music Store and starts taking guitar lessons.  Her teacher is John Putnum, who plays rhythm guitar with a popular local rock band called Little Caesar and the Conspirators.

While taking guitar lessons, Suzie runs into Carol Moe at the music store who she knows as a Viola player in the school orchestra.  Suzie discovers Carol has left the orchestra and is now taking guitar lessons, also from John Putnum.  Sue Green, another fellow student is also at the music store, taking drums lessons from Jim Barnholdt who is the drummer with Little Caesar.  Gary Sorenson, lead guitar player for Little Caesar also gives guitar lessons at the music store.  Gary, John Putnum, and Jim Barnholdt, suggest to Suzie Mork, Carol Moe, and Sue Green that they put a band together and start rehearsing in the basement of the music store.  Gary suggests that Suzie play lead guitar and sing harmony vocals and Carol play rhythm guitar and sing lead vocals.  The three start playing together in the basement of the music store under the direction of the three members of Little Caesar.  Carol informs the others that her cousin Linda Knutson plays bass guitar and Linda signs on with the group.  Sue Conklin, a friend of Sue Green, joins the group playing a six string bass guitar.  Suzie Mork convinces Linda Knutson and Sue Conklin to learn to sing harmony vocals in order to do Beatles songs.

The Exotics form with the following lineup:

Suzie Mork: Lead guitar and vocals

Carol Moe: Rhythm guitar, keyboards, and lead vocals

Linda Knutson: Bass guitar and vocals

Sue Conklin: 6 string bass guitar and vocals

Sue Green: Drums

The band practices in the living room at the Mork house, the Moe house, or the Green house and focus on learning songs by The Beatles.

Early, 1965:  The band plays their very first public job opening up for Little Caesar and the Conspirators at a performance at the Red Wing Armory.  The band opens up for Little Caesar a number of times and then they are ready to go out on their own.  On stage the group wears matching outfits: coulotts, Madras blouses, and cricket boots.

Carol Moe’s dad (along with an aquaintance) books the band at armories, ballrooms, and schools and builds a wood trailer (painted blue) for the band equipment.  Since none of the band members are old enough to drive the parents take turns driving the musicians to the band jobs and hauling the trailer which the band calls “the little blue dog house.”

March 8, 1965:  The band auditions for the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour at the Sheraton Ritz Hotel in Minneapolis on Nicollet Avenue.  The band plays “8 Days a Week” by The Beatles and passes the first audition.  Little Caesar and the Conspirators suggest the band use their large amplifiers and large drum set for the second audition.  The band agrees.  For the second audition the band once again plays “8 Days a Week” but does not pass this time around as the band does not know how to operate the large amplifiers and Sue Green is not familiar with the different drum set.  Also, the large amps make the group look like a professional band and not like an amateur band.

The band has a change in their on stage clothes and now wear corduroy bell bottoms with matching jackets, ruffled blouses, and Beatle boots.

Sue Conklin leaves the band. The new lineup for the band is:

Suzie Mork: Lead guitar and vocals

Carol Moe: Rhythm guitar, keyboards, and lead vocals

Linda Knutson: Bass guitar and vocals

Sue Green: Drums

1966:  David Wachter from David Anthony Productions starts booking the band. David drives the band members to some jobs in his Thunderbird. Later on the band gets a 1966 Dodge Van for use as a band vehicle.  Two band boys (John Aho and Jim Winch) drive the van and haul the musical equipment around.

David Wachter is contacted by a booking agent in Japan who wants to book the band in Japan.  David advises the band to turn down the offer as it is apparent to David that the booking agent in Japan thinks the band name means they are exotic dancers as well as musicians. David tells the band members they need to come up with a new band name.

The band puts an ad in the paper asking for people to submit band names offering fifty dollars to the person who submits a band name that the group decides to use.  The band does not like any of the band names submitted and comes up with their own name: The 19th Amendment, the Amendment to the United States Constitution passed by Congress in 1919 and ratified by the States in 1920 that gave women the right to vote.

Early, 1967:  Carol Moe leaves the band and Sue Huble (from The Illusions) joins on keyboards and lead vocals.  Carol plays her last job with the band in Maple Lake.  Carol plays two sets at the job and Sue Huble plays two sets at the job. The new lineup is:

Suzie Mork: Lead guitar and lead vocals

Sue Huble: Keyboards and lead vocals.

Linda Knutson: Bass guitar and vocals

Sue Green: Drums

With Sue Huble in the band the group adds more R & B songs to their show as Sue has a strong background in R & B music.

June, 1967:  Suzie Mork and Linda Knutson graduate from high school and move to  Minneapolis.  They move in with Judy Cottrell.

With fierce competition in the twin cities for bands, the group plays mainly out state Minnesota including armories and ballrooms in Red Wing, Maple Lake, Alexandria, Albert Lea, St. Cloud, Duluth, and Austin.

November 15, 1967: The band plays a concert that is recorded on a reel to reel tape.  The song list is:

634-5789 (Wilson Pickett)

Get Ready (The Temptations)

Louie, Louie (The Kingsmen)

Hold On I’m Comin’ (Sam and Dave)

Somebody Help Me (Spencer Davis Group)

Come on Up (The Rascals)

Gimme Some Lovin’ (Spencer Davis Group)

Keep on Runnin’ (Spencer Davis Group)

Think (James Brown)

Back in My Arms Again (The Supremes)

Come See About Me (The Supremes)

Till the End of the Day (The Kinks)

Friday’s Child (Blues Standard)

I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore (The Rascals)

It’s a Wonder (Sam and Dave)

Run, Run, Run (Unknown)

Something You Got (Chris Kenner)

Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying (Gerry and the Pacemakers)

Gloria (Them, Shadows of Knight)

Shake (Sam Cooke)

Heat Wave (Martha and the Vandellas)

It’s Alright (J.J. Jackson)

Hey Joe (Standard)

I Can’t Help Myself (The Four Tops)

Love is a Beautiful Thing (Rascals)

Knock on Wood (Brenton Wood)

Come See about Me / Gimme Little Sign (Supremes – Brenton Wood)

I Call Your Name (Beatles)

I Go Crazy (James Brown)

Turn on Your Love Light (Bobby Bland)

Mickey’s Monkey (Smokey Robinson and The Miracles)

It Takes Two (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell)

Late, 1967:  Sue Green, Sue Hubel, and Linda Knutson leave the band.  Suzie talks her roommate, Judy Cottrell, into learning to play the drums.

Early, 1968:  The new lineup for the band is:

Suzie Mork: Lead guitar and vocals

Jan Egland: Keyboards and lead vocals.

Kathy Johnson: Bass guitar and vocals

Judy Cottrell: Drums and vocals

December, 1968: The band travels to Saskatchewan, Canada at Christmas time to play a number of jobs booked by David Wachter.  Due to below zero weather the band’s vehicle breaks down.  A rental van is obtained and it also breaks down under the extreme cold.  After playing one job which is poorly attended due to the cold weather the group decides to return to Minnesota.

1969: Jan Eglund leaves the band.  Gail Young (from The Looking Glass) joins the band.  Jacquie Balzer (from The Belvederes) joins the band.  The new lineup for the band is:

Suzie Mork: Lead guitar and vocals

Gail Young: Lead vocals

Jacquie Balzer: Keyboards and vocals

Kathy Johnson: Bass guitar and vocals

Judy Cottrell: Drums and vocals

The group buys a 1969 Ford Van for a band vehicle (the 1966 Dodge Van had been badly damaged in an accident).

The band travels to Montana in June, 1969 to play a number of jobs in different cities and are very well received.  Venues include clubs, colleges, and civic centers.  The cities include: Helena; Butte; Bozeman; Missoula, Great Falls, and Kalispell.  Outside of Helena the group receives a police escort to the club where they are playing and discover their name is on the marquee.  Gail Young is interviewed on the local radio station, the band is written up in the local newspaper, and flyers of the concert are posted around the town.  The band is pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome.  The group played venues through North Dakota and return to Minnesota long enough to refresh and then continue on to complete the Canadian leg of their tour which lasts another two weeks.

Summer, 1969:  The band opens up for The Box Tops at the Lake Marion Ballroom in Hutchinson.  The band plays at the Minnesota State Fair with The Bob Seger System from Detroit, The Grassroots from Los Angeles, and The New Colony Six from Chicago.

The band plays at what are known as the outdoor “Love in” concerts at Loring Park and the West Bank.

In the late 1960’s the band adds more album cuts to their sets including songs by Led Zeppelin, Spirit, Janis Joplin, and Small Faces.

The band records “You Better Change” written by Suzie Mork with Gail Young on lead vocals.  The recording is done at ASI (Audiotek Sound Inc) on West Broadway in Minneapolis.

The band records “On the Way Home” (Buffalo Springfield), “CC Rider” (Mytch Ryder and Detroit Wheels); “Lucille” (Little Richard); “Birthday” (The Beatles – Underground Sunshine) in the basement recording studio at Nic’o’ Lake Records, a record store owned by George Garrett, a local record producer, located at Nicollet Avenue and Lake Street in Minneapolis.

Summer, 1970:  The band plays their final job at the CC Tap on Lyndale Avenue in South Minneapolis.

 

UPDATE:

 

In August, 2008, five members of the band reunited to record an original song written by Suzie Mork called “So Long Ago.” The song was recorded at Suzie’s Studio S in Aurora, Colorado. The song was released on a CD and features:

Suzie Mork: Lead guitar, vocals

Gail Young: Lead vocals

Jacquie (Balzer) Teien: Keyboards, vocals

Kathy Johnson: Bass guitar, vocals

Judy (Cottrell) Enberg: Drums, vocals

In October, 2013, the band scheduled a second reunion, however only three members of the band were able to attend this time.  The three members of the band who got together recorded two original songs written by Suzie Mork: “Where Has the Time Gone” and “Over Five Years.” The songs were recorded at Studio S in Aurora, Colorado and released on a CD called “Amended” and features:

Suzie Mork: Lead guitar, guitars, keyboards

Gail Young: Lead vocals, percussion

Kathy Johnson: Bass guitar, vocals

The CD insert has photos of the band members in costumes from the time of the 19th Amendment: 1919 and 1920.

In 2009, Pete Huber, drummer for Jokers Wild, was going through a box of tape recordings made by Jokers Wild in the 1960’s.  In the box Pete discovered a reel to reel tape of The 19th Amendment playing live on November 15, 1967.  No one is sure as to the location of the concert and no one is sure as to who did the actual recording of the concert.

In October, 2014, Suzie Mork recalled that one of the highlights of her time in the band was the trip to Montana in June, 1969 where the band was very well received.  Suzie also recalled the band played  live on the popular Twin Cities afternoon television show Mel’s Matinee Movie, hosted by Mel Jass on WTCN Channel 11.  The band performed “Uncle Jack” by Spirit.  No tape recording of the band playing on the Mel Jass television show is known to exist.

 

 

Photos  (Click a photo to see it full-screen, then click the arrows to see the next one.)

 

 

Exotics 1965

 

Georges Ballroom SchedulePalms Ballroom Schedule

Ted Mack AuditionsSong List

 

 2008 Reunion on August 8

Group Photo Reunion 1Vocal Over Dubs Reunion 1

Judy on Drums Reunion 1Whitey on Bass Reunion 1

Gail Doing Vocals Reunion 1

Suzie -Studio S Reunion 1Jacque Studio S Reunion 1

 

2013 Reunion on October  18th and 19th – Recorded 2 Songs

 

 

Gail-1Suzie Mork-1 (Large)

Whitey-1Whitey and Gail

Suzie Mork-2 (Large)Whitey-2 (Large)

 

Judy and Jacque (Large)

 

 

Recordings

Live November 1967

Mickey’s Monkey – from Live November CD

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Get Ready – from Live November CD

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Keep On Runnin’ – Live November CD

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Shake – Live November CD

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Gloria – Live November CD

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Hey Joe – Live November CD

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Secret Masters

Secret Masters-CD Sheet

You Better Change – Unreleased Masters

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On The Way Home – Unreleased Masters

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CC Rider – Unreleased Masters

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Lucille – Unreleased Masters

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Birthday -Unreleased Masters

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So Long Ago

So Long Ago-CD Sheet

So Long Ago – Aug 8,  2008  Reunion

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Amended CD Recorded on October  18,  19  2013

Amended CD Cover (Large)Amended CD Cover - BACK

 

Where  Has  The  Time  Gone  –  Time  = 6:51 

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Over  Five  Years  –  Time  =  3:28

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Bandtree

 

The 19th Amendment_____________BAND  TREE         

Exotics – 19th Amendment

1964  to  1970

_____________________________________________________

Suzie Mork          Lead  Guitar  /  Lead  Vocals      1964 to 1970

Exotics

19th Amendment

Meek (CO)

Creation (CO)

Dreamer (CO)

Release (CO)

Solo Artist (CO)

_____________________________________________________

Carol Moe        Rhythm  Guitar  /  Lead  Vocals      1964  to  1967

Exotics

19th Amendment

______________________________________________________

Linda Knutson          Bass Guitar  /  Vocals       1964  to  1967

Exotics

19th Amendment

______________________________________________________

Sue Conklin          6 String Bass Guitar  /  Vocals       1964  to  1965

Exotics

______________________________________________________

Sue Green            Drums           1964  to  1967

Exotics

19th Amendment

_______________________________________________________

Sue Huble                 Keyboards  /  Lead  Vocals     1967

Elkons

Illusions

19th Amendment

Blue Fox

Jim Nabors Hour (CA)

Zarathustra

MG Ruppert

Dr. Bob’s Rock

Canoise

____________________________________________________

Jan Egland           Keyboards /  Lead  Vocals     1968  to  1969

19th Amendment

______________________________________________________

Kathy Johnson         Bass Guitar  /  Vocals       1968  to  1970

19th Amendment

______________________________________________________

Judy Cottrell                 Drums  /  Vocals            1968  to  1970

19th Amendment

______________________________________________________

Jacquie Balzer       Keyboards  /  Vocals           1968 to  1970

Belvederes

19th Amendment

Chicken and Stars

Creation (CO)

_______________________________________________________

Gail Young                     Lead  Vocals                    1969  to  1970

Looking Glass

19th Amendment

________________________________________________________

Where Are They Now?

  • Suzie  Mork
    Lead  Guitar  /  Vocals, doing studio work, solo career in Colorado
  • Carol  Moe
    No longer active in music, Carol lives in Minnesota.
  • Linda  Knutson
    No longer active in music, Linda lives in California
  • Sue Green
    No longer active in music, Sue lives in Colorado
  • Sue Conklin (Unknown)
  • Sue Hubel
    Keyboards  /   Vocals, playing with Canoise
  • Jan Egland
    No longer active in music, Jan lives in Minnesota.
  • Kathleen  “Whitey”  Johnson
    No longer active in music, Kathleen lives in California
  • Judy Cottrell
    No longer active in music, Judy lives in Minnesota.
  • Jacquie (Balzer)  Teien
    No longer active in music, Jacquie lives in Montana.
  • Gail Young
    Vocalist in Colorado

 

Interview

Interview Cover ONE

Interview  Part  ONE  –  Time  =  18:16

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Interview Cover TWO

 

Interview  Part  TWO  –  Time  =  21:26

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