Alright who remembers Captain Billy, Dialing for Dollars, Val de la O, Weatherman Dr. Fishback etc.? What shows or personalities have I forgotten about?

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In the sixties in Abq the bands were either heights(rock n' roll) bands or valley (R&B) bands. The heights bands started in the late fifties with the pioneer bands King Richard (Dick Stewart)and the Knights, Lindy(Blasche) and the Lavelles, Carl Manfredi and the Pallbearers. Dick Stewart and Lindy Blasche excelled at Promotion, (they owned their own labels) as well as performing. And then of course the Godfather Of New Mexico Music Al (Sanchez) Hurricane and the nite rockers, which incorporated Rock, Rancheras, and R&B, they launched with their first single "Hey Let Me Tell You" in 1957, on their own label "Hurricane Records".  Some local musicians that also pioneered music of the "Hit Parade" Era "1948-1954 around Abq are Prince Bobby (Little Richard Look-a-like)Jack, Dick Tafoya on Sax (Brother of Pal Al Tafoya) and his combo, Charlie Pohl and his combo, Frank Chewewie and his group.
About 1960 a young man was an all-american basketball player at St Josephs College here in Abq, by the name of Sidro Garcia, Along with is two brothers Sal and Ray took Abq by storm with a band Called "The Sneakers" They moved to Las Vegas Nev. and were voted the Number One Lounge Band for an incredidible 12 years running. And of course The legendary "Freddie Williams and the Blue Notes". The Sixties valley bands began with The Fabulous Chekkers feat a young soulster named David Nunez, replaced by Freddie Chavez and finally fronted by current lead Johny J Armijo....yes the chekkers are still performing today. Then Came The Sheltons , Surprise Package, Spinning Wheel,  Zozobra, Vandells, Doc Rand, and a young man who has become truly a legend,  but sadly died too young Tommy "G" and the charms. And many many more Valley bands.  The Beaver town line-up could include Morticians, Berrys, Viscount Five, Celler Dwellers, Choab, Cartoon Kapers, and the Monkeymen, etc.  And Finally lets include a fifties country band Called Dick Bills and the Sandia Mountain Boys(Featuring Dick bills nephew a young Glen Campbell) played mostly at the Paddock Supper Club or the Hitching Post.  Glen arrived around 1957 and in 1960 went to LA to record a song on crest records called "Turn Around Look At Me" he returned to Abq, but, let for good three months later. Most Of these artists recorded at the studios of The legend "John Wagner" still active today, and at Hurricane studios produced by Tiny Morrie, brother of Al Hurricane, who also became one of the most respected producers in Abq, as well, as a ICON recording Artist. Out of town bands that were successful from Santa Fe,  Sprytes, Rocking Aces and Sprints, from Espanola The Defiants (feat Dave Salazar International recording artist) and the Movin' Morfo-Men (feat former Big Oldies DJ Dave Rarick). For a great web site about Abq music go to

The jerk "Prince Bobby Jack" was one of the several jerks that took over the musicians union and hijacked any jobs and made life miserable for the member musicians.  He is personally responsible for the demise of the musicians union in Albuwuerque in the late 1960's and early 70's. 

At the risk of repeating what someone else may have said (I didn't read all 19 pages of responses...shame on me), the TV music teacher in the 60s was Kathleen McVicker. 

I remember Uncle Roy, and was also on Capt. Billy once when I was 5.  I won a whole pile of twinkies and cupcakes.

Does anyone remember TV Kindergarten with Joyce Marron? I thought she was soooo cool when I was little.

I'm loving all the references to the old TV and radio ads.  I remember lots of them!

Here's a weird tidbit:  Glen Campbell's ex-wife was my mom's hairdresser.

My wife almost goes ballistic when I sing this bit of nonsense to an old Mayflower Van Lines radio jingle.  " I'm rolling, rolling, rolling down the highway[US 66], there's a Bob burger stand coming your way and my way, we'll order it,eat it, pay for it, anything you plan, at your Bob burger hamburger stand".Bob's Drive-In had two locations on east Central in the 1950s. One in about the 3600 block just east of Paris Shoes and one in about the 7600 block. That was the place to be seen "cruising." Mostly Highland High School kids with some from Saint Mary High and Albuquerque High. My mon liked  to tell me and my brothers that we could hike down to Bob's if we didn't get enough to eat at home.Anyone here old enough to remember Bob's? It was the first drive-with car hops in Albuquerque.

What a fun thread!  I didn't grow up in Burque but saw all the same shows mentioned from Los Alamos.  Remember when Dr. Fishbeck pulled a  rattlesnake out of a canvas bag when it was supposed to be a harmless snake from the Albuquerque Zoo? This was on his science show that we all watched with great joy in Jr. High school.  It was a sad day for New Mexico when he took the job in LA. I saw him doing the weather report there 25 years later, with all the same Groucho Marx goofiness (wiggling his mustache, et al).   Loved seeing the pictures of Dick Bills. As with so many kids in the baby boomer era, that show was a vitally important part of the after-school agenda. I read someone else mention "racing home from school" to see it, and I think all the kids I grew up with did.  We envied Albuquerque kids for being able to appear on that show and others. Thanks for the memories ! Great thread!

Here's another picture of Glen Campbell in an Albuquerque store playing with Red Rimbert, John Laswell, Buzz Barnham (or is that his uncle Dick Bills with the guitar?), somewhere in 1954!

Good stuff Lumdeloo! I wasn't able to view this particular pic, but thanks for the info and interest!

Hi Richard,

thanks for replying. I will try and post that picture. Let's see if I can figure out how this this work...

One sidenote: On the back of the picture it says Buzz Barnham. That's probably the same person as Buz Burnam who is handling the vocals on Old Dusty Sun (B-side: Lost Without You), a 78 rpm record released by Dick Bills and His Sandia Mountain Boys on Morgan Records, around 1953/1954. But, it could still be Dick Bills on that picture as far as I'm concerned!

Here's a book excerpt about Dick Bills, Glen Campbell and Albuquerque.


I hope the link is clickable, else you have to copy and paste it into your browser address bar. My question is: does anybody remember Dick Bills and his gang playing at the "Blue Spruce"? I have heard about them playing at the Hitchin' Post and Club Chesterfield but never the Blue Spruce...

How I would have loved to see a young Glen Campbell playing Wildwood Flower. I've heard that he played it on Dick Bill's tv show as well.

Ah yes,the Blue Spruce. One block east of Louisiana on the south side of Central. That was one rough place. I doubt if that building the Blue Spruce was in was big enough to accomodate the Sandia Mountain Boys, but I am only guessing since I was never in the place.[even after I turned 21]  I think my uncle Doc spent time in there as well as in the Cactus Bar which was in the eighty hundred block of Central on the north side. A LPG company had the building next door with large gas storage tanks behind the buildings. I believe the original owner of the LPG business was Dick Martin who had a home in the one hundred block of Tennessee. I recall that that home was trucked in from another location.The city didn't get natural gas into that area until the late forties or early fifties so Dick did a big business in tanks and gas.He was a very nice man.

I recall Dr. Fishback the weatherman saying "Better bring in your brass monkeys, it gonna be cold tonite", thought I was gonna die laughing. Never thought I would hear that on TV. Of course it could've been why he went to work for a station in Calif.


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