The Fabulous Silver Tones / Rock and Roll

The Fabulous Silver Tones

The Fabulous Silver Tones were a rock 'n roll / rhythm & blues group formed in the Johnson County, Kansas neighborhood of Kansas City in the late 1950's.

Named after the Sears brand of guitar the Silvertone original band members were in ninth grade and included Frank Plas, who played lead guitar, Rich Stoy playing back up guitar, and Roger Calkins, playing rhythm guitar and singing. Mike Myers played the piano and a drummer named Dale Price sat in with them.
Mike had to drop out of the group (later joining another popular local group The Fabulous Four. Dale was replaced by Mike Weakley. They played most of the local teenage hangouts like Barry's Barn, The Promenade Ball Room, The Prom Coke Bar, The Chicken Coop, The Combo Club, The Flamingo Lounge, and as the house band at The Soc Hop.
Frank Plas wrote a number of pieces, including one titled West Coast Walk and The Silver Tones recorded it on acetate at Damon Studios in Kansas City, renaming it to Midnight Thunder with the sound of thunder added at the beginning. Louise, Louise was also recorded at Damon Studios in 1960 barely a year after the band formed. On July 8, 1960 Midnight Thunder B/W Louise, Louise hit #7 on Kansas City KUDL Radio Top 38 Chart. The next week it was listed as Midnight Thunder only and hit 4.
The single received a 4 bullet rating from Billboard magazine unheard of in that era by a bunch of mostly 16 yr old, non-union kids from Johnson County, Kansas. That very first recording session also produced at least two other tracks, an instrumental called Pay Toilet and a vocal of Slim Harpo's King Bee.
The Fabulous Silver Tones next record was Dimples, a take-off of a John Lee Hooker tune, with Wee Wee Hours on the flip side. It was recorded at Midwest Studios in 1961 and released the same year. In early 1962 Hey Sally Mae was recorded in Lawrence, Kansas with a remote system outdoors. It was backed with Stranger in Paradise. All of the Silver Tones records were on the West Coast Records label.
The Fabulous Silver Tones played together for over three and a half years. Roger Calkins left the Silver Tones in early 1963 to go on a very successful national tour over several months. After Roger left the Silver Tones, Plas managed them and they continued with the same sound featuring vocalists like Little Jimmy Griffin and Priscilla Bowman until their demise a few years later. When Roger returned to Kansas City, he collaborated with brothers Bill and Danny Organ and formed his second band, The Holidays.
For the next few years they played at many of the same venues as The Silver Tones. Both bands dissolved during the mid 1960's. On January 13, 2007 The Fabulous Silver Tones were inducted into The Kansas Music Hall Of Fame.

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