Hunt Booking &
2013 - Booking Agency/Promoter
In the fall of 1958, and in response to the introduction of rock and roll music that was sweeping the country, Al Huntzinger founded the Hunt Booking & Recording Agency (HBRA). After playing with the band, The Skyliners from 1953 - 1955, (not the Since I Fell For You group) and then the band Dale Thomas & The Bandera Boys from 1956-1961, the agency this was a natural progression for Al.
The HBRA was founded out of Al’s home and originally reached out to eastern Iowa and serviced several bars and lounges. Garage bands were forming everywhere and were anxious for bookings, so the clientele expanded to Ballrooms, American Legions, VFW’s and Fair Associations.
Artists such as Chuck Berry, Bill Haley & His Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis, Everly Brothers and Frankie Avalon were appearing on TV’s American Bandstand, which helped HBRA promote this new era of music in Eastern Iowa. Everyone wanted to jump on the bandwagon, including radio stations, who had found a new listening audience. Teenagers were spending big bucks on new 45’s, while their parents were rebelling against this crazy new sound saying, “It will never last!”
Local bands wanted exposure not only playing in dance halls but also on radio stations. Hoping to get airplay on local radio stations, they needed to record their material on a disc. If a band would contact HBRA and wanted to record, Al would send them to either Fredlo Recording Studios in Davenport or Sound Studios in Chicago. Once the master copies were made, all pressings of the record were on the Hunt Record Label. The cycle was then complete: form a band, get bookings, make a recording, and get radio airplay.
In the mid 60’s HBRA promoted auditorium shows in Lincoln, NE, Des Moines, IA, Davenport, IA and Burlington, IA. Groups such as The Dave Clark 5, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beach Boys, Conway Twitty, Bobby Vee, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheel, Gene Pitney, and even Buck Owens were just some of the acts HBRA brought in.
Al reports having only two regrets in all his years with HBRA, and they both involved forgetting a camera to mark a couple once in a lifetime occasions for both he and his wife. The first was with Henry Mancini and the second was with Dick Clark.
In 1970 the Hunt Booking & Recording Agency became a subsidiary to All Star Attractions, Inc. Al remains the proud President of the company, and he looks forward to serving the business for many years to come.