2008 - Band
Originally formed in 1966 as the “Rejects” and then “The Stepping Stones, the founding members included Ronnie Denning on drums, Kim Kindrick on bass, Bob Hudleson and Bill Pelchat on guitars. They worked every nightclub, legion hall, high school and roller rink the Drea Brothers and self-booking could put them into around the Midwest. They were also sponsored by the Mad Russians Fan Club and performed before the wrestling matches at the Sioux City Auditorium on a regular basis. The Stepping Stones were regular performers in North Sioux City at The Loft, The Dunes, The Patio Club and SandBeck’s Store in the 60’s.
Bob left the band and added to the lineup were Laddi Dik on bass and Dick Milli on drums. The band was renamed “The Scarlet Rouges.” Then Ronnie was drafted by the Army and sent to Vietnam. Around the time Ronnie came home, Dick left for the Navy and Laddi also departed. 1969 brought Ed Leisinger and Gary Byers on board and the band reclaimed the Stepping Stones name. Band members came and went but Bill, Ronnie and Melvin Smith continued the band as a trio only to have Smith later replaced by Mike King from the “London Bridge Band” in the early 70’s. At that time the band’s name was changed to “The Silver Strings” and the repertoire was changed from a country sound primarily to rock and roll.
Management was taken over by C & M Enterprises. The band continued to play the club circuit occasionally as the opening act for such performers as Bobby Vee and the “Bachelor Four.” Mike, Ronnie and Bill added the 50’s grease act “Chopper and the Blue Moons” to the show as a gag during a Battle of the Bands in 1974. The act was an immediate hit and was added permanently to the show. As a result, Bill soon came to be better known as “The Chopper.”
The guys quit their day jobs and started playing every lounge in the area that was running entertainment at the time. In 1974 The Silver Strings (featuring Chopper and the Blue Moons) became the house band at Bob’s Lighthouse #1 and appeared regularly at Lighthouse #2 both in Sioux City. They performed six nights a week through 1976. “The Strings” were also one of the headliner bands at the Plymouth County Fair in LeMars in the 70’s. The band was also booked as the regular backup for exotic dancer Miss Lee Sharon at the nightclub called The Brewery.
In the late 1970’s a keyboardist was added and The Silver Strings ceased to exist. The name was changed to “The Rustin Band” and players came and went, as with most bands of that time. A 10-year reunion of The Silver Strings was sponsored by Bob’s Lighthouse in 1984. The Silver Strings join the Hall of Fame Class of 2008 for their body of work and create methods of entertaining their audiences for over a decade.