Members: Donald A. Bradford, Steven M. Edwards, Bill Bauman, Greg Harman, Randy Harman, Brian Harman, Michael S. Sexton, Scott Bascom
The sound and influence which became that of the Stompers began in 1963 when Steve Edwards exposed southern-oriented R&B to the small-town, upper-Midwest ears of Greg Harman, Randy Harman and Bill Bauman who at that time were immersed in Beach Boys/Surf music. By 1964, the Stompers’ sound had become heavily influenced by British R&R (especially the Beatles and the Rolling Stones). During this time, the Stompers played a regular circuit of ballrooms (Danceland, Dance-Mor, Highway Gardens, The Col) and other eastern Iowa venues. They opened for the Everly Brothers, Buddy Knox and the Rhythm Orchids, the Hondells and backed Chuck Berry at Danceland in Cedar Rapids.
In the fall of 1964, the Stompers recorded their first record in Minneapolis which featured “I Know” b/w “Hey Baby”. “I Know” was an original song written by Greg and Randy Harman which gained a notoriety long outliving the band. "I Know" made it as high as #19 on a number of regional charts. It was featured on two garage-band compilation albums released years later (“Root 66: The Frozen Few” Album 1984, and “Teenage Shutdown – Move it” Album 1995). In recent years, “I Know” has surfaced on garage-band-loving stations. “I Know” is considered by many a collector’s item and has been featured on EBay and on-line garage-band forums such as GaragePunk.com.
The summer of 1965 brought the release of a second record "You’re Gone" b/w "I Still Love Her" (two Greg Harman originals). “You’re Gone” peaked at #24 on regional charts. The Edwards, Bauman, Harman, and Harman version of the Stompers ended in the fall of 1965 with the departures of Edwards and Bauman.
Version Two of the Stompers included Greg and Randy Harman and the addition of Scott Bascom, Don Bradford and Mike Sexton. The Stompers’ venues expanded to include several Chicago-area clubs. The Stompers opened for Eric Burdon and The Animals at Danceland Ballroom in Cedar Rapids.
Later that spring, Randy Harman and Don Bradford made contact with Nathan Weiss (instrumental in establishing the careers of the Cyrcle, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Harry Nilson, etc). Weiss also served as The Beatles’ United States lawyer. He told Randy and Don to send him a tape and he would give it a listen. The tape was recorded at Fredlo Studios in Davenport and sent to Weiss. He invited the Stompers to come to NYC. Weiss produced a record-company-exec showcase at The Scene in Manhattan with the Stompers featured. Present at the showcase were Brian Hyland, Tiny Tim, The Cyrcle, and The Tokens. Weiss helped the Stompers get a gig as the house band at the Village Purple Onion. In the fall of 1966, version two of the Stompers disbanded.
In 1969, Steve Edwards, Greg and Randy Harman reunited and with Brian Harman opened a show for The Paul Butterfield Blues Band at Vet's Coliseum in Cedar Rapids. This turned out to be the precursor to a series of annual reunions that continue to this day. In September of 2004, Edwards, Harman, Harman, Harman, Bauman and Kansas City keyboardist Everett DeVan recorded a group of original songs by Steve Edwards for distribution among friends. Individually, many of the Stompers continued their much varied musical interests.
Perhaps it was the diversity in musical interests that eventually pushed the Stompers along separate paths, but that diversity was probably also the driving force behind the sound that was the Stompers’. It was raw and edgy at times, but always their own and more than any version of the Stompers ever fully realized.