Dean Davis

2018 - Matousek Lifetime Achievement Award

When Dean Davis was a child one of the things he enjoyed most was being taken to downtown Fort Dodge with his parents and sister to watch the parades. The marching bands always thrilled him, especially when the drum section would go by. The sound, the power, and the precision made him tremble with excitement. During vacations to Minnesota, he would play along with his parents’ 78 records on Indian souvenir drums they purchased there. Little did he realize that was his calling, to play the drums.


In 1969 Dean took lessons from an incredible drummer, Arnold Bode. Bode asked Dean if he would like to teach his overflow students. Dean thought he would want to give it a try and through this opportunity launched his teaching career - something he still does today. Dean has had the privilege of teaching private lessons to approximately five hundred young boys and girls and some adults through the years. Dean also started a drum line for an African American athletic group. Today he has six private drum students and teaches four jazz drummers at Fort Dodge Senior High School.


During his career, up until his move in 1979, Dean has played with many successful bands in the Midwest area including West Minist’r and Locust from Fort Dodge, Chance from Cedar Falls, Zero Ted Band from South Dakota, and “The Flashers” from St. Louis.


In 1979 Dean moved to the Los Angeles area where he would work for the Hughes Aircraft Company for 22 years. In 1989, during his time in California, Dean joined a church in Hermosa Beach called Hope Chapel. It was a large church, with many amazing musicians who played contemporary Christian music. Through Hope Chapel, Dean was chosen to play the drums for a denominational pastors conference consisting of 400 pastors at Pismo Beach for three years in a row. Dean also taught drum lessons during this time and, through one of his students, met his wife, Julie. In 2016 he was asked to come back and play for Hope Chapel’s 45th Anniversary Music Concert.

In 2001 Dean moved back to Fort Dodge where he and his wife started a video business called Memories In Motion. In 2006 they were asked to film the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Labor Day shows and did so for the next five years.

Dean continued to play with various music groups once he returned to Fort Dodge. In 2013 he was asked to play in a musical by a fabulous pianist by the name of Shelly Bottorff. He accepted the challenge and has been playing in musicals for Stage Door Productions, Comedia Musica directed by Dan Cassady, and Fort Dodge High School musicals. In 2015 Sherry Washington and Dean formed a group called The Fort Dodge Community Gospel Choir which lasted for two years. Dean is now performing with a 120 member non-denominational choir with full orchestra directed by Armona Redenius - this group is called The Son Shine Singers. He is also currently playing with his church worship team and with a fabulous R&B horn band called Lone Tree Revival.


Dean has been blessed by God and thankful for good health through the years and to be able to play with so many incredible musicians. His sincere thanks go out to the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association for this honorable award.


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