2009 - Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award
Unlike many people, Dick Matousek did not get into the music business on purpose. He calls it an “accident of time and circumstance.” For all of us, it was a beneficial set of circumstances. Matousek has spent his adult life promoting musicians and instilling in all of us a love and passion for rock and roll music.
In 1958, Dick was a sophomore at Morningside College in Sioux City when he, like many other students, found himself out of money. Finding a job proved to be difficult. At that time his brother Danny Matousek began playing in a young band called The Screamers. Their booking agent wasn’t working out well so Dick offered to find them some gigs. His cousin Kip Comer was about to get out of the Air Force so they agreed to start a business together. C&M Enterprises was born and grew quickly.
Matousek was booking The Screamers (now The Velaires) and other bands in most all of the large Iowa ballrooms as well as those in Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota . In 1961 The Velaires got a big break nationally, appearing on American Bandstand, the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars, etc. This got Dick involved beyond the Midwest and he thoroughly enjoyed his job. It allowed him to understand and grasp the music business on a much larger scale. He got so busy that he elected to take on a partner. Bob Masteller joined C&M.
The duo expanded their reach across the continental and , Hawaii and Greenland (through the USO). C&M put together their own shows and tours, pairing national acts with their agency’s bands. Dick booked stage shows, auto shows, dance contests, etc. with such well known artists as the Astronauts, Jimmy Clanton, Wanda Jackson, George Hamilton IV and Buddy Knox.
C&M also dabbled in personal management and helped arrange recording sessions for some of their bands at various studios around the country. Dick felt this venture gave the agency better insights into the recording business and its importance to the young artists they were representing.
Night clubs began to become more important as his bands were turning from part-time to professional musicians. Through the night clubs, he had connections all over the U.S. Ballrooms were starting to decline. Dick looks back on that time as the beginning of the end of the early and beautiful days of Midwest Rock and Roll.
C&M Enterprises closed for business in 1968. Dick became a private investigator but continued to do some booking into the early 1970’s. His love and passion for music and its musicians never waned. When the Iowa RockNRoll Music Association was founded in 1997, Dick became a willing, working member of its Board of Directors. He continues to serve on that board 12 years later.
Matousek is in his element as he plans events to benefit IRRMA. He also put together a highly successful reunion show honoring the Velaires last fall in Sioux City . Bringing together musicians who have not seen each other in many years and getting them to play together again brought joy to a very large appreciative audience.
Dick Matousek has spent years promoting and enhancing the music scene in Iowa, the Midwest and far beyond. He is being honored with the award named for his late brother Danny because of his major contributions to music and musicians for over 50 years. A humble man, Dick says: “My best memories of my music days are, and always will be, of the many wonderful musicians and other music people that I have known from the very beginning until today. As we all rode on the cutting edge of rock ‘n roll, we established a brotherhood that has lasted for many years. I will forever feel blessed to have been a small part of it.”