2008 - Band
The wildly successful acceptance of Motown music during the 1960s provided the backdrop for the formation of the IBTC in 1967. The original members included Lee Rainey (vocalist), Kevin Stahle (saxophone), Paul Courbat (drums), Andy Musel (saxophone and trumpet), Gary Banowetz (lead guitar) and Doug Freeman (bass guitar). Although the group initially played small venue dorm dances and parties, chemistry and friendship rapidly developed among the members that suggested the possibility for more serious playing. The band grew to an eight-piece when Dave Michalicek (keyboards) and Tony Brown (vocalist) joined the group. Dan Dorr replaced Doug Freeman on bass guitar in 1968. Andrew Rainey, Lee’s brother, Sammy Dell and Arthur Cherry provided additional vocals at times.
The music that united the group provided the venue to develop an entertaining show that included choreography, good music, and friendships that would endure 40-plus years. While the musical focus was Motown, their show included an eclectic mixture that, at times, even included square dancing to country western break songs. The group opened for a number of bands including Herman's Hermits, Shadows of Night, The Association, Harpers Bizarre, and others.
While many of the group members were college students in Cedar Falls, the band was managed by Keith Schlie out of Arrowhead Archery Lanes in Cedar Rapids, a hall that also sponsored concerts where the IBTC had the opportunity to interact with Booker T and the MGs as well as Archie Bell and the Drells. During 1969-1970, as members of the original group began graduating from the University of Northern Iowa and pursuing careers, original members were replaced by a number of talented musicians including Steve Jones (trumpet), Paul Ferguson (bass guitar), Denny Gibbs (keyboards), Bruce Nunemaker (lead guitar), and drummers Steve Gross, John Fillingsworth, and Jim Drier. The group disbanded in 1970.
In 2006, five members of the original band reunited in Denver and set out to reunite the complete band. With help from the Iowa Rock and Roll Association, Lee Rainey, Tony Brown, Kevin Stahle, Andy Musel, Dave Michalicek, Paul Courbat, Dan Dorr and Gary Banowetz were located and reunited on Oct. 4, 2007. The band played an hour and a half of music from their original song list and found that the friendships were very much intact and that the group still worked well together musically.
The band is honored to be inducted into the IRRMA Hall of Fame with the class of 2008 and feels very fortunate to be recognized for impacting Iowa Rock and Roll. We are especially grateful to IRRMA for their help in reuniting these enduring friendships.