IRRMA Hall of Fame Inductees
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This West River Band began as the Prairie Frogs when guitarist/singer Tim Schenzel and vocalist Dan Barnes began playing at private parties. Within three years drummer Rich Swanson was asked to join the group as well as keyboardist/vocalist Amy Schnell Linder. Then Barnes started playing bass.
Linder was a music teacher in the Sioux City School system. Her students chose a new name for the band – Smokin’ Clams. The first paying gig for the Clams was at Rhonda’s Speakeasy in Sioux City. Soon guitarist/singer John Unterseher joined the band.
The band played solid rock and roll classics and was affectionately known as a fun party band that played so everyone could sing along. The Smokin’ Clams created complex vocal harmonies and displayed a flair for having fun while they played. They wrote and performed original music; something even their best fans may not have realized.
The band played Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska, appearing at venues large and small. In order to handle the increased workload and necessary equipment, the band hired Robert Nelson to run the sound and Frank Thompson to do the lights and a light show. These two were considered part of the band for many years.
When Unterseher left the band, Chris Radloff joined as did Randy Paddock who played sax. Howard departed and Monte Erickson came on board. Eventually Paddock moved to Washington. Radloff left the band in 2008 and Curt Gothier became the bass player. Schenzel moved to Texas. The band continued to play through 2009. Now reunion gigs bring the band members together, much to the joy of their many fans.