Ron Jordan & The Volcanoes
2003 - Band
Members: Ron Jordan, Bob Story, Jerry Jordan, Bill Flikkema, and Jim Brennan
It was the summer of 1957 when lead guitarist Ron Jordan, drummer Bob Story, bassist Jerry Jordan and guitarist Bill Flikkema decided to form a band they first called the “Rock-Its.”
The Clinton based band’s sound was greatly influenced by Chuck Berry and other black artists of the era, largely due to the lead guitarist’s heavy-driving style. To feature the music and name of their leader, the name was changed to Ron Jordan and the Volcanoes. The band was one of Iowa’s first racially integrated rock and roll bands.
Playing extensively throughout Iowa, Illinois and southern Wisconsin, their first big break came in the summer of 1958. Ron Jordan and the Volcanoes were invited to New York to appear on Ted Mack’s “Original Amateur Hour.”
Although it was an unforgettable experience for the band, nothing came from this East Coast trip professionally. They returned to Iowa to continue dominating Midwest entertainment. During that winter they appeared with Bobby Darin and Jimmy Clanton at the Modernistic Ballroom in Clinton.
Spring of 1959 took the Volcanoes to “The Big Easy” (New Orleans) to record two originals songs at the studios of Flame Records. The songs were “Rock – Indigo” and “Rockomotion.” This session also produced an LP that, due to lack of studio support, soon ended up collecting dust on the shelves.
Due to modern technology, the LP has been reissued in CD format and had found a new audience 43 years later.
That same summer they made the short trip south to Davenport and the famed Fredlo Studios (Hall of Fame 2001). They recorded two more original songs; an instrumental called “Chimay” and “By My Side”.
They also appeared with Duane Eddy, Dion and the Belmonts, the Champs and made numerous sock hop appearances with Chicago WLS DJ Dick Biond.
Ron Jordan and the Volcanoes continued to entertain crowds for several more years. In the fall of ’63, Ron left to serve in the Armed Forces. Jim Brennan soon took his spot in the band. However, different interests and growing pressures of family life were to dissolve this group in late 1965.
The Volcanoes’ traditional rock style lives on through the release of the CD but their musical integration and influence made its mark in Iowa’s musical history many years ago.