Stone Soul Picnic
2004 - Band
Members: John Deardorff, Greg Van Nostrand, Dan Dodson, Robin Reed, and Mark Deardorff
In 1967 a young disc jockey in Atlantic, Iowa by the name of Stu Duncan was one of three disc jockeys asked to judge a “Battle of the Bands” with over 35 bands entered. Stu was so impressed with the band called “Something Good” that he became their manager and convinced the group to change their name to Stone Soul Picnic. Stu managed the group until he moved to Des Moines in 1968 to join KRNT and later KIOA.
The original members of the band were John Deardorff from Atlantic on lead guitar and vocals; Mark Deardorff from Atlantic on bass guitar and vocals; Larry Martin from Atlantic on keyboards; Perry Rutledge from Atlantic on drums; and Greg Van Nostrand from Avoca on rhythm guitar and lead vocals.
Shortly after the “Battle of the Bands” Dan Dodson from Osceola replaced Larry Martin on organ and vocals. About one year later Robin Reed from Atlantic, replaced Perry Rutledge on drums. This became the core group, and they performed until breaking up in 1973. During this time the group received awards from the National Ballroom Owners’ Association and the National Entertainers’ Operators Association.
Though Stone Soul Picnic never produced any records, they opened for such artists as The Buckinghams and Jerry Lee Lewis. The band also had a brief appearance on national television when Harry Reasoner was filming a documentary on his hometown of Humboldt.
The group performed for dances, parties and clubs in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. They performed at The Roof Garden Ballroom in Okoboji, the Swisher Ballroom in Swisher, the Humboldt Ballroom in Humboldt, The Rose Garden in Shenandoah, the 4-H Building in Atlantic and the Plamor Ballroom in Fort Dodge.
The group got back together to play for a class reunion in 1984. They enjoyed playing again and reformed the group in 1999. Currently they perform one or two times per month with two of the original members in the band.