Sunday Social

2010 - Band

Like many groups formed in the late 1960’s The Sunday Social made a number of lineup changes before becoming established. The original group was established in 1968. The early version of the band was made up of Bob Parker (keyboards), Art Stenstrom (bass), Mike Galvin (guitar), and Dave Martin (drums). This group found jobs at high schools, junior high schools and weddings, and existed mostly as a young basement band. Art Stenstrom and Bob Parker would remain part of the band until May of 1974.

Early in 1970, Galvin and Martin left the band and were replaced by Tony Morrow (guitar) and Louis Cauterucci, aka Louie Carroll (drums). They continued playing for high schools, teen centers and clubs. It was during this time period the group was picked up by Big “G” Enterprises and that agency widened their performance area to include all of Iowa .

Jack Dawson joined the group in the spring of 1970 as lead singer and the group became known for a short time as Jack Sundae and the Sunday Social. Performances included high schools and colleges, as well as club dates in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa . Dawson left the group later in 1970, but the group continued to play high schools, colleges, teen clubs, nightclubs and ballrooms through mid-1971. Mike Dank (drums) joined the band for a short time before Tony Morrow departed in mid-1971. The group’s name was established on the Midwest music scene at this time.

Following the departure of Tony Morrow and with bookings already contracted for the band, Stenstrom and Parker joined forces with an Ankeny band called the Pendletons. Ed Kelly, Steve Ryan and Gary Suddeth had been working with Mike VanElsen (keyboards) as The Pendletons. The two bands merged and the new lineup was Bob Parker (keyboards, flute), Art Stenstrom (bass, guitar), Ed Kelly (lead vocals, bass), Steve Ryan (guitar, trombone), and Gary Suddeth (drums).The band’s lineup would include Bob, Art, Ed and Gary until May 1974.

It was after this merger that The Sunday Social began creating an extensive fan base in ballrooms, colleges, high schools and clubs throughout Iowa and surrounding states. On-stage performance and vocal arrangements of danceable music helped keep dancing alive at Midwest venues. The group worked the Golden Hawk in Des Moines, the Royal Grove in Lincoln, and the Mocamba Club in Sioux Falls (with “The Mob”). Regular ballroom appearances included Fox Lake Ballroom in Sherburn, MN; Bancroft Ballroom in Bancroft; the Star Ballroom in Dakota City ; and the Cobblestone Ballroom in Storm Lake .

Toward the end of 1972, The Sunday Social embarked on a new venture. Chuck Singleton was added as a second lead vocalist. Singleton had been working with The House Rockers from Mason City . Between late 1972 and mid 1973 the group worked full-time in clubs around the country from Kentucky, and Louisiana to Nebraska, Minnesota and Illinois. After six months of club work, Singleton left the band and the group reverted back to a five-piece lineup. The group also settled back into performing high schools, colleges, ballrooms, fairs, town celebrations and nightclubs in the Midwest .

Although Steve Ryan was with the group during the bulk of time from June 1971 through May 1974, Danny Nicholson took over the guitar position from October-December 1972. On many club dates (December 1972-May 1973) Craig Foresto filled the guitar position. Larry Sowder, who had been with Terra Firma in Des Moines , also played guitar from January-April 1974.

The Sunday Social recorded two singles: “ Vancouver City ” in November, 1970 with Tony Morrow on lead vocal; and “Too Heavy To Carry” in January 1972 with Ed Kelly on lead vocal. Both singles were recorded in Minneapolis with David Sandler producing.

With over 500 performances logged, The Sunday Social played for a final time at The Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines in May 1974. The band enters the IRRMA Hall of Fame for its vast contribution to the rock and roll scene in Iowa .

In Memoriam: Craig Foresto (guitar), Larry Sowder (guitar), and Jerry Lincoln (roadie).

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