The Dodge Boys

2006 - Band

Members: Randy Martin, Mike Erskine, Paul Sleezer, Mark Renfro, George Larvick, Tom Kingsbury, Larry Schlines, Gregg French, Frank Bursick, David Kjos

Hometown: Sioux City, IA

Bio: The Dodge Boys began their career at a poker game. One of the poker players, Mike Erskine, had lost all his money and had picked up a nearby guitar to entertain himself as the game went on. Erskine at that time was a former member of the Rockers (Hall of Fame 2003). One of the other card players invited Mike to come to his home and jam sometime.

From this beginning, the Dodge Boys came into being. Mike and Larry were joined by Tom Kingsbury (Flood Music, Hall of Fame 2001) and Dave Kjos (Mustangs, Hall of Fame 2005). Mike, Larry and Tom were all employed at a Dodge dealership at that time so they named themselves the Dodge Boys.

As often happened in the 70’s, there were personnel changes due to military service, job changes and moves. Dave Kjos was replaced by drummer Frank Bursick. Shortly thereafter guitarist Kingsbury was replaced by Mark Renfro, a keyboard player. Later Kingsbury returned later and the Dodge Boys continued as a five-piece group, achieving some of its greatest success. It became somewhat common for people to call the dealership and asked to speak to a Dodge boy….not to purchase a car but to book the band.

The Dodge Boys performed at many of the major events of Siouxland from 1971 forward. A later version of the band was formed when Schlines, Bursick and Renfro teamed with Randy Martin (Magnificent Board of Directors, Hall of Fame 2001) and Greg French. Eventually both George Larvick  (Patch of Blue, Hall of Fame 1999) and Paul Sleezer joined the band as further transitions were made.

The band’s career spanned the entire decade of the 70’s up through early 1985. They began just as the era of big ballrooms was ending in the Midwest. AT first, primarily a night club band, the Dodge Boys’ continuing popularity resulted in their becoming the region’s most sought after band for college and high school functions, holiday parties, country clubs, dance clubs and countless weddings.

The band members joked, not unjustly, that their pictures were in more wedding albums than any preacher or justice of the peace in the Midwest. With the demise of most of the Midwest’s ballroom, this was a common career path for bands of the 70’s.

Four part harmony was one of the most outstanding features of any Dodge Boys show. From beginning to end, they had some of the most outstanding singers in the history of Iowa rock and roll. They were often compared to groups such as the Little River Band, Vogues and the Gatlin Brothers. The “go to” band for every occasion during their long career, you mention the Dodge Boys and immediately the response is “Hey! Those guys played at my ___________. (You fill in the blank)

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