The Fendermen

1997 - Band

Members: Phil Humphrey and Jim Sundquist

From the Hall of Fame's category, "Most Influential Group from Out of Iowa", comes the rockin' sounds of The Fendermen.

In the late 50's and early 60's, no other single group rocked the midwest and Iowa like Wisconsin's Fendermen. Their story begins in 1958 when Niagara Wisconsin native, Jim Sundquist, had the urge to start his career in rock and roll. Soon Jim would add a second guitarist, Phil Humphrey to his group as well as bass player Denny Dale and drummer Johnny Hauer.

With these three other musicians, he now had the beginnings of a group named after the brand of guitars that the group would play, The Fendermen.

In 1959, The Fendermen recorded their legendary "Mule Skinner Blues" at a small studio in Wisconsin and in early 1960 re-recorded it at the famed Kay Bank Recording Studios in Minneapolis for Soma Records.

Once on Soma Records, "Mule Skinner Blues" shot to the top of the charts across the United States. History has shown it was the number one selling single on the Soma label. They quickly followed the release of the single with the "Mule Skinner Blues" LP.

From 1959 to 1961, The Fendermen were the number one rock attraction at ballrooms and clubs throughout the midwest. It's from these many live appearances of seeing The Fendermen throughout Iowa, that many kids decided to get into rock and roll and start their own bands.

Today the "Mule Skinner Blues" LP has been re-released on CD and sold throughout the world.

Jim calls Minneapolis home and is still involved in the music business as a gospel music writer and recording artist as well as still leading The Fendermen at live appearances.

The Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is pleased to induct Jim Sundquist and The Fendermen as part of its first Class of 97-98 into the hall.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Flickr Social Icon

Honoring achievements, educating youth, and inspiring artists.