The Seven Sons

2002 - Band

Members: Rick Mellor, Ed Wade, Rick Knobe, Doug Dingel, Dan Horswell, Alan Oliver, and Larry Dixon


This group of rock ‘n rollers was comprised of students from Morningside College in Sioux City who decided to express themselves musically in 1964.

Rick Mellor, an impressive blues/jazz based trumpet player from suburban Chicago was the founder and group leader. Joining him were Doug Dingel of Terril (lead guitar), Alan “Ollie” Oliver from Mason City (piano), Dan “Danny Wells” Horswell of Maple Hill (sax), Rick Knobe of Chicago (bass) and Bill Woolery, a student at the University of South Dakota (drums) Woolery was soon replaced by Larry “Dixie” Dixon who was the group’s drummer for most of their career. Ed Wade, who had come from the south side of Chicago to play basketball at Morningside, was the charismatic and memorable lead singer.

After playing on campus and in local nightspots, the group connected with well-known promoter Eddie Skeets. With Eddie as their agent, they attained regional fame and hit the Midwest rock circuit, showcasing at popular venues; from the Red Dog Inn in Lawrence, Kan., to Fourth of July weekends at the legendary Roof Garden in Arnolds Park. A memorable gig for the band was the 1966 Miss Iowa Pageant.

After signing with Variety Theater International of Duluth, Minn., and affiliating with General Artists Corp (GAC), The Seven Sons cut numerous records in the late 1960s; at one point hitting the Billboard 100. They toured throughout the Midwest with national acts like: The Lovin’ Spoonful, Herman’s Hermits, The Hollies, The Mammas and the Papas, Vanilla Fudge, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Tommy James and the Shondels, The Buckinghams, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Eric Burdon and the Animals, The Outsiders, Fifth Dimension, Bobby Vee and others.

Seven Sons performed actively from 1964-1968 until founding members graduated and moved on. Mellor continued the band for two more years, replacing and adding members as needed.

The Seven Sons had a high energy act, known for its showmanship and onstage antics.

They performed a diverse variety of rock, rhythm and blues, pop, and cover tunes. The band was known for its eclectic blend of show revue acts with spontaneous rock and roll foundation and orientation. Basically….they did what came naturally. They loved music, performing for the experience of it and loved their enthusiastic audiences.


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