2007 - Band
The Yetti was formed in Oskaloosa, Iowa in the spring of 1966. The band began as a typical garage band with good friends getting together to jam and play at an occasional high school gathering or special event. With their lead guitar player and drummer going away to college in the coming fall, the two remaining founding members, Tom Oliver and Bruce Everhart, began to look for replacements to keep the band going.
In June of 1966, Oskaloosa native, Fred Koogler, returned from three years in Germany and was immediately asked to join the band on guitar. By late June things started to get a bit more serious for this group of young players. Bob McCann was asked to play drums for the Yetti in July. In early August Bob Conner joined on lead guitar and Bud Welch joined to play keyboards. The energy generated by this group of six young musicians was transmitted into their playing. As a result, the Yetti was able to secure bookings and became an immediate local success.
By September of 1966, the Yetti was able to significantly expand their bookings and was soon playing venues throughout the state of Iowa. During this time, the disc jockeys at radio station KIOA in Des Moines were known as "the Good Guys". The Yetti became one of the bands statewide that was heavily promoted by the KIOA Good Guys. Disc jockeys, Dic Youngs, Jim Michaels, Peter McClain and Sandy Shore traveled the state with the Yetti, promoting and hosting events where the band performed. Because of the driving blues and blues-based rock flavor of the Yetti, the Good Guys began promoting them as The Yetti Blues Band. This name stuck and they became known as The Yetti Blues Band for the remainder of their existence.
The Yetti Blues Band entered and fared very well in several battles of the bands in 1966 and 1967. Their performance, at these types of events, resulted in Yetti being invited to record in February of 1967 with IGL Records in Milford, Ia. The invitation included playing live for the Roof Garden Jamboree held at the Roof Garden Ballroom in Arnolds Park in the late winter of that year. They were judged the best band on the recording with their version of Paul Butterfield’s "Born In Chicago".
By the late spring of 1967, a subsidiary of Mercury records was interested in signing The Yetti Blues Band to record. While in the process of packaging financing for this deal, their instruments and equipment were stolen following an engagement in Centerville, Iowa. The equipment was never recovered and the thieves were never caught. Local legend has it that the thieves panicked and dumped the equipment in the Des Moines River somewhere between Albia and Ottumwa, Iowa. Because the financing was not yet secured and the band did not have insurance, the equipment could not be replaced. The Yetti Blues Band hung together for a few more months, using rented or borrowed equipment, but the financial pressure caused by the theft resulted in the break up of The Yetti Blues Band.
The Yetti Blues Band played in such venues as the Surf, Starline, Val Air, Col and Roof Garden Ballrooms. They hold the all time attendance record, for any event, at the Ottumwa Coliseum.
The Yetti Blues Band, and all of its original members, is pleased and humbled to be inducted with the 2007 class of the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.