Support our mission
 
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)

FRANKFURT — More than 600 American teen-agers rocked and rolled their way through a final summer-vacation fling at the Frankfurt Casino Friday night, and they kept the place but strictly in motion. It was that active.

The program was billed as the first annual Rock 'n' Roll-o-Rama sponsored by the Bad Nauheim-Friedberg American Youth Activities and attended by teen-agers from as far away as Munich.

Except for a German combo, Freddie Khul, and his musicians from Frankfurt, who got the program rolling, the entertainment was all American military, with at least three performers who have made a number of records in their civilian days, including one whose gold record — for selling 1 million platters — was on display at the gathering here.

(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
It would appear that not everyone at the dance was a believer in the "magic of rock 'n' roll."
It would appear that not everyone at the dance was a believer in the "magic of rock 'n' roll." (Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
Guitarist George Yates and saxophonist Percy Owens of the 3rd Armored Division's Mellow Tones perform at the dance.
Guitarist George Yates and saxophonist Percy Owens of the 3rd Armored Division's Mellow Tones perform at the dance. (Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
Airman 2nd Class Gus Backus, a New York native who works as an electrocardiograph technician at the Wiesbaden Air Force Hospital, entertains the crowd at the Rock 'n' Roll-o-Rama.
Airman 2nd Class Gus Backus, a New York native who works as an electrocardiograph technician at the Wiesbaden Air Force Hospital, entertains the crowd at the Rock 'n' Roll-o-Rama. (Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)
Kaiserslautern teens Mary Gideon and Frederick Lomboy display the form that earned them first place in the dance concert.
Kaiserslautern teens Mary Gideon and Frederick Lomboy display the form that earned them first place in the dance concert. (Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)

From the dance contest which was the first scheduled item on the evening's bumpy itinerary, the entertainment progressed spontaneously with performances by Pfc Joey Rogers, of the 10th FA Bn, who claims two rock 'n' roll records from his civilian days, and hyperkinetic renditions by A/2C Gus Backus, whose golden record of "Come Go With Me" was on display.

The Mellow Tones, a combo made up of 3d Armd Div members, most of them stationed in Friedberg, backed up the individual performances which touched off waves of wildly enthusiastic response from the teen-age audience.

Frederick Lomboy, 17, and Mary Gideon, 16, both of Kaisersalutern, won the dance contest, sponsored by the Overseas Family. Kay Jones, 15, and Alex Hottell, 16, both of Hanau, placed second, and Neal Gelt and Billie Jean Wells, both 15-year-old Frankfurt residents, rolled in third. Each couple won rock 'n' roll records for their calorie-consuming stomp-and-thump dancing.

Judges were Lee Clark and Nancy Cooper, of the Overseas Family, and Pfc Ted Bowman, of the American Forces Network.

Pfc John (Kayo) Mullen, also of AFN, was master of ceremonies for the noisy evening, organized and promoted by Pfc George Young, himself a rock 'n' roll recording artist now with the 52d Inf and director of the Bad Nauheim AYA.

Young's latest recorded works are included in the teen-age hit parade as "One, Two, Three, You Can't Stop Me," and others. He plans to record another during September to send back to the U.S. and hope for a hit. Originally from Detroit, Young, is the man responsible for the Friday night shindig.

Backus, who spends his duty time as an electrocardiograph technician at the Wiesbaden USAF Hospital and his own time working toward a "coronary," is a 21-year-old New Yorker, who takes his work, but not himself, seriously.

He says he wrote and sang lead in the golden record, made as a member of the Del Vikings, an Air Force group which reorganized when he was sent to Germany.

"I'm just starting recording in German. I go to Vienna and make rock 'n' roll records." he said.

He has two sides out now in German and plans to make another couple of sides soon.

Served up along with gallons of soda pop and a small mountain of hamburgers were ample servings off combo music by the Mellow Tones, including some musicians who were sitting in just for the Friday night shindig.

The six-man outfit was represented here by Al Tinsely, piano; Bill Byers, drums; Percy Owens, sax, and George Yates, guitar. Absent Mellow Tones were Eddie Roberts, who plays trumpet, and LeRoy Walters, who thumps the bass.

Teen-age clubs represented at Friday night's rock 'n' roll-athlon included Munich, Heidelberg, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, Bad Nauheim, Friedberg, Bad Kreuznach, Gelnhausen, Babenhausen, Rhine-Main, Giessen, Kaiserslautern, Mainz, Butzbach, and points in between.

The Bad Nauheim-Friedberg group hopes to have another Rock 'n' Roll-o-Rama again next year, but Young won't be around to promote it. He is due to get out of the Army in February. Backus won't be around for another farewell to summer vacations, either. He is due out of the Air Force next July.

Migrated

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up