The Early Bands – 1960s

Randy Meisner’s early bands in the 1960s included the Deacons/Thunderbirds, the Invaders, the Dynamics/Drivin’ Dynamics, and the Soul Survivors/The Poor. (After the Soul Survivors moved to California, they had a very brief period of calling themselves the North Serrano Blues Band, and they then changed their name to The Poor.) There is also a separate post for The Poor. The Dynamics in Scottsbluff, NE officially began November 23, 1961, and they later changed the name to the Drivin’ Dynamics. The Drivin’ Dynamics recorded three songs at Sully Records in Amarillo, TX in 1965, and two of those songs were released. The videos of those two songs are near the bottom of this page and also some others of Randy and Larry Soto singing lead in the Dynamics/Drivin’ Dynamics.

From the archived Ken Sharp interview in Rock Cellar Magazine:

“At around 12 or 13 I got an acoustic guitar and took some lessons. I played some PTA meetings out in the country. Jimmie Rodgers’ ‘Honeycomb’ was one of the first songs I learned. Then I went to town school when I was fourteen and a half. I met some guys in town and I started a group with Grady and Doug Wall called the Deacons and then it was the Thunderbirds. We couldn’t find a bass guitar so we ordered one out of a Sears catalog. We got one guitar that was really sturdy and put four strings on it. We played through high school. Met up with my guitar teacher and we started a band called the Dynamics. We did a lot of Beatles and R&B songs. I think I was about seventeen. We played a Battle of the Bands in Denver. We did pretty good but we didn’t win anything.” *

Rock Cellar Magazine – Nov. 10, 2016

*There are several typos throughout the interview. Ken Sharp misspelled the last name for Grady & Doug. It should be ‘Waugh’ instead of Wall.
Randy was born in March 1946, so he was 15 when the Dynamics were formed in November 1961.
The Battle of the Bands contest in Denver where he met the Soul Survivors was in 1966 when Randy was 20 years old.

Audios/Videos on this page:

The Deacons/Thunderbirds

The talent contest took place on Sunday, Sept. 17, 1961, and the Thunderbirds won 2nd place. Randy was 15 years old at the time. This contest was shortly before the Dynamics were formed in November 1961.

Randy Meisner's early bands
The Gering Courier (Gering, NE) – Sept. 22, 1961

The Invaders

This talent show was in Randy’s junior year in high school and just before he turned age 17. Grady Waugh was also in the Thunderbirds with Randy, and Paul Asmus was in the Dynamics. The talent show took place a little over a year after the Dynamics were formed in November 1961, so it’s possible the “Invaders” was merely a name this particular group of boys chose to use just for the school talent show.

Randy Meisner's early bands

Scottsbluff Daily Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, NE) – Feb. 12, 1963

The Dynamics/Drivin’ Dynamics

Randy Meisner’s first band practice with the Dynamics in 1961

Randy Meisner's early bands

Larry Soto, Richard Rohnke, Randy Meisner, and John Ankeny

The Dynamics at Terry’s Arena located between Gering and Scottsbluff – 1961

Richard Rohnke, John Ankeny, Randy Meisner, and Larry Soto

The Dynamics publicity photo – 1962

John Ankeny, Randy Meisner, Paul Asmus, and Larry Soto

The Dynamics played at the Sidney Nebraska High School Christmas Cotillion held Dec. 14, 1963 at the Fort Sidney Motor Hotel

Randy Meisner's early bands
Sidney NE 1964 High School Yearbook (Randy on far right)
Sidney Nebraska 1964 yearbook
Sidney NE 1964 High School Yearbook – pg. 41
Randy Meisner's early bands
Sidney NE 1964 High School Yearbook – page 41 (close-up of text)
The Dynamics are the jiggingest.
Sidney Nebraska 1964 yearbook
Sidney Telegraph (Sidney, NE) – Dec. 13, 1963

“For the first time at a semi-formal dance, a teen-age band, the ‘Dynamics’ played. By the following comments, it was obvious that the students enjoyed themselves.”

Randy Meisner's early bands
Sidney Telegraph (Sidney, NE) – Dec. 20, 1963

The Dynamics played at the Stomp Inn Jan. 28, 1964

L-R back: Randy Meisner and Bobby Soto
L-R front: Larry Soto and Paul Asmus

The Drivin’ Dynamics performed at Terry’s Arena (located between Scottsbluff and Gering) on New Years Eve 1964.

Benefit Dance at Scottsbluff National Guard Armory on Jan. 23, 1966

Randy Meisner's early bands

The Dynamics at an unknown venue

The Drivin’ Dynamics at Scottsbluff National Guard Armory in 1965

Paul Asmus, Dave Margheim, Bobby Soto (on drums), Larry Soto, Randy Meisner, and Steve Cassells

Dave Margheim, Paul Asmus, Randy Meisner, Larry Soto, Bobby Soto (on drums), and Steve Cassells


Randy Meisner’s early bands newspaper articles and dance announcements

Randy Meisner's early bands

Scottsbluff Daily Star-Herald – Oct. 20, 1962

Alliance Times-Herald (Alliance, NE) – Mar. 26, 1963

Early band of the Dynamics played at dance in Rainbow Ballroom
Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD) – Nov. 14, 1963

“Woah, lonesome cowgirl look what I can do
I can rope, I can ride, I can brand hides
Even do a trick or two”

Randy Meisner's early bands

Keith County News (Ogallala, NE) – Aug. 1, 1963

Early band of the Dynamics to play at roller rink
Alliance Times-Herald – July 13, 1963
Early band of the Dynamics to play for wedding dance
Plattsmouth Journal (Plattsmouth, NE) – Aug. 8, 1963
Randy Meisner's early bands

Keith County News (Ogallala, NE) – Sept. 12, 1963

Randy Meisner's early bands

Scottsbluff Daily Herald (Scottsbluff, NE) – Nov. 17, 1963
Iris Besaw owned a dance studio in Scottsbluff. Notice that the band is called the Randy Meisner Combo and not the Dynamics here, even though the Dynamics were formed in 1961.

Gering Courier (Gering, NE) – May 24, 1963

Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, MT) – Dec. 23, 1963

1963 Sept 12 Scottsbluff Daily Star Herald 2

Scottsbluff Daily Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, NE) – Sept. 12, 1963


Tribune-Sentinel (Grant, NE) – June 20, 1963

Tribune-Sentinel (Grant, NE) – Nov. 7, 1963

Tribune-Sentinel (Grant, NE) – Dec. 12, 1963

Randy Meisner's early bands

The Crescent Ballroom in Grant, NE


The Dynamics played at the Crescent many times.


Early band of the Dynamics to play at Holdrege City Auditorium dance
Holdrege Daily Citizen – Holdrege, NE) – Jan. 17, 1964
Early band of the Dynamics to play at Crescent Ballroom
The Tribune Sentinel (Grant, NE) – May 21, 1964

Chadron Record (Chadron, NE) – Oct. 15, 1964

Randy Meisner's early bands
Dawson County Herald (Lexington, NE) – Nov. 9, 1964
Early band of the Dynamics to play at Howells Ballroom
Howells Journal (Howells, NE) – Feb. 18, 1965
Early band of the Dynamics to play at Howells Ballroom
Fremont Tribune (Fremont, NE) – Feb. 27, 1965
Early band of the Dynamics to play at Sokol Hall
Crete News (Crete, NE) Mar. 11, 1965

Gering Courier (Gering, NE) – Apr. 23, 1965

In August 1965, the Drivin’ Dynamics signed a record deal with Sully Records out of Amarillo, Texas. They recorded 3 songs: Randy Meisner sang “One Of These Days” and “So Fine”, while Larry Soto sang “Hurt Me”. Even though “One Of These Days” was recorded, it was not actually released with the other two songs according to Steve Cassells (Drivin’ Dynamics keyboard player from 1964-66). He said it was scrapped in favor of “So Fine” and “Hurt Me”.

Sully Records

“So Fine” (Randy on lead vocal)

 

“Hurt Me” (Larry Soto on lead vocal)


“Do You Wanna Dance” (Randy on lead vocal)

“Kansas City” (Randy on lead vocal)

“You Send Me” (Larry Soto on lead vocal)


Years later…

Alliance Times-Herald (Alliance, NE) – July 6, 1983

The Gering Courier (Gering, NE) – July 25, 1991

Nebraska Music Hall of Fame – Aug. 19, 2000
Bobby Soto died a few days later on Sept. 6, 2000

A blurry photo with Randy and the band before Bobby Soto passed away

From the nebrocks Bobby Soto memorial page
www.nebrocks.org/bobby

Randy Meisner's early bands - Bobby Soto and Drivin' Dynamics

The Gering Courier (Gering, NE) – July 12, 2001

Larry Soto is still in the Drivin’ Dynamics, and the band is still active.

The newspaper photo was taken when the Drivin’ Dynamics played the North Platte (Nebraska) High School Prom in 1964.

The Gering Courier (Gering, NE) – Oct. 23, 2014

3 thoughts on “The Early Bands – 1960s

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  1. I’m curious. I can’t find a song titled “One Of These Days” as recorded by the Dynamics with Randy singing lead. I can find “Some Of These Days” as recorded by dozens of famous singers over the years. Any ideas?

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