"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN
Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.
BANDS OF GOLD
BANDS OF GOLD. While a student at the University of Iowa in the 1960s, Larry Brown, son of William C. BROWN became the manager for “Denny and the Dukes.”
In 1965 he had arranged a recording session with Columbia Records in Chicago, Illinois. The Dukes recorded “Is It Really Love” and “Carol In A Thousand Cities.” The record, released on Sultan Records, was sold in the Dubuque area.
When Denny Rehn, the founder of band, entered military service, the remaining members (Roger Hughes, Bernie Bernsten, Gary King, Phil Rawson, Terry WILLIAMS changed the name to "Bands of Gold." Williams was later drafted, and Mort Armstrong (now deceased) became the drummer.
Brown remained the band's manager. In 1966 he arranged another session in Chicago using newly written music by Hughes (“It’s Over” and “You Won’t Change Me”). The session impressed the recording engineer who called a producer from Mercury Records. The band was signed on the spot. A new 45 came out on Smash Records – a Mercury label.
“You Won’t Change Me,” the hit the band had been waiting for,spent over 10 weeks on WDBQ’s (Dubuque) Top 20, climbing to #2 on the charts. The song also spent time on the KIOA (Des Moines) Top 20, three weeks at #3. "Bands of Gold" toured Iowa ballrooms drawing large crowds.
Negotiations began with Mercury Records which was looking for a band to take nationally. When the band decided to decline the opportunity, Mercury signed "The Buckinghams" which enjoyed great success.
Members of "Band of Gold" returned to Eastern Iowa to their families and business careers. They continued to play throughout the 1960s and 1970s. When the band dissolved, the members continued to play with other groups.
In 2000 Roger Hughes was inducted into the Iowa RockNRoll Hall of Fame as a songwriter. Gary King is in the Nebraska RockNRoll Hall as a sax player.