Morning Dew story by Mal Robinson

January 27, 2013

Morning Dew story by Mal Robinson

Morning Dew came from Topeka, Kansas. They
released one album on Roulette Records. Their album is one of the best in US
psych genre. Here is the interview/story made by Mal Robinson, their guitarist.

Roots/music influence

Don Sligar (drummer) and I (Mal Robinson
-lead singer/guitar) met and got acquainted at Holiday Junior High School in
Topeka, Kansas during the period of 1961-1963. In the summer of 1963, we formed
our first band “The Impax”. This was primarily an instrumental group, playing
Ventures  and surf songs of various
groups like the Chantays, Surfari’s, etc. Vocals were limited but did perform a
few vocal songs.  We did a mean version of
“Rocky Road” by Gene Vincent.
early 1964, we changed the name for brief time to “The Runaways” doing similar
material but more vocals. At this time we had added Don Shuford on bass guitar
and back-up vocals.  Then, in the summer
of 1964, we became “The Durations” upon the addition and influence of Steve
Dahl (trumpet and vocals) and Ray Lisher (saxophone) doing mostly R&B
tunes…. Kingsmen , James Brown, among others. It was a period when Don and I
were listening and trying various music styles. We became dissatisfied with the
musical direction of the Durations so we broke away from the band  later that year. Steve Dahl later joined “The
Red Dogs”, a local R&B band out of Lawrence, Kansas (which was about 20
miles away).
The Durations were an R&B/Soul Band
from Topeka, Kansas.  Robinson, Sligar
and Shufford were members of this band. The Durations @ Topeka Drive-In –
1965, we decided to rebuild the band with Don Sligar on drums, Don Shuford on
bass, and myself on lead guitar and lead vocals. By this time, we were
listening to a lot of Bob Dylan, the Byrds…folk and folk rock. We stayed three
piece for a while: drums, bass, and guitar (I bought my first 12 string
electric guitar!) and we named ourselves “The Toads” (similar to names like The Byrds, The Turtles, The Critters, The
Beatles,etc.). We performed a lot of Dylan,also The Byrds, some of the folksy
Beatles stuff like “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”.  We fell in love with the music of the
Lovin’Spoonful and started performing their material, but realized our
instrumentation was limited and decided to add another member. By this time,
Don Sligar was attending the local college….Washburn University and I was a
senior in high school (winter of 1965-66). Don Sligar had a fraternity brother
at Washburn who happen to play guitar. His name was Don Anderson so we added
“Andy” (his nickname) to the band. We now had three guys in the band named
“Don” so we used nicknames…Don Anderson was “Andy”; Don Shuford was “Shuf”; and
Don Sligar was “Tommy”(there is a story behind that nickname I won’t go into
here). Any way,the folk and folk-rock sounds were not getting us many
gigs………the kids couldn’t dance to it and not much of it was Top 40 radio
material. So, we decided to play more variety of material and with it came the
change in name to “The Morning Dew” in June 1966. Because we were one M (Mal)
and three Don’s(D) we wanted to find a band name that had the initials M and D.
We came up with  The Morning Dew as a
possibility and we had heard the song by the same name written by Tim Rose and
recorded by The Grateful Dead so we went with it. We actually played the song
for awhile at our gigs but eventually dropped the song from our playlist. We
were not influenced by either of these artists musically, but simply liked the
Morning Dew as a band name. At this same time, I was starting to write original
material for the band.  We did not record
or release any material in the early bands until we became The Morning
The Toads
Topeka music scene and other local bands

The music scene in Topeka (a town of about
100,000 people) during the period of 1963-1966 was busting out. Many bands were
being formed by teenage kids, not only inspired by the Beatles and the British
Invasion but also The Beach Boys and many other U.S. groups. You could classify
the bands in two categories: R&B (with horns) and the guitar bands playing
British sounds and garage rock. Some of the R&B groups from Topeka that were
popular at the time were The Argons and The Rising Suns. The popular
British/Garage Rock groups were The Jerms, The Burlington Express, The
Thingies, and The Morning Dew. The Jerms were strictly a cover band that did
British bands, mostly Beatles. They even talked with a British accent on
stage.  Back then,  I think all the local bands tended to
influence each other because we were all competing for same jobs in town. There
was a kid about two years younger than us who was in a band called “The
Gimlets” that was starting to make a name for himself and that was Kerry
Livgren who later in 1970-71 became one of the founding members of the band
Morning Dew first recording

In the summer of 1966, after I had written
a few original songs, we decided to go to a recording studio in Lawrence,
Kansas called Audio House to record some music. We got booked on a TV show in
St. Joseph, Missouri called Let’s Dance and we needed a recording to lip sync
to.  We also thought we could use a demo
tape to get bookings and perhaps get a record deal. We selected two originals:
“Touch of Magic” and “Winter Dreams” . We also added a traditional blues song
“Sportin Life” recorded on the first album of the Lovin Spoonful and a rock
song “I’m not Your Steppin’ Stone recorded by Paul Revere and the Raiders. Our
main idea was to show off some original tunes and show some versatility. None
of these songs were released commercially. 
In 1966, our musical influences included The Lovin Spoonful, Paul Revere
and the Raiders, The Outsiders, The McCoys, Spencer Davis Group, Young Rascals
just to name a few. Don Sligar and I bought dozens of albums together,
listening to a lot of different styles. 
We were especially fond of the groups who had a “stage act”…dancing with
their guitars, standing on their amps, engaging the crowd. The main influence
of this recording experience was the fact we liked the sound of the original
songs and was inspired to create more of that.

Fairyland Records experience

Our local booking agent in Topeka was a
fellow named Larry Knouft who eventually became affiliated with a booking
agency in Columbia, Missouri called “Fairyland Productions”. One of their
primary artists and founding member of the agency was Lou Rennau of Goldilocks
and the Three Bears…..a Missouri R&B band that was very popular in the
Midwest USA. In 1967, they built a small recording studio in Columbia, Missouri
(about 180 miles from Topeka, Ks.) called Fairyland Recording Studio which had
an affiliated publishing and record company….Fairyland Publishing and Fairyland
Records.  We took our recording interests
to their studio as it was ran by someone “ in the band business” and we thought
they would add more value to what we were trying to do. By this time, I had
written several more songs.  
Early band that did Fairyland Recordings
In 1967, we completed two recording
sessions at their studio. The first session was “No More” and the B side: “Look
At Me Now” both written by me. We originally pressed 1,000 copies on Fairyland
Records and distributed it ourselves in local record stores. It sold out fast,
so we printed another 1,000 copies and it sold out over time. “No More” reached
the top ten on local radio stations and spent about 12 weeks in the top 40
survey.  We went back to Fairyland for
the second session and recorded two more original songs- “Be A Friend” and the
other side“Go Away”.  There was much
debate as to which side to release as our second single and we ended up going
with “Be A Friend” so we could show our versatility (versus “Go Away” which was
more similar to “No More” in style). We printed 1,000 copies and it didn’t
quite sell out so it was not nearly as successful. On hindsight, releasing “Go
Away” may have been a safer and better choice.  
The two single releases did boost our
popularity in the Midwest Region during the 1967-1968 period. Our bookings
increased and we were represented by three booking agencies in the area. We
played in the states of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and some in Oklahoma and
Arkansas. We also were picked up as the opening act by several more well known
bands who came to perform in the area including The Drifters, The Turtles, Gary
Puckett and the Union Gap, and Strawberry Alarm Clock.  We also did a concert  with another 
local band  that opened  for us called “Saratoga”. This group later
became the band “Kansas”. In the summer of 1967 and the summer of 1968 we
played month long gigs (five nights a week) 
at Ron’s Townhouse at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. This was where
the band really honed their skills and really developed a tight sound.
Mal in action
Fairyland Sessions in Summer of 1968

We had pretty much did all we could do with
the two singles we released with Fairyland (No More and Be A Friend) and had
not contracted with any national record labels. We felt we needed to record
more songs and create a larger portfolio of songs to take to get a contract
with a major label.
So we returned to Fairyland Studios and
recorded several of my original songs over that summer. The songs were: Lady
Soul, Then Came the Light, Rainbow Woman, Sycamore Dreamer, Something You Say, Cherry
Street, Our Last Song, and Money Honey Blues, plus we did a song that was
written by a local writer in Columbia named Phil Jackson called “Sing Out”. We
also recorded “Sportin Life” during this session. Our music influences moved
closer to the Yardbirds, Buffalo Springfield, Cream, and Hendrix, to name a
few…a “harder” sound.  
Mal on lead guitar/vocal; Don Sligar on
Drums, Don Anderson- rhythm guitar; and in the background Don Shuford on bass.
We soon took an acetate of these songs to
New York to meet with several record labels to see if we could get signed.
Meetings took place with ABC/Dunhill, Laurie Records, Bell Records, and others.
We had an appointment with Roulette but they didn’t show up. There was no
interest, as the labels didn’t feel there were any songs that could be released
as singles. None of these recordings were released on Fairyland Records as we wanted
to go with a national label. We thought about producing our own album from
these recordings but we couldn’t afford it. 
Later, a local producer/agent from the Columbia, Missouri  named Pete Shanaberg  (who was affiliated with Fairyland) took the
acetate to New York and met with several record companies (one of which was
Roulette Records) and he successfully got us a verbal commitment from Roulette
Records in January, 1969.
Influence to Psychedelic Music/Drugs

In 1967, I started college at Washburn University
in Topeka, Ks. So, by the 67-68 timeframe all of the band members were
attending Washburn. Pot smoking was fairly common with the students at that
time, so many were doing it socially at parties, etc.  We did pot and a little hashish too but
nothing more ….never dropped acid. But, the drug experience definitely
influenced our perspectives and attitudes. At the same time, the music trends
with predominantly guitar rock bands were moving to the sounds of the
“advanced” Beatles, Yardbirds, Cream, Hendrix, Stones, Buffalo Springfield,
Iron Butterfly,Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, etc.  So, more than anything The Morning Dew , was
influenced by the broader changes taking place in music.   Topeka, Kansas in the Midwest USA was not
really a leader in any change, but more a follower of what was happening on the
east and west coast of the US. 
Myself  and the band though fell
in love with the “fuzz tone” as you can tell on several of our recordings.  My first fuzz was the Gibson Maestro which I
used on “No More”. By the summer of 1968, and those sessions with Fairyland
Recording Studio, I used the Mosrite fuzz…as it had a fuller/smoother sound. I
continued to use it until the band broke up in May, 1971.
Story behind Roulette Album 

As mentioned earlier, a producer/agent by
the name of Pete Shanaberg (located in Columbia, Missouri and affiliated with
Fairyland) got us a recording contract with Roulette Records. He also
represented some Columbia, Missouri based acts: 
Morganmasondowns (folk); Don Cooper (folk): and, Trish Vandervere (an
actress).   In January of 1969, we
received a “verbal” agreement to sign. Before proceeding with a final contract
signing, representatives from Roulette wanted us to record a couple more songs
and hear us play live (as it had been several months since the Fairyland
recordings and we had a new bass player-Blair Honeyman who had replaced Don
Shuford  as Don was drafted into the
Army.)  So, in the Spring of 1969, we
went back to Fairyland Recording Studios and recorded another original “Young
Man” and a cover version of “Get Together” by the Youngbloods. Then in June of
1969, Fred Munao of Roulette Records came to Topeka to hear us play live at a
local Club called “The Touch of Gold”. It was at that audition, we officially
signed our recording contract with Roulette calling for the release of two
albums over the next two years.  Looking
back,we became pioneers of the Topeka music scene as we were the first rock n
roll band in the city to get a national recording contract.
In August, 1969 we loaded up our Chevy van
and drove to New York to record the album. We recorded at Bob Gallo Studios on
42nd street, about two doors down the street from Broadway and Times Square.
The whole album was recorded in 32 hours over a three day period with very
little retakes. After the sessions, they later dubbed over the harmonica part
on Country Boy Blue and the strings on Something You Say.  I was later told they wanted to release one
or both of those songs as a single. Ironically, they seemed to like our softer
sounds more than the harder sounds, as they really never had any hard
rock/psychedelic artists under contract. So, on hindsight, I’m not sure we were
a good match for that label.
As for equipment, I used a Vox Royal
Guardsman amp, Gibson ES335 and Mosrite fuzz tone. I used a Fender acoustic
guitar for the softer sounds. We used a Vox organ on Gypsy. The bass player
used Fender gear. Our rhythm guitarist used a Guild electric guitar with Vox
amp. Our drummer liked Ludwig Drums.
Band in Central Park during Roulette
My strongest memories of the Roulette

It was a whirlwind experience, a 30 hour
drive to New York and a one week long stay at the Hotel Albert in Greenwich
Village (Led Zepplin were staying there at the same time).  Three days at the recording studio mixed in
with a photo shoot in Central Park.  I
spent my 21st birthday in NYC. We met with Morris Levy, President of Roulette
to “beg” for a cash advance so the band would have some spending money while in
the city. He bitched and moaned, but ended up cutting us a check for $1,000.
The only money we ever saw from Roulette. Oh, I recall he also gave us a
Kustom  bass amp that he later
repossessed and had someone come to Topeka to get it (now, that sent us a
The album was not released until 1970. We
later found out that Roulette was mired in legal troubles at the time, owing
back taxes, falsifying financial records, etc.…..Levy was accused of tax
evasion and was reputed to be linked to the mob. He later went to prison and
died there in the 1980’s. The second album never came about. I received a brief
three sentence paragraph letter from them in 1974 saying they had cancelled our
contract. To this day, I never received an official accounting for the album. I
was told there were 10,000 copies printed but most of them were “destroyed in a
warehouse fire”. I have no idea how many were distributed on a retail basis.
(You should read the book by Tommy James-“Me, the Mob, and My Music” to get
some further insight to the dealings of Roulette Records).     
You asked about the album cover: it was
taken from a collection of photos done by a professional photographer who
happened to live downstairs from the apartment in NYC Pete Shanaberg was
staying at the time. When we met with Morris Levy that day, he boasted it was
the most money that they had ever spent on an album cover…..I just wish they
would have invested in a little more in studio time for us. This same
photograph later showed up in the 60’s movie “Joe”.
Potential second album with Roulette

Our contract called for a second album with
Roulette. In late 1970, at the request of Fred Munao of Roulette, we went into
the studio to record some more original material for Fred to listen to. This
time we decided  to go to Audio House
Recording in Lawrence, Ks. (as it was closer and cheaper). We basically set up
and played live on a four track recorder then mixed it down and overdubbed my
By this time we had a couple more changes
to the band. Don Anderson had left the group and was replaced by Ferdy Baumgart
who played Hammond Organ and some Lead Guitar. We also added Dave Howell who
played guitar and piano. This was a true experimental time for our band. Our
sound became much more progressive and complex, influenced a lot by
Ferdy’s  skill as an arranger. I would
take the basic song to practice and Ferdy as well as Don Sligar and the other
guys would put in certain intros, endings, breaks, and fills to round out the
song. At this session (which was done in four hours one afternoon) we recorded
originals: Satin’s Got A Hold On Thee, Someday, My Kind of Music, Flying Above
Myself, Lion/Away from It All,  and 1849.
The quality of the recording is not that great, the songs are raw and somewhat
unfinished,  as we basically considered
this a practice tape to send off to Roulette and to use for our own sound
development.  None of these recordings
were released commercially at the time. Roulette pretty much stonewalled us
regarding a second album release. Their feedback was generally positive but
they wouldn’t definitely commit or schedule a second New York recording session
for us. It was very frustrating. Of course, we later learned that Roulette was
totally distracted with their legal issues. The recording was picked up by
Cicadelic/Collectables in the 1990’s and released on CD as “The Second Album”.
Comments on particular songs
First Album(Roulette):
A1-Crusader’s Smile: It is simply about
traveling in a band, playing guitar to entertain others, often getting requests
to bring out the acoustic at the band parties. I met my “wife to be” at about
this time, but “she didn’t know that my mind could float away, cause I play my
guitar to make people happy”. And we’re still married after 42 years.  I feel the highlight of this song is Don’s
percussion work…it really turns an ordinary song into something you want to
listen to over and over. He worked  his
ass off on this song when we played it live….he was inspirational.
A2-Upon Leaving: We wanted another slow song for the Roulette
album so I penned this. Another travel song….about a guy leaving his lover and
not knowing if he’ll make it back or see her again. It is a common feeling/fear
we all have every time we separate from someone we love for any period of time.
A3-Young Man: There is a Bo Diddley inspiration in there
somewhere. Again,  great percussion by
Don. He is actually playing the drums with a pair of maracas. (Not sure that
had been done before). We were a high energy band when we played live and I
think this song fits that high energy category.   It’s simply about how fearless and sometimes
stupid we are when we’re young. And I wrote this when I was 20 yrs. old. And
now, you look back, and it’s so true but we’d all do it again if we had the
chance. I guess I had some foresight on this one.
A4-Then Came the Light:I actually liked the Fairyland version ( with
my Vox wah -wah pedal) better than the Roulette version. For some reason, we
nixed the wah-wah when we got to New York. It’s about a guy who thinks he can
see the future(at age 20) but when he gets to the “future”(at age 40) he
doesn’t know it. Make sense? OK, so this was a little drug induced.  Oh, you know I went out on 42nd street in NYC
to sing with the traffic in the background at the end of the song(“I saw the
light, I saw the light”). A microphone from the Control Room in the studio was
dropped out the window down to the street and I sang into it. 
A5-Cherry Street: When we recorded at
Fairyland, we were there for several days and stayed at a guys house on Cherry
Street and there seemed to be a lot of frustrated people living on that street.
That is basically the theme. Frustrated people looking for something better. I
must admit, there is definite Cream influence on this one (I’d like to hear
Jack Bruce sing it with Eric Clapton taking the lead parts). Roulette didn’t
like the toilet flush at the end ( on the Fairyland version) so we didn’t do it
in New York. The Mosrite fuzz has one of its better  tones here….I liked the fuzz guitar trying to
mimic my singing “fire, fire, everything’s on fire” in the last phrases of the
B1-Gypsy: I was always fascinated by
gypsies….the way they lived, moved around. The intro to this song was actually
inspired by the movie “Exodus”. It is probably a poor resemblance of the theme
song to that movie, but any way that is what inspired some of the vocal and
back up guitar licks to the vocal in the intro. Given, the theme of the song
(Gypsies)….I felt it had to move fast once the intro was over.  
B2-Something You Say: I was in one of my
mushy, Bee Gee moods on this one, but inspired by the love of my life of
course! My daughter wanted this song played at her wedding 40 years later so
that really made it all worthwhile.  I
think the band liked this song because it showed some versatility.  I like the song very much, I just wish someone
else would have recorded and sang it. My vocal falls short on this one, I
think. There is someone out there that could really do this song justice…maybe
a Van Morrison type.
B3-Country Boy Blue: This is the band’s theme
song for traveling all across the great state of Kansas ,playing our music, and
having some fun at the same time. We had to give it a country sound. Many of my
friends today, like this one the best …they’ve outgrown the psych stuff
B4-Save Me: I had the lyrics written and few
chords but wasn’t sure how I wanted to put the song together. At the time, Don
Sligar was living with Kerry Livgren at a house here in Topeka. I went over
there one night and played what I had to Kerry and he finished it for me in
about thirty seconds. The song was written for a “bigger orchestral sound” but
we settled for the four of us instead.  
Of course, about a year later Kerry Livgren was taking his band  “ Kansas” to record after they signed with
Don Kirshner and the rest is history as they say.
B5-The Epic: The Mann/Death is A Dream: These
are two songs with separate but related themes that we decided to put together
on the Roulette album. The Mann (with two “n’s”) is simply about a guy who has
everything, but kills himself at the end of the song (the gunshot and slowing
of the record speed to a stop). Death is A Dream is just about what it is
about….death. What we prefer to not talk about, so my thought here is what if
death is like just being asleep and then you awake just like always. OK,
another drug influenced song. I think after I thought of this lyric and wrote
it down….I went to get the Cheetos! The little flamingo guitar rif at the start
was done on the Fender acoustic.  A
little leftover I wanted to put in Gypsy but couldn’t fit it in there.
Album material:  
This represents a big
change in our sound as we feature Ferdy Baumgart  playing the Hammond. I’m now using a Gibson
Les Paul with my Mosrite fuzz occasionally, but not as much.  We had also added Dave Howell on keyboards
and guitar. Eventually, Bill Stahlin from St.Joe, Missouri  replaced Blair Honeyman on bass….Bill was a
friend of Steve Walsh, lead singer for “Kansas”. We were in a more experimental
phase of our music.)
1-Someday: An ecology message. Ferdy was a “power” player on the Hammond. And , it
shows on several of these tunes. I do like the Les Paul fuzz lead at the end of
the song.
2-Flying Above Myself: I think this is my
favorite song of the session. Great, high energy Hammond lead in the middle of
the song with some great percussion back up by Don. It sounds like something
Santana might do with his keyboard player…..of course there is no guitar lead
in this song. Now the lyrics in this song are totally about being stoned….pure
and simple. However, we never performed under the influence. We could derive
inspiration from being under the influence, but we always put the songs out
3-My Kind of Music: This is a break from
the Hammond sound in the other songs. Ferdy plays guitar lead on a Gibson
ES335. Country music has always been very popular in Kansas and this is a song
written about those fans or audiences.
4-Lion/Away From It All: This was to be
our second “Epic” for the second album, again putting two songs together.
“Lion” is the representation of the cruel world out there and “Away From It
All” is about getting with the love of your life, forgetting your troubles, and
getting away from all your troubles. The music centers around  Ferdy’s Hammond and my guitar parts playing
off one another.
5-1849: Again, nice break from the “front
and center” Hammond sound. Dave Howell is on Hammond with Ferdy on one lead
guitar and me on the other. We saw a documentary about the California gold rush
in the late 1840’s and that inspired the song.
6-Satin’s Gotta Hold On Thee: I like the
body of the song and the lyric, but it just doesn’t seem to reach its potential
as a song. I think we may have taken off in too many different directions on
this one. It is interesting though. It is about people in general not being
satisfied, being hypocritical, and pretty much losing their way. Maybe this is
why the music drifts in different directions.
7-Money Honey Blues: This was actually
recorded in our Fairyland Sessions as a filler song. We pretty much wrote and
arranged it in the studio….it is the early Dew sound. Lou Rennau plays the
piano on this.  It so happened that
Cicadelic/Collectables put this on the Second Album release as a filler to the
other ones.
8-Then Came the Light: This is the version
done at Fairyland Recording Studio. Later, re-recorded on the Roulette album in
New York.
9-Something you Say: Again, this is the
Fairyland Recording Studio version. Later, re-recorded on the Roulette album in
New York.
10-Our Last Song: Again, this was done at
Fairyland Recording Studio only.  
Some of the Fairyland recordings were put
on the “Second ‘Album” by Cicadelic/Collectables as filler to the songs we
recorded at Audio House for Roulette to consider for a second album on their
Concepts Behind the Albums

There really were no concepts to the albums
per se. The Roulette album was titled “At Last” because it took them so long to
release it. There were no singles released from the album ( we would have voted
for Crusader’s Smile if one had been done). Most of our radio play came on FM
Rock Radio stations at the time, which were just really starting to take
off.  The so called second album really
never came about but probably the underlying theme of the songs is how difficult
it can be to live on this earth at times 
and how man has tended to “screw it up”.
Inspirations other than
I had a poetry professor in college that inspired me to write. I always
liked the large production movies like Exodus. 
No particular other books or movies come to mind.  All the guys in the band grew up in a lower-
middle class neighborhood and I think music inspired us to try to improve our
life situations to some extent.
The band’s break up
In the
Spring of 1971 it became difficult to hold the band together. It was obvious
the second album was not going to happen, hell they didn’t even adequately
promote the first album. A national tour never materialized and we were back
playing the Midwest USA circuit….playing a lot of colleges and psych theme
clubs. We had pretty much priced ourselves out of the regional market and
couldn’t make enough money to keep it going. We just got discouraged. We all
had college degrees by this time and several of us were married and it just
felt like we needed to move on to the “real world”.  Our last gig was in May, 1971 in Garden City,
Last band that did Audio House in 1970
What are we doing now?    
Mal Robinson: I went to work at an
insurance company in Topeka and retired after 35 years of service. I continue
to live in Topeka,Ks. but travel a lot with my wife. I have two daughters in
S.California. I did not play professionally again until 1993. I joined a
classic rock n roll cover band called “The Bop Daddies” and we’re still playing
today, performing music from 1955-1975 era. We play clubs and private parties.
Don Sligar (drummer): Don moved with his
wife to the Northwest, living in Northern California, Eastern Washington and
settling in Portland, Oregon. Taught school for a while, but then became an
Education Specialist  for the State of
Oregon. He played in the early 70’s in a band called “Cimmaron” but after that
never really played professionally again. Don and his wife are now retired in
Florida. His big love now is Zydeco music and has learned to play the Dobro and
jams with some of the ol’ farts down there.
Don Anderson (rhythm guitar):  Married and went to work for the State of
Kansas as an accountant and is retired living in Topeka, Ks. For several years
he has played the upright bass in a popular local bluegrass band called “Past
Tense”. They have recorded a couple of CDs.
Don Shuford (bass/vocals):  Got married and went to work for an energy
company and is now retired after working there for over 30 years. He never
played professionally again.
Blair Honeyman (bass/vocals) : Married with
family and is getting close to retirement but has worked many years for a paint
company on the retail side of the business. Blair never played professionally
again. Back in the day, Blair was the bass player for the Burlington Express
before he joined the Dew.
Ferdy Baumgart (organ/guitar): Ferdy moved
away for awhile and played in several regional rock bands but eventually moved
back to Topeka were he settled with his wife. Ferdy  joined my cover band “The Bop Daddies” in the
mid 90’s and unfortunately passed away in 2006. He was still performing with me
at that time.
Dave Howell (keyboards/guitar):  Dave is married and lives in Virginia and is
now retired after a successful career in Human Resource management with the
Federal government. Dave never played professionally again.
Bill Stahlin  (bass player in last version of the band):
Bill lives in Portland, Oregon. Most of his career has been spent as a Quality
Tester of bass guitars and amps for Fender Music Co.
Final Comments
It is surreal to me that after so many
years, music collectors from all over the world continue to  express interest in the music and maturation
of the Morning Dew from 1966-1971. The whole “Dew” experience culminated in
March, 2010 when we were inducted to the Kansas Music Hall of Fame and I was
able to reassemble Don Sligar, Don Anderson, Dave Howell, and Blair Honeyman
and perform  No More, Money Honey Blues,
Sportin’ Life, Country Boy Blue, Young Man, and Crusader’s Smile at the
induction ceremonies to a crowd of about 700 at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, Ks.
(40 years since we had last played together). 
You know, 40 years between gigs is a long time! 
Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2013
© Copyright
  1. Anonymous

    It's fascinating to hear someone else's version of working with Roulette. Many similarities. Our Roulette album was released in Europe on Vogue. Did Morning Dew's?

    Billy Hallquist/Thundertree

  2. Anonymous

    Lou Rennau passed away on January 7, 2014. It wasn't until I started looking up information on him online that I realized just how famous he was in the 1960s. I only knew him for the last few years of his life - he was a resident in the nursing home I work in - and he always changed the subject whenever his musical career came up. He was a wonderful person to talk to about anything else, but he was very tight-lipped about the music.

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