On Friday, April 9, 1965, The Moonrakers and the Astronauts played a dance sponsored by KIMN for Wheatridge High School. It was the second time this happened and is advertised on the survey above from March 22, 1965.
The following night they played the Denver Auditorium for KIM's "April Shower of Stars" with The Righteous Brothers, Gary Lewis & the Playboy's, Dick & Dee Dee, Glen Campbell, The Fugitives, and The Esquires.
On June 6, 1965, The Moonrakers played the 5th Annual KIM Appreciation Day show at Elitch Gardens. Also performing that day were Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs, Chad & Jeremy and several others. It was a free show and would have been a fun way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon!
On September 13, 1965, "You'll Come Back" jumped from Number 6 to Number 1 where it stayed for 5 weeks on KIMN in Denver, knocking The Kingsmen classic "Louie Louie" out of the top spot. Disc Jockey Hal "Baby" Moore once played it 5 times in a row. It was the Moonrakers first original single; written and sung by Denny. "You'll Come Back" hit #1 in the west for a few weeks also.
On October 23, Boss Radio KIMN and Ed Weimer Productions put on a concert at the Auditorium Arena featuring Sonny & Cher, Ian Whitcomb, The Moonrakers and The Soul Survivors. On this survey from October 18, The Moonrakers "I'm All Right" was the KIMN Five Star Pick of the Week.
On November 27, 1965, KIMN radio in Denver presented a live talent show which featured top acts of the Denver area. Representatives from several recording labels including RCA, Capitol, Mercury, Tower, Columbia, and Philles were in attendance. The KIMN survey for the week of November 22, advertised the upcoming event. On that same survey, the Moonrakers single "I'm All Right" was at #5, slipping from #2 the previous week and the top spot belonged to another Denver band; The Soul Survivors.
This talent show was spotlighted with a full page of photos and write-ups in the December 25, 1965 Billboard Magazine. Below is a clip mentioning The Moonrakers.
(note: Bob Raymond, later of Sugarloaf, was a member of the Soul Survivors)
The Moonrakers singles made some noise in other areas of the country besides Colorado. Below is a survey from early November 1965 from Columbus, Ohio where "I'm All Right" had just entered the Top 40.
KIMN Jingle KIMN Jingle 2
Above are two jingles from 1965 from KIMN radio in Denver. The one on the left features Bruce Johnston and the late Terry Melcher, who recorded as Bruce and Terry at the time.
Below is a trade ad from Bob MacVittie's collection for the Moonrakers performing on a rock show on KHJ-TV in L.A. with Tower Records label mate, Ian Whitcomb and also Dusty Springfield. This was in late 1965 or early 1966. The Moonrakers also played a Rocky Mountain tour with Ian, who had three singles on Billboard in 1965 including the top ten hit, "You Turn Me On".
The picture from the promo above was used on a KIMN survey the first week that "Trip and Fall" entered their charts at #40. From back to front on the left is Joel Brandes, Denny Flannigan, Van Dorn, and Dusty Springfield. Back to front on the right is Bob MacVittie, Bob Webber and Ian Whitcomb.
And below is a survey from the 4th of July, 1966 that shows "I Don't Believe" and "Baby Please Don't Go" at #19 dropping from #11 the previous week.
I asked Bob MacVittie what his memories were of recording the singles and this is what he had to say: It was 1966. We had been having much regional success back home thanks in part to our close relationship with KIMN radio. We played on a "Dick Clark Caravan of Stars" show at the Denver Arena put on by KIMN. One of the acts on the bill was the Beach Boys. After we all played Webber struck up a conversation with Carl Wilson. Carl admired Bob's playing (as most guitar players did) and Bob was very interested in Carl's Rickenbacker twelve string. They conversed and traded licks for a while and when Bob mentioned that we would be in L.A. to record soon Carl gave him his phone number. When we arrived Bob called him, they talked and somehow Carl ended up offering to let Bob use his Rickenbacker on the session. It is on "I Don't Believe" on the back of "Baby Please Don't Go". We went up to Carl's house in the Hollywood hills above the Strip and picked up the guitar. Carl said he was going out and to just come and drop it in the back of the convertible that was sitting in his drive when we were done using it. Obviously it was simpler times when one could leave such a valuable item in an open unsecured place in the middle of Hollywood. I was always struck by Carl's generosity and willingness to advise us about our contract dealings. It was only years later that I realized the significance of Carl using the twelve string at that point in time. The Beatles had hit and the British invasion had started then. The Beach Boys were perceived by the public to be passe. Many years later McCartney mentioned in an interview that they listened to "Pet Sounds" and marveled at the sounds the Beach Boys were producing on their albums. I believe he said that "Pet Sounds" inspired much of "Sgt Pepper". When I heard this, I thought back to Carl using the Rickenbacker twelve string when Jim McGuinn and the Byrds were getting all the credit for introducing it. As it turned out, the Beach Boys were always ahead of their time but people didn't realize it until later.
Above is an article from June 6, 1966 from the weekly newspaper publication of KBTR/71 All American radio station out of Denver. Among other Denver bands mentioned you will notice that much attention from this article was placed on the popularity of The Moonrakers. I'd like to thank April Gottman very much for contributing this for the website.
Here is a nice shot of The Moonrakers on stage at the Denver University Student Union around 1966.
Next is a photo of The Moonrakers performing at Bruin's Lair in Greeley, CO. It was taken by Marvin Feltch in 1966. We'd like to thank him for the shot!
Below is a photo from Denny's collection of The Moonrakers at The Exodus in 1967.