AND THE ROCKETS
Photo from 1958 The Original Members of The Rockets.
(top right to left) Jerry Williams, on Drums; Roger Loos, on Sax; (lower right to left) Bill Pable, on Piano; Larry Russell, on Vocals and Rhythm guitar; Denny Noie, on Vocals and Rhythm guitar; and Cliff Peronto, on Lead guitar.
The Rockets, Hot Rock 'n' Roll Band
Gerald Van Dynhoven, band leader of the group that performed under the name Jerry Williams and the Rockets known by some as the Grand-Daddy of Rock 'n' Roll, was a pioneer in the musical art form that swept the country in the mid '50's through the early '60's. "We started playing in 1956 and we were the first Rock 'n' Roll band in the Midwest", said Williams. "There was nobody else around" he said. His band went into retirement in 1979, but got together again to perform at the Pierce Park Apple Sock dances revival in 1990-94. "We were playing before Rock 'n' Roll started," he said. "We had a two piece polka band called The Rhythem-Airs. I was still in high school and we played at weddings, churches and school dances." Then something revolutionary happened. Bill Haley and the Comets came out with the hit song "Rock Around The Clock." That song started a musical trend called Rock 'n' Roll that has persisted to this day.
"We switched to rock, started looking for more musicians and changed our name to The Rockin-Rhythem-Airs," Williams said. "We knew this new sound was going to be something."
The group later changed its name to the White Caps and recorded a tune called "Rock 'n' Roll Saddles." It was played on Dick Clark's American Bandstand and became a big hit in Wisconsin. But it never caught on nationally and the band disbanded.
In 1958, the band regrouped under the name The Rockets and started performing state wide. Jerry Van Dynhoven added his first and middle names to the bands title, and Jerry Williams and the Rockets were ready to take off. Later his wife Carol and brother Don also adopted Williams as their professional name. The band included Jerry Williams, who started on drums, but switched to sax and guitar later on in his career. The first original group members in 1956 were Roger Loos, on sax; Bill Pable on piano; Larry Russell on vocals and rhythm; Cliff Peronto on Lead guitar; and Denny Noie, on vocals and rhythm guitar. Also Former members that contributed to the success of the band were; Jerry Starr, Tom Gebheim, Gary Laabs, Ricky Leigh, Dave Hermsen, Jim Kobs, Dave Yokeum, Pete Miller, Brother Don Van Dynhoven, Dennis Heimerman, Bobby "Bryll" Timmers, and Mike Pluger. On Jan. 6th, 1962 The Rockets recorded a record with Goldstar Record Co. It was recorded at the WAPL studio with the 'ROCKET LABEL' The cuts were "A Boy Like You" and "Blueberry Lane"
Picture from 1961
Dennis Heimerman, Carol Williams, Bob Timmers, Jerry Williams, and Don Williams The Former Carol Bosman from Brussels, WI. joined the band in 1959. Carol Williams (Bosman) Van Dynhoven
Bosman got her start singing in corner night clubs with her mother, a guitarist, and uncle, who played the accordion. She auditioned for the vocal spot and beat out 15 male competitors. In doing so, she made history. "They needed a novelty to top Noie, since Noie left for the military service, and that is why they needed a replacement and brought a girl into the group." said Carol. "No other band had ever done that, and it became an attraction. Jerry Williams developed his own attraction towards this lovely young lady, who many people started to compare to Brenda Lee. She, in turn, became romantically attached to him. About six months after she joined the group they started dating, leading to their 1961 wedding.
The band played at Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) dances, school functions, weddings and night clubs. According to Jerry, it was the Wednesday evening Pierce Park dances in the late '50's and early '60's where the group attained its popularity peak.
"Because we were all the same ages as the people out there and playing the kind of music that they liked, we were very popular with the crowds," Jerry said. Jerry Williams and the Rockets won a "best band" contest in Green Bay in 1962. When Little Richard and the Beatles came on the scene, The Rockets were there popularizing their sounds.
The Rockets had a big following at the Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay. They backed Danny and the Juniors at the Cinderella Ballroom in Appleton March 16th, 1958
Picture of Jerry Williams and Danny.
The Rockets also once appeared with Fabian in March of 1959 at the Riverside Ballroom. Picture of Jerry Williams with Fabian Other bands they backed-up were Johnny Cash at the Eagles Club in Oshkosh. Also, Johnny and the Hurricanes at the Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay.
Other Band Pictures
Don, Denny, ,Mike Pluger, Jerry & Carol Williams, Bobby "Bryll", Denny Noie
Pictures of Jerry Williams and the Rockets on May 15th, 2007, at the Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay. This was the pre-show to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Rockin 50's Fest at the Oneida Casino the following day.
Also performed and opened for Little Richard at the Oneida Casino for the fest on May 16th, 2007.
Photo Left to Right: Don Williams, Bob Timmers, Carol Williams, Al Kilian, Jerry Williams
The Rockets Live Stereo Sound ClipsThese are MP3 file clips. You can open them right from the source.
I Saw Her Standing There
Great Balls of Fire
Barbara Ann Sax Solo
Reelin and a Rockin
Think it Over
Bob Timmers, Rockabilly Hall of fame web page
E-Mail Bob Timmers
Web Site link to Denny Noie
E-Mail Jerry Williams
E-Mail Bob Oskey
This Page was fully approved by: Gerald Van Dynhoven (Jerry Williams)
Created by: Alan Van Dynhoven (R.I.P.) (Jerry and Carol's Son)
Updated by: Wendy VanDynhoven (Jerry and Carol's Daughter) March 08, 2011 Copyright © 2011
Jerry Williams Rockets - Blueberry Lane - 1962