Early rock band from White Bear Lake




The Corvets

1959: Eddie Barkdoll, his brother Norm Barkdoll, and Don Kaste were all students at White Bear Lake High School. White Bear Lake is a north suburb of Saint Paul. The three students were all musicians and formed a band called the Corvets with Eddie on vocals and guitar, Don Kaste on guitar, and Norm Barkdoll on vocals and drums. The band rehearsed in the basement, living room and garage of the Barkdoll home on 5thd and Cook. Don lived one block to the north at 6th and Cook.

Eddie made a solo appearance at the Prom Center in Saint Paul and was introduced by Bill Diehl (a DJ at WDGY and a writer for the Pioneer Press) as “the mighty mite of music.” Eddie performed one song, “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry, backed up by the Glenrays, a local band from St. Paul. Bill Diehl went on to promote the band for many years.

The trio learned to play a number of songs, all instrumentals, including: “Rawhide” and “Rumble” (Link Wray); “Raunchy” (Bill Justis); “Rebel Rouser” and “Ramrod” (Duane Eddy).  They also worked out an instrumental version of “Lonesome Town” by Ricky Nelson.

The Barkdoll’s mother, Norma, took on the job as booking agent for the band (commission free).

The three band members went to the White Bear Armory where they saw Duane Eddy and Dale Hawkins perform.

Late 1959 /Early 1960: The Corvets played their first job at Sunrise Park Junior High. Since the band only knew a few songs, they repeated the same six songs over and over again throughout the performance.

1960: Jim Benson joined the band on guitar. Bruce Raykowski joined on guitar and Don moved over to bass guitar.

1961: Rocky Holbrook joined the band on bass guitar and Don Kaste moved back to guitar. Bruce Raykowski left the band. In the same year, Chuck Schrantz joined the group on sax, making them a five-piece band.

The band recorded their first 45, released on the SOMA label. The A-side is “Wailin’ Wailin’ Party” and the B-side is “Scramble.” Both songs were written by Eddie, Norm, Don, Jim and Rocky. Eddie sings lead vocals on the A-side. The B-side is an instrumental.  The songs were recorded at Kay Bank in Minneapolis. Playing on the record are:

Side A: “Wailin’ Wailin’ Party”

Eddie Barkdoll: Lead vocals and guitar.

Don Kaste: Guitar.

Jim Benson: Guitar.

Rocky Holbrook: Bass guitar.

Norm Barkdoll: Drums.

Side B: “Scramble”

Eddie Barkdoll: Guitar.

Don Kaste: Guitar.

Jim Benson: Guitar.

Rocky Holbrook: Bass guitar.

Norm Barkdoll: Drums.

Sometime after the recording in 1961, Jim Benson left the band.

1962: Rocky Holbrook left the band and Jerry Lemaire joined the group on bass guitar.

November, 1962: Don Kaste entered the military service which lasted until October, 1965.  Dave Clauson joined on guitar and Chad Jewitt took over on bass guitar after Jerry Lemaire left the band and would later join the touring version of the Hondells, a studio group put together by songwriter and producer Gary Usher, that had a national top-ten hit with “Little Honda” in 1964. More changes followed in the same year, with Bob Severson taking over guitar from Dave Clauson and Roger Kirk taking over bass guitar from Chad Jewitt. Also, Dave Johnson took over on tenor sax after Chuck Schrantz left the band for a period of time.

1963: Two DJ’s at KDWB, Randy Cook and Donald K. Martin, took on the job of booking the band.

Clarence Hajney, an early supporter of local rock bands, booked the Corvets for a number of Ray Farhner auto shows, often with other local bands, such as The Uniques, Keith Zeller and the Starliners, and Tim (McManus) and the Galaxies.

1964: Bob Severson left the band and Eddie assumed lead guitar duties. Roger Kirk left the band and joined local St. Paul band, Tim and the Galaxies, and Jim Roban joined the band on bass guitar. Chuck Schrantz rejoined the group on saxophone. Also, the band added a keyboard player for the first time, Larry Scovill. Larry also played: bass guitar; guitar, flugelhorn, and flute. When Jim Roban played harmonica, Larry would switch over to bass guitar.

At this time, the band signed a management agreement with Lou Riegert (from KDWB) and Jim Madison (owner of Golden Wing record label) that scored a national crossover hit in 1963 with “Six Days on the Road” by Dave Dudley.

The band returned again to Kay Bank to record their second 45, again released on the SOMA label. The A-side is “You Don’t Want Me” and the B-side is “Want To Be Happy.” Both songs were written by Norm. Lou Riegert and Jim Madison produced the 45. Playing on the record are:

Side A: “You Don’t Want Me”

Eddie Barkdoll: Lead vocals and guitar.

Larry Scovill: Keyboards.

Chuck Schrantz: Alto Saxophone.

Jim Roban: Bass guitar.

Norm Barkdoll: Drums

Side B: “Want To Be Happy”

Eddie Barkdoll: Lead vocals and guitar.

Larry Scovill: Keyboards.

Chuck Schrantz: Alto Saxophone.

Jim Roban: Bass guitar.

Norm Barkdoll: Drums

The A-side gets airplay on KDWB as well as WDGY, the two Top-40 format stations in the Twin Cities and is briefly in the number one spot in the Twin Cities Top-40 market.

1965: The band returned once again to Kay bank to record their third 45 and records their third 45. This record is released on the local Recar label.  Once again, Lou Riegert and Jim Madison are the producers.  The A-side is “So Fine” (a cover song) and the B-side is “Can It Be” written by Eddie.  The B-side is an instrumental. Playing on the record are:

Side A: “So Fine”

Eddie Barkdoll: Lead vocals and guitar.

Larry Scovill: Lead vocals and keyboards.

Chuck Schrantz: Alto Saxophone.

Jim Roban: Bass guitar.

Norm Barkdoll: Lead vocals and drums.

Side B: “Can It Be”

Eddie Barkdoll: Guitar.

Larry Scovill: Keyboards.

Chuck Schrantz: Alto Saxophone.

Jim Roban: Bass guitar.

Norm Barkdoll: Drums.

In October, 1965, the band went into Dove Recording Studio in Bloomington to begin recording their fourth 45. The eventual B-Side was recorded first.

After the B-Side was recorded, Chuck Schrantz exited the band and the group was once again (temporarily) a four-piece. In November, 1965, Don Kaste rejoined the band on guitar following his military service. Jim Roban left the band and Preston Bowen took over on bass guitar.  Larry Scovill also left the band to join the army and Dave LeMire took over on keyboards.  The A-Side was recorded in January/February, 1966, with the revised band lineup.

The A-side is “Nobody Likes This Man” written by Eddie and the B-side is “Goin’ Away” written by Eddie.  The 45 is produced by Jim Madison and released on the Cardinal label. Playing on the record are:

Side A: “Nobody Likes This Man”

Eddie Barkdoll: Lead vocals and guitar.

Don Kaste: Guitar.

Dave LeMire: Keyboards.

Preston Bowen: Bass guitar.

Norm Barkdoll: Drums.

Side B: “Goin’ Away”

Eddie Barkdoll: Lead vocals and guitar.

Larry Scovill: Keyboards

Jim Roban:  Bass guitar.

Norm Barkdoll: Lead vocals and drums.

Starting in 1966, Norm wanted the band to be playing on a full time basis and the group began playing at two night clubs in downtown Minneapolis (the Red Baron and the Scotch Mist) and two night clubs in St. Paul (the Belmont Supper Club and the Flamingo Club) in addition to playing teen clubs and dances.  For jobs in the clubs, the band played with four members instead of the five members for teen clubs and dances. Jim Madison came up with the band name “The Four-Fifths” for club dates.

The band went into Dove Recording studio in Bloomington for their fifth and final 45. The sessions are produced by Jim Madison and Dale Menten, who formed a company called Madmen Productions.  The 45 is released on the Dial label, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records.  The A-side is “A Nickel And A Dime” written by Eddie and the B-side is “I’m Free” also written by Eddie.  Playing on the record are:

Side A: “A Nickel A Dime”

Eddie Barkdoll: Lead vocals and guitar.

Don Kaste: Guitar.

Dave LeMire:  Backing vocals and keyboards.

Preston Bowen: Bass guitar.

Norm Barkdoll: Lead vocals and drums.

Side B: “I’m Free”

Eddie Barkdoll: Lead vocals and guitar.

Don Kaste: Guitar.

Dave LeMire:  Backing vocals and keyboards.

Preston Bowen: Bass guitar.

Norm Barkdoll: Lead vocals and drums.

When the 45 was released, the band was very surprised to discover that the record company had decided to use the band name “The Four Fifths” on the record label.

1967: Don Kaste takes over on bass guitar after Preston Bowen exits the group.

1968: Don Kaste leaves the band and Jim Roban takes over, once again, on bass guitar. Dave LeMire leaves the band and joins a regional show band, Dave Major and the Minors. Larry Scovil returns on keyboards, and Bruce Menier adds guitar, flugelhorn and flute. Norm Barkdoll leaves the band and Kip Grayson joins the group on drums.

1969: The band comes to an end prior to the new decade.

National bands the Corvets opened up for:

Prom Center: Wanda Jackson; Roy Clark; the Fireballs; the Ventures; and Conway Twitty; Dion and the Belmonts; and Tommy Roe.

Kato Ballroom, Pla-Mor Ballroom, Turf Ballroom: Everly Brothers; Del Shannon; Dion and the Belmonts; and Bobby Vee and the Shadows.

National bands the Corvets backed up:

Dion (solo); the Shirelles; Dale and Grace; Tommy Roe; and Lenny Welch. Also, the Rip Chords (Terry Melcher and Bruce Johnston) at Ted’s Ballroom.

Norm played drums for Jan and Dean at a concert at the Minneapolis Auditorium.


Tom Campbell

Version 1: May 7, 2020

Version 2: August 22, 2020

Copyright Thomas R. Campbell 2020


Venues where the Corvets played:

Terp Ballroom – Austin, MN

Bloomington Roller Rink – Bloomington, MN

Excelsior Amusement Park – Excelsior, MN

Big Reggie’s Danceland – Excelsior, MN

Frederic Roller Rink – Frederic, WI

Harmony Roller Rink – Harmony, MN

Ted’s Ballroom – Hatfield, MN

Senior High School – Hayfield, MN

Gray Goose Pavilion – Hersey, WI

Kato Ballroom – Mankato, MN

Aldrich Arena – Maplewood, MN

Medina Ballroom – Medina, MN

Milltown Dance Hall – Milltown, WI

Late Night Dance Party – WCCO TV – Minneapolis, MN

Marigold Ballroom – Minneapolis, MN

The Red Baron – Minneapolis, MN

The Scotch Mist – Minneapolis, MN

University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN

Monterey Ballroom – Owatonna, MN

Pine Island Cheese Festival – Pine Island, MN

Skyline Ballroom – Red Wing, MN

The Palms – Renville, MN

River Falls Roller Rink – River Falls, WI

University of Wisconsin – River Falls, WI

Pla-Mor Ballroom – Rochester, MN

Spencer Roller Rink – Spencer, IA

St. John’s University – St. Cloud

Belmont Supper Club – St. Paul, MN

Coca Cola Headquarters – St. Paul, MN

Flamingo Club – St. Paul, MN

Ford Parkway Union Hall – St. Paul, MN

Gillette Children’s Hospital – St. Paul, MN

Jewish Community Center – St. Paul, MN

Minnesota State Fair – St. Paul, MN

Prom Ballroom – St. Paul, MN

Town House – St. Paul, MN

Whiskey A Go Go – St. Paul, MN

YMCA – St. Paul, MN

Gustavus Adolphus College – St. Peter, MN

Senior High School- West Concord, MN

Gallager’s White Elephant – West St. Paul, MN

Senior High School – White Bear lake, MN

Sunrise Junior High School – White Bear Lake, MN

White Bear Lake Armory – White Bear Lake, MN


Compiled by Don Kaste, Norm Barkdoll and Eddie Barkdoll



When I think of the Corvets, I always go back in my memory to the times when we first started the band. I believe it was sometime in the fall of 1959. The band consisted of three White Bear Lake neighborhood friends, the Barkdoll brothers, Norm and Eddie, and myself. Norm, age 15, was the drummer, he was a drummer in the High School band. Eddie, age 13, and myself, age 14, were taking guitar lessons at the time and were also spending time listening to current top ten hit records and trying to learn how to play them. We were able to figure out a couple of instrumentals, so we decided that we should be a band. Not sure where the band name, the Corvets, came from. Our first job was at a Sunrise Park Junior High School dance (in White Bear Lake) and we had about four or five instrumentals. If I remember correctly, some of the songs were two Link Wray songs,” Rumble” and “Rawhide,” a Duane Eddy song, “Rebel Rouser” and I think an instrumental version of “Lonesome Town” by Ricky Nelson. We had a large audience and they requested encores twice, so we played the same songs for the two encores. Welcome to the big time.

On February 1, 1961, we shared the bill at the Prom Ballroom in St Paul with Conway Twitty, who was doing rock and roll at the time. He went country a few years later. Between the time we started the band in the fall of 1959 and this Prom gig we had added Jim Benson on rhythm guitar and Rocky Holbrook on bass guitar. Over that period time, we learned a lot of songs, both instrumental and vocal and had played a few places here and there around the Twin Cities. Eddie picked up the vocal duties after a solo appearance earlier at the Prom Ballroom, backed by the Glenrays, where he was heard by Bill Diehl of radio station WDGY. Bill promoted Eddie as the Mighty Mite of Music because of his small stature, he was only 14 at the time. Mr. Diehl went on to promote us for a few years afterwards. Conway Twitty and his band mates (a trio) were complete gentlemen. In spite of the age difference between us, they cordially spent time visiting with us in the dressing room during a couple of the breaks. It’s a wonderful memory.

During the summer of 1962, I think July, we shared the bill with the Everly Brothers at the Kato Ballroom in Mankato Minnesota. It was a Sunday afternoon show and it was standing room only, about 3,000 people. I have to admit, when we walked out to open the show and I saw how many people were crammed in the ballroom, I became very anxious. The Everly Brothers used a backup trio; guitar, bass and drums and they were all excellent musicians. If I remember correctly, Don Peake was the Everly’s guitarist at that time. He went on later to become a member of the Wrecking Crew, the fantastic group of studio musicians in Los Angeles in the mid to late sixties. I don’t recall meeting or talking to the Everly Brothers, with so many people milling around it was complete pandemonium. I do recall that the ballroom PA system was subpar and did not do justice to their great, tight harmonies. It was another unforgettable time for me with the Corvets.

Don Kaste

August 25, 2020



The Corvets song “You Don’t Want Me” was included on a double CD compilation of Minnesota bands called: “The Big Hits of Mid-America: The Soma Records Story” released in 1998 on Plum Records (Simitar Entertainment, Maple Plain, Minnesota).


Photos  (Click a photo to see it full-screen, then click the arrows to see the next one.)


Corvets – Norm – Chuck – Eddie – Don           Corvets – Chuck – Eddie – Norm – Don


Corvets Band Photos – Barkdoll Residence – White Bear Lake, MN – March 1961

Top Row – Jim – Norm – Rocky                         Don – Jim – Norm – Eddie – Rocky

Bottom Row – Don – Eddie


Corvets at Polar Chevrolet – White Bear Lake

1963 – Car is a 1963 convertible Corvette

Top Row – Larry – Norm – Chuck

Bottom Row – Jim – Eddie










Eddie Barkdoll    Guitar and Vocals    1959 to 1969



Norm Barkdoll    Drums and Vocals     1959 to 1968



Don Kaste    Guitar and Bass Guitar    1959 to 1962 / 1965 to 1968




Johnny No Cash Band

Eric Thomas Duo


Jim Benson    Guitar    1960 to 1962



Rocky Holbrook    Bass Guitar    1961 to 1962



Jerry Lemaire    Bass Guitar    1962 to 1964


Hondells (touring version)


Jim Roban    Bass Guitar    1964 to 1965


City Slickers

Frank Waggaman


Chuck Schrantz    Saxophone    1961 to 1966



Larry Scovil    Keyboards and Vocals    1964 to 1966 / 1968 to 1969



Dave LeMire    Keyboards and Vocals    1966 to 1968


High Spirits

Dave Major and the Minors

Clay and Vicky Campbell Show



Lucky LeMire (solo act)


Preston Bowen    Bass Guitar    1966 to 1967




Kip Grayson    Drums    1968 to 1969 



Bruce Menier    Keyboards, Bass Guitar, Guitar, Flugelhorn, Flute    1968 to 1969



Where are they now?


Eddie Barkdoll: Retired. Living in California.


Norm Barkdoll: Retired. Living in California.


Don Kaste: Retired. Living in Minnesota.


Jim Benson: Deceased.


Rocky Holbrook: Retired. Living in Minnesota.


Jerry Lemaire: Unknown.


Jim Roban: Retired. Living in Nevada.


Chuck Schrantz: Retired. Living in Wisconsin.


Larry Scovill: Passed at age 64 on May 19, 2010. He was living in Minnesota. 


Dave LeMire: Playing in Lucky LeMire (solo act). Living in Minnesota.


Preston Bowen: Retired. Living in Minnesota.


Bruce Menier: Retired. Living in Minnesota. 


Kip Grayson: Retired. Living in Minnesota.