Mankato band travels to Minneapolis and records a national hit song




The  Gestures

1962 – 1966


1962: Four students from Mankato get together and form a new band called The Jesters.  The original lineup is: Dale Menten on guitar and lead vocals; Donald Gregg “Gus” Dewey on guitar and backup vocals; Tom Klugherz on bass guitar and backup vocals; and Bruce Waterston on drums.  Dale, Gus and Bruce are students at Mankato High School and Tom is a student at Loyola High School.  The band plays cover versions of popular songs on the radio and perform around the Southern Minnesota area for school dances and city dances.  The group also plays at the Mankato Armory.

1963: Dale Menten decides to write original songs for the band and comes up with a tune called “Run, Run, Run” which the band adds to their song list.

1964: The band makes a garage recording of the song and gets the tape to Bob Sparrow, a DJ on KTOE Radio in Mankato.  Bob likes the song and gets a copy of the song to Jim Madison in Bloomington who runs a small record company, Oxboro Records, and Ringneck Publishing.  Jim is also working with Dave Dudley, a country artist from Wisconsin who had a national hit record with “Six Days on the Road.”

August 16, 1964: Jim gets the band into Kay Bank Recording Company in Minneapolis where they record four songs including “Run, Run, Run.”  After the session Jim plays a tape of the four songs for Lou Riegert, a DJ at KDWB who is known as “Loveable Lou Riegert.”  Lou (a singer himself) likes the songs and makes a suggestion for Jim to pass on to the band: re-record “Run, Run, Run” with a faster bass drum beat.  Two weeks after the first session, the band returns to Kay Bank and re-record the song, with Lou Riegert in charge of the production.

Jim Madison and Lou Riegert set up a new company called Dawn Enterprises to manage The Jesters.  Jim strikes a deal with Amos Heilicher for the record to come out on the Soma label and the band’s first 45 is given the green light to be pressed up.

Someone discovers that there is a band called The Jesters out of California who have a new record out and The Jesters from Mankato become The Gestures.  The 45’s that have been pressed with the band’s old name have to be re-labeled with the new band name.

Fall, 1964:  Soma Record releases the band’s first 45 with “Run, Run, Run” on the A-side and “It Seems to Me” on the B-side (also written by Dale).

November, 1964: “Run, Run, Run” by The Gestures enters the Billboard Hot 100 and the Cash Box Top 100.  In the Twin Cities the record hits Number 1 and also is Number 1 in New York City, Number 3 in Los Angeles, and Number 3 in Oklahoma City.  In addition to Billboard and Cash Box, the record is mentioned in Music Business, Record World, Mike and Mickey Behind the Scenes, and the Bill Gavin Report.

The band plays a concert at the Kato Ballroom with the Everly Brothers.

December 3, 1964:  The song reaches Number 60 in Cash Box.

December 20, 1964:  The song reaches Number 44 in Billboard, it’s highest chart position in the Hot 100.

1965:  With a national hit record (played on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand), the band signs on with booking agent Jimmy Thomas out of Luverne, Minnesota.  The band can now make $350 to $500 per show, twice as much as they had been making prior to the hit record.  The band plays for the Ray Farner Auto Shows including a stop in Oklahoma.

The band travels in their white Chevy van to Canada to play a number of shows in Toronto and Windsor with The Orlons and singer Ronnie Dove.  While traveling around the country, the band makes an ominous discovery: their record is being played on the radio in numerous cities, but the record is not available in the local record shops and is being back-ordered.

Summer, 1965: The band returns to Kay Bank to record more songs including more original songs written by Dale.  Dale decides to leave Mankato and relocates to Bloomington.

Soma Records releases the band’s second 45, the A-side is “Candlelight” and the B-side is “Don’t Mess Around.”  Both songs are written by Dale.  The record is played in the Twin Cities, but does not produce a follow up hit.

A band from Hutchinson, Minnesota, Mike Glieden and the Rhythm Kings, records two songs written by Dale under the name The Only Ones.  Side A is “With This Kiss” and Side B is “The Party’s Over.”  The 45 is released on Sight Records, a label run by Jim Madison and Lou Riegert.

Mike Glieden leaves the Rhythm Kings and Dale Menten takes his place, playing with Larry Hoffmann, Steve Maurer and Ron Beckman. The band changes their name to The Only Ones and shortly after that they have another name change to The Best Things.

Late, 1965: The Best Things record two more songs written by Dale. The A-side is “You May See Me Cry” and the B-side is “Chick’s are for Kids.”  This record is released on the United Artists label.

Dale decides he enjoys the recording studio and becomes disenchanted with playing on the road due to the long travel times, unruly crowds at some jobs, and not always getting paid for the work.

1966:  Dale decides to leave The Gestures and Bill Miller (from the Accents) joins the band on keyboards and vocals.  The band is now based out of Mankato.

Bill Miller leaves the band and Dan Duffy joins the band on guitar and vocals.

Late, 1966:  The Gestures come to an end.



In 1980 “Run, Run, Run” by The Gestures was included on a vinyl compilation album called Pebbles Volume 9.   The album consists of 16 songs and includes songs by The Outsiders and The New Colony Six.

In 1995 a vinyl album and a CD were released with sixteen songs recorded by The Gestures at Kay Bank in 1964 and 1965.

In 1998 “Run, Run, Run” by The Gestures was included on the Rhino Records expanded CD reissue of the Nuggets double album that was released in 1972 on the Elektra label.  The four CD’s contain 118 songs which includes the original 27 songs from the 1972 double album.  “Run Run Run” is Song 12 on Disc 3.

In 2004, “I’m Not Mad” by The Gestures was included in a compilation album called Garage Beat 66, Volume 2.  Also on Volume 2 was “Chicks Are For Kids” by The Best Things, written by Dale Menten.

In 2007 The Gestures were inducted into the Rock Country Hall at a ceremony/concert held at The Medina Entertainment Center.  Dale Menten, Tom Klugherz, and Dan Duffy were present for the event.

On December 1, 2012 The Gestures performed at a tribute concert held for Gregory Dee (Maland) of Gregory Dee and the Avanties at Famous Dave’s in Minneapolis.  In the band were: Dale Menten on guitar and lead vocals; Tom Klugherz on bass guitar; Dan Duffy on guitar and vocals; Mike Riddle on guitar and vocals; and Mike Pengra on drums and vocals.

On October 17, 2014 The Gestures played a concert to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of “Run Run Run” which was held at the Kato Ballroom in Mankato, Minnesota.  Playing in the band for the event were: Dale Menten on guitar and lead vocals; Tom Klugherz on bass guitar and vocals; Dan Duffy on guitar and vocals; Arnie Marshall on guitar and vocals; and Mike Penga on drums.  Also playing on the bill were: Paul Durenberger; Dan Duffy Orchestra; City Mouse; and Murphy Brothers.  The guitar used by Gus Dewey (original member of The Gestures, now deceased) was on display for the evening.

Written by Tom Campbell

Version 1: July 15, 2013

Version 2: August 15, 2013

Copyright by Thomas R. Campbell, 2013.


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

photos go here





The Gestures_____________BAND  TREE       


The Gestures

1962  to  1966


Dale Menten            Guitar  /  Lead  Vocals          1962  to  1966



Seraphic Street Sounds

Blackwood Apology

Solo Artist


Gus Dewey          Guitar  /  Backing Vocals        1962  to  1966


City Mouse


Tom Klugherz            Bass Guitar   /  Backing Vocals            1962  to  1966



Bruce Waterston         Drums         1962  to  1966



Bill Miller              Keyboards  /  Lead Vocals        1966




Dan Duffy            Guitar  /  Vocals          1966




Where are they now?

The  Gestures     Where  Are  They  Now  ?  


Gestures  1962  to  1966


Dale Menten          Guitar  /  Lead  Vocals          1962 to 1966

Active  in  Music           Yes

Doing  What  ?………..  Living in Minnesota,  playing solo and reunions.


Gus Dewey          Guitar  /  Backing Vocals      1962 to 1966

Active  in  Music            No

Doing  What  ?…………   Passed  away at age 57 on January 4, 2004. 


Tom Klugherz          Bass  Guitar  /  Backing  Vocals     1962 to 1966

Active  in  Music            Yes

Doing  What ?……………. Living in Minnesota, playing reunion shows.


Bruce Waterston          Drums    1962 to 1966

Active  in  Music            No

Doing  What ?……………. Passed away.


Bill Miller          Keyboards  /  Lead Vocals   1966

Active  in  Music           No

Doing  What  ?………..   Passed away at age 69 on February 12, 2015, was living in Rio Grande, Texas.


Dan Duffy          Guitar  /  Vocals     1966

Active  in  Music            Yes

Doing  What ?……………. Living in Minnesota, playing reunion shows. 





Interview PART ONE