Studio History – The Artists

Sunrise Sound: 1977 – Current

In 1972, local musician Denny Johnson completed his courses in studio technology and engineering at the Institute of Audio Research in New York City.  Denny returned to Minnesota with the idea to have his own recording studio.

In the summer of 1977 Denny began construction of a new recording studio, starting out with two rooms, a 10’ by 15’ control room and a 12’ x 20’ main room. The control room was equipped with a Tascam 12 in by 4 – 8 out mixing board, a Teac 3340 4-track recorder, JBL 4311 and Auratone monitors Orban Reverb and some Shure microphones. The main room had all sound proofed walls and ceiling, with sound Bogos, and a set of Ludwig drums.

1979: With a strong desire to have a bigger and better studio, Denny formed a partnership with local musician and longtime friend John Richardson.  Denny and John were both playing with local band Sunrise at the time.  They soon replaced the 3340 Teac 4-track for a Tascam 80-8 8-track recorder and  picked up a Neumann U-87 Microphone along with some Sennhauser microphones.  In addition, they added Urei Limiters, LA-4 Compressors, noise reduction and other modern recording equipment.  After a few years together, Denny takes over as a sole proprietor and decides to once again to upgrade the studio.  The Tascam board was replaced with a Studiomaster 32 in 16 out, with full patch bay and the Tascam 80-8 Track recorder was replaced by a Fostex B-16 – 16 track machine, emulators, keyboards, computers and other various electronic gear.

Throughout the 1980’s and up to 1990, the studio was booked 5 to 7 days a week, with a continual acquisition of various electronic/musical gadgets and gizmos.

Some of the bands and musicians
who recorded at the studio were:


Dave Waggoner (Crow, South 40, Jokers Wild and Whiskey River)

Rockin’ The Night Away – from “The Sessions” CD


Cynthia  Johnson (Lipps Inc., Dr Mambo’s Combo and other bands)

Love Ain’t A Game – from “The Sessions” CD


Joey  Molland  ( Badfinger )

Border  Line  –  from  the  Sessions  CD


David Island (Jonny Lang and Dr. Mambo’s Combo)

Heavens Heaven – from “The Sessions” CD


Ipso Facto (local reggae group with Wayne McFarlane)

Communication – from “The Sessions” CD


Michael Holm (Visitor, Jessie Brady, Dick Tracy and other bands)

Waiting For Love – from “The Sessions” CD


Arizona (with Lonnie Knight)

It’s Rainning – from “The Sessions” CD


Big City Featuring Mark Gallagher (former lead singer with The Litter)

Piece of My Heart – from “The Session” CD


Boday (also know as Jeff Christensen)

Streetwalker – from “The Sessions” CD


Amorina’s Handshake

Ben Hill

Bill LeBold

Brian Gallagher



I Like To Rock – from “The Sessions” CD


Chas  Carlson

Chris Gilbertson

Be My Love – from “The Sessions” CD


Cliff Curtis Jr & Maurice Young

Danny Simmons


Dave Reed

Stroh’s – from “The Sessions” CD


Denny & The Toronados

Dick Tracy Band

Doug Belton

Edger Ortease

Ernie LaViolette


Exspensive Prank

Runnin’ – from “The Sessions” CD




George Parrish & Leon Curtis

Greg Inhofer


Guilty Party

Those Girls – from “The Sessions” CD


Head Over Heels


Ira Ferguson

Yes Jesus Loves Me – from “The Sessions”CD


Jack Doepke

Jim Gordan

Jerry Headler

Joe Savage


John Richardson

Don’t Call Me Sweetheart – from “The Sessions” CD


John Sims Jr


John Thompson

Hardest Thing I’ve Done – from “The Sessions” CD


John Vezner


June Rice

Been Burn’t Again – from “The Sessions” CD


Keith Nance

Kevin Sylvers


Kollodge & Adolphson with Brad Shulz and Randy Anderson

Oh Yeah – from “The Sessions” CD


Lana Loch

Crying – from “The Sessions” CD


Larry Larson

Larry Past


Mark Hucal

This Heart – from “The Sessions” CD


Mark May

Time Is The Distance – from “The Sesssions” CD


Metro All Stars

Mike Boylan

Mike Hurley

Mike Rejsa



Orvin Thompson

Diligent Love – from “The Sessions” CD


Peter Johnson

Phil Berbig


Rich Kid

Twice As Much – from “The Sessions” CD


Rick Baron

Colt 45 – from “The Session” CD


Rick Gilmore

Ricky Rocket


Ron “Honeybear’ Hort

Vikings (Inta Vorta Vinta) – from “The Sessions” CD


Silas Sharp

In Your Eyes – from “The Sessions” CD




Steve Clifford Group

Without A Song – from “The Sessions” CD


Steve Dock

Baby Don’t Look – from “The Sessions” CD


Steve Durtzu


Tom Cook

Wrestle Rock – from “The Sessions” CD


Touch and Go

The Girl I’m Dreaming Of – from “The Sessions” CD


Uncalled Four

Reload The Gun – from “The Sessions” CD


US Kids


Wendell Anderson

Bring It On Home – from “The Sessions” CD


Wise Guy


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