History
No seventies group represented Canada's musical identity to the world like THE STAMPEDERS. A quick look at Canada's music scene from 1971 until 1976 confirms The Stampeders were truly the country's international musical ambassadors. Instead of trying to blend into any specific format, they developed their own identity, which was both entertaining to watch in concert, and to listen to on radio and records. The Stampeders also toured more extensively in Canada and overseas than any other Canadian group of the same period.

While there were various line-ups of the group during their 15-year run, the three-man line-up of RICH DODSON, KIM BERLY and RONNIE KING was, by far, the most successful and most widely-adored by the fans.

The group's beginnings can be traced back to Calgary in 1964 with a band called The Rebounds, formed when drummer, Kim Meyer (KIM BERLY), answered an ad placed in the paper by bassist, BRENDAN LYTTLE, and guitarist, RICH DODSON. The Rebounds consisted of RICH DODSON (lead guitar), LEN ROEMER (rhythmn guitar), BRENDAN LYTTLE (bass guitar), KIM BERLY (drums) and Kim's brother, Al Meyer (RACE HOLIDAY), on lead vocals.

In January of 1965, The Rebounds entered into a relationship with manager, Mel Shaw, and officially became The Stampeders. Len Roemer was replaced by Cornelis Van Sprang, known professionally as RONNIE KING, and his brother, Emile, who used the stage name VAN LOUIS. The six-man group started wearing assorted-coloured denim outfits and cowboy hats with the idea of promoting a group of cowboys playing rock 'n roll. During their first year as a band in Calgary, they had one single release on the SOTAN label entitled "House of Shake" b/w "Don't Look At Her."

Anticipating better things to come, The Stampeders decided to move to Toronto in 1966. At the invitation of Bigland booking agent, Ron Scribner, the six-man group, along with Mel Shaw and his family, loaded up their $800, used, '62 Cadillac limousine and U-Haul trailer, and left Calgary heading east to the 'big lights' of Toronto. Though most of the members were under the legal drinking age, they managed to beg, borrow and work their way across Canada, playing bars and various one-nighters. Upon their arrival in Toronto, the Western-Canadian band, with their yellow denim T-Kays, cowboy boots and hats, became an immediate curiosity in the folk-oriented, hippie clubs of the Yorkville district. Though the first year was an extremely lean one, the band managed to survive the six-month, Toronto Musician's Association's initiation and find work in the bustling Toronto club scene.

The Stampeders finally had a breakthrough late in '68 with a single they recorded while on a sight-seeing trip to New York. Released on the independent label, CARAVAN, "Morning Magic" b/w "All The Time" wasn't much of a sales success, but critical acclaim earned the group a BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) Award.

The first major-label single release, "Be A Woman" b/w "I Don't Believe," came in 1968 on the MGM label in the U.S. Though the record was done with a studio rhythm section and only featured the band's vocals, it was to be The Stampeders' final release as a six-member group. Late in 1968, the three oldest members - BRENDAN LYTTLE, VAN LOUIS and RACE HOLIDAY -left the band, leaving the line-up of RICH DODSON, KIM BERLY and RONNIE KING.

The period from late '68 to the mid '70's was a time of evolution for the new, three-man Stampeders in which they would develop their own sound, a sound that would take them around the world. The stage set-up had Dodson on guitar, King on bass and Berly on drums, while all three members shared lead vocals. With the exception of Dodson, the cowboy hats came off, they all still wore boots, but the colored T-Kay denim outfits became history. During this period, the band toured around Ontario and Quebec developing their stage show with the help of their new road man, lighting-wizard, Stan Whitcher, winning fans and becoming an in-demand club and one-nighter attraction.