Denny Read rocks on
Eagle Grove artist, Street Band inducted to Hall of Fame
In the late 1950s and early 60s, the rock ‘n’ roll genre gained momentum in Iowa. Soon every radio station was playing this new music all over the airwaves. Every town and city had at least one rock ‘n’ roll band.
It wasn’t until 1997 that the Iowa Rock ‘N’ Roll Music Association formed. It is a group that provides music education programs statewide to schools, churches and youth groups. The IRRMA also inducts bands, musicians and others that have contributed to rock ‘n’ roll music in Iowa into a Hall of Fame every Labor Day weekend.
Denny Read, from Eagle Grove, has had the honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame twice.
“I was never in chorus or band growing up so I had no professional training in music,” Read said. “I told a few classmates who were looking for band members I knew how to drum, even though I had never played the drums before, and from there we formed the band The InSex. After graduating high school we broke apart and a few of us merged with another local band.”
That band became Lincoln Reed and the House Rockers.
Lincoln Reed and the House Rockers was inducted into the IRRMA Hall of Fame in 1999. “Lincoln Reed” was the stage name for Denny Read.
The group was very popular in central Iowa. It was known for strong stage presence, which included choreography, tight instrumentation, and killer vocals.
“We were known as blue-eyed soul band,” Read said, “It was quite unusual at the time for a group of white males to be singing soul music, but we became popular throughout the state of Iowa because of our take on soul music.”
The House Rockers formed in the fall of 1966 by merging two area bands together. The group was managed by then Iowa State University student, Charlie Walker. He was very successful in getting the group known statewide. Today he serves on the board of directors for the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Association, as well as serving as its legal counsel.
“Charlie never heard the word ‘no,’ and his involvement is part of the reason we became so popular.”
Read had to drop out of the band when he enlisted in the Navy during the Vietnam-era draft.
“It was such an honor to be inducted just three years into the begining of the IRRMA,” Reed said.
The other group he was in, named Street Band, was started in the early 90s in Webster City. It has made apperances at the Iowa State Fair, World Pork Expo, and was a party band for the Iowa Barnstormers.
Street Band was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.
Read was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2002 that spread to his liver, then to his lungs which was part of the reason he left the Street Band in 2001 after an eight year run.
“It became time for me to do something else,” Read said. “It ran its course for me and I needed a change.”
For six years, he battled stage 4 colon cancer, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. As of early 2016, he is cancer free and no longer undergoing treatments.
Surviving his cancer also gave Read another chance to perform with Street Band, during the annual IRRMA Induction.
Every now and then, Read will still perform with his former bandmates.
“The InSex still gets together every five years for our class reunion to play a few songs for our classmates and Street Band will also come together, but it is more rare.” Read said.