DJ GARRISON'S MUSICAL BIOGRAPHY
DJ GARRISON'S MUSICAL
Look for all the buttons to hear lots of music.
Background music is DJ playing his version the "Neverending Story" theme. How appropriate.
Every odyssey needs a starting point, so we can find that point in 1965
when DJ was chosen as a finalist in the ALL NAVY TALENT CONTEST.
. . .(the cover of the program featuring DJ in the finale)
That was no small accomplishment as contestants were chosen from all world-wide
Navy bases, squadrons, and ships. Walking away with a third place overall, and the chance to be the featured artist in the Grand Finale
DJ was hooked forever!
Years passed with DJ working both as a Passenger Service Manager with American Airlines
in Detroit, MI and moonlighting as a "Go-Fer" for MoTown
Records. This was the best learning experience a young,
eager song writer and performer could ever get!! Being exposed to the business-like
methods of Berry Gordy, "Smokey" Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and others left lasting memories that the music
industry is not just "fun and games", but require a lifelong dedication to the
persuit of perfection (even if never reached). It was during this time that DJ was introduced, by Marvin Gaye to Jack "Black Jack" Ashford
who was just starting his own lable,"Triple B Records". Jack signed DJ to his very first recording, and writer's contract.
DJ's group "Right Hear and Now" was given a great opportunity, but it just wasn't meant to be.
In 1974, after the tragic death
of his Mother in a car wreck and the subsequent passing of his Father, DJ left the "real"
world behind forever. Teaming up with one of Detroit's most talented drummers, Jim
Purol (better known to TV viewers worldwide as Jim Mouth)[ http://www.jimmouth.com ]he struck out on the road with
his comedy musical duo called "RUSH HOUR".
________That was back then_______________________________________Still friends in 2017_________
After a few years of playing the Playboy Clubs, various supper clubs, and a brief stint
in Las Vegas, DJ felt he was ready for a solo recording career. Jim Purol was off to Los Angeles
to persue his own career in comedy, so the parting was amiable. Out of respect for what they had accomplished
DJ bought the rights to an independant record lable called "Rush Hour Records" and went into the studio
in Des Moines, Iowa to work on his first album. The project was titled "CHILDREN OF THE WORLD", and
although not much of a success did release the single "THE WINDOWS OF OUR LIFE" which got air play
as well as fairly strong jukebox play in the midwest. . . .
Click to hear songs from "Children of the World"
Although some very limited fame was coming his way, DJ was restless to get back on the road. After
running some ads in the trades he teamed up with a group out of Chicago named "City Kids", and formed a full tilt show band.
These groups (actually the same group, just two names) toured the entire US playing resorts, show rooms, and theaters
from border to border.
Click to listen to Rainbow Connection live
By 1981, permanent road life was beginning to take its toll. DJ asked if the band had a city they would like to settle down in.
Guitarist Barry Corbin, his wife Laurie, and keyboardist John Kania thought about going home to Chicago, while vocalist Dia Colleen, drummer
Parker Bandy, and DJ had their sights set on Indianapolis, IN (although DJ was not from Indiana it was there that his record had
received the most air play and he had done many promotional radio interviews and felt that he could parlay that into some "door opening").
It was decided that the band would split, on a very friendly basis, into two groups with Barry naming his half "NIGHT ANGEL" with thoughts of heading
back to Chicago, (although, as fate would have it, they headed to Indianapolis, also). DJ took the others, moved to Indianapolis,
hired three more players and formed the group "INDIANA JONES". The "Jonses" and "Night Angel" played some of the same gigs, and stayed in touch for a while.
Click to listen to Indiana Jones live
Timing is EVERYTHING in the music business, and Indiana Jones was the lucky recipient of some of the best timing ever.
Their brand of heavy five and six part harmonies backed by two powerful guitarists playing covers of the top 40 hits was just what
was needed in a town trying to shake its "Country" image. Ten years of local success attested to the power of this group.
Although many changes were made over the years in personnel, all players remained friends and family, especially during the passing
of two of their brightest stars, Steve Foster and Craig Lowe.
By 1990 DJ was feeling a pull to return to the roots of rock 'n roll that he had loved over the years with very little
outlet. He turned over the reins of Indiana Jones to Dia Colleen and set about to put together "the best damn '50s band in the midwest".
DJ started studying what it took to really being tops in that field. Nationally SHA-NA-NA seemed to epitomize the genre, but in the
midwest THE VAN-DELLS were at the top of the heap!! Without knowing what the future would bring, DJ became a fan of The Van-Dells and
saw them at many venues while puting together his own oldies review band "JIM SHOE & the SNEAKERS".
Click to hear Jim Shoe & the Sneakers
Yeah! That's DJ's car!
After almost ten years of being "Jim Shoe" DJ felt it was time to take a break from performing to devote time to other endevors.
During that time he had released his second album entitled "THE GIFT I BRING" which had reawakened his urge for writing. Having
written music and poetry most of his life he decided to turn to serious writing and began his first book, "GOD IS..." (still a work
in progress, but nearly completed). He also continued writing music and received his highest honor in 2001 when one of his pieces was chosen
as the opening number of Indianapolis' "CIRCLE OF LIGHTS FESTIVAL" a major televised event the day after Thanksgiving ushering in
the Christmas holiday season.
Click here to see the performance
The thrill of performing his own composition (with heavily orchestrated background tracks which he
recorded himself) in front of 110,000 people and a television audience of up to a million more was certainly a pinacle moment in a
lifetime devoted to entertainment.
This seemed to be the right moment for permanent retirement but fate was not yet through. At the 2002 James Dean Festival in Fairmount, IN.
DJ ran into his old favorites THE VAN-DELLS. On noticing that they were without a keyboard player he worked up the courage to ask
if they might consider allowing him to try out for the position. Once again, good timing and good fortune came together to add yet another
exciting chapter to DJ's career. He was accepted and enjoyed his position in The Van-Dells Band.
The final chapter seems to have come at last as DJ and his lovely wife of 27 years, Donna moved to a beautiful home on a lake
high in the mountains of Tennessee where they perform under the name of
"COMMANDER FLASHBACK'S TRAVELING PARTIES"
To see DJ & Donna performing together, click here
Life is good and if there are any updates or additions to this life full of blessings and surprizes they will be gladly added to this page.