By Daniel Holm
Chancellors” of Minneapolis, MN, was comprised of talented
young musicians from the Twin Cities region. Dan Holm, 4110
Upton Ave. S., Minneapolis, Bandleader, played bass and
later lead guitar throughout the life of the band. John
Hughes, 3819 Glenhurst Ave., on drums and David Rivkin, 3725
Glenhurst Ave., lead guitar, were both from St. Louis Park.
Mike Judge, 7309 Union S., Richfield, played rhythm guitar.
All participated in vocals and the group was known for its
tight harmony. The picture at right is from 1965.
Holm, playing lead guitar, founded “The Continentals.” Steve
Adams of Minneapolis, rhythm guitar, and John Hughes (before
moving to St. Louis Park) on drums, played their first gig
at Southwest High School, April 6, 1962.
A newspaper article from the Spring of 1963 states, “During
the past school season the Continentals have played for
events sponsored by the Southwest high school Indianettes,
St. Louis Park high school, Susan B. Anthony junior high
school and the Bill Carlson television show. Lake Harriet
and Minnetonka Yacht clubs, Southwest Activities Council and
Anoka high school have recently had the Continentals play
for their parties.”
Tom De Biaso of De La Salle High School came in on bass
guitar for the summer of 1963 and John Hughes moved to St.
Louis Park. Steve Adams and Tom De Biaso both dropped out of
“The Continentals” that autumn. This opened the door for
John Hughes’ neighbor, David Rivkin, to join the band and
Mike Judge to come in shortly after.
performing as “The Continentals”, the group changed their
name to “The Chancellors” in 1963 due to a redundancy of the
Continental name in the local market. “The Chancellors”
remained popular, playing the upper Midwest into the early
1970s. In 1965 they graced the cover of local music magazine
"Twin City a Go Go."
Represented by St. Louis Park residents, Ira Heilicher, 4241
Basswood Road and Dick Shapiro, 4440 W. 25th St.. “The
Chancellors” were the first group that the partnership of
Path Musical Productions Company (later, Central Booking
Agency with Bill Diehl) approached.
Path Productions, produced
“The Chancellors” October 13, 1964 recording session at Kay
Bank Studio in Minneapolis that yielded “Little Latin Lupe
Lu,” “YoYo,” So Fine,” “Surf Beat,” “Charlie Brown” and “I
“Little Latin Lupe Lu/YoYo” was released under the Soma
record label, owned by Amos and Daniel Heilicher, in the
United States and Apex records in Canada.
Chancellors” cover of the Bill Medley classic debuted on the
WDGY Tiger Survey chart December 26, 1964. Climbing to #1 in
Minneapolis, January 23, 1965 and remained at #1 for 3
weeks. “Little Latin Lupe Lu” listed on the WDGY and KDWB
Minneapolis “Top Forty” for 11 weeks. The recording also
listed in the “Top Forty” Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha and
St. Louis radio markets. The article at right is from
January or February 1965.
“YoYo,” written by Mike Judge in the American “Rock-a-billy”
style, was included on the German album “Eagle 301”in 1975,
and the Belgium album “Inferno 1001” in 1988 (reissued on CD
The “B” side of “So Fine,” written by James Gribbles, was “
I’m A Man” by Ellas McDaniel (Bo Diddley), recorded by “The
Chancellors” on May 12, 1965, and released the same year.
“So Fine/I’m A Man” also reached the “Top Forty” on
Several of the “The Chancellors” recordings were included in
the compilation album “The Big Hits Of Mid-America Volume
II,” Soma Records, released in 1965; “The Big Hits of
Mid-America, The Soma Records Story 1963-1967,” CD format,
Plum Records, released in 1998. Also in 1998, Sundazed
Music, Inc. of Coxsackie, NY distributed “The Soma Records
Story Vol. 1, Vol. 2 and Vol. 3."
On May 3rd of 2008, the
Hall of Fame (formerly known as the Minnesota Rock
Country Hall of Fame) inducted original members, Holm,
Hughes and Rivkin. Mike Judge who died July 11, 1996, was
inducted posthumously. Ron Butwin of St. Paul, MN, who
replaced John Hughes when Hughes entered military service in
May of 1966, also was inducted. Kevin Bowe, rhythm guitar,
performed with Holm, Hughes and Rivkin at the Hall of Fame.
Rivkin, lead guitar, with “The Chancellors” for three
years (9/63-9/66) was also recognized at the 2008
Mid-America Music Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in
the music industry.
Subsequent members were Ralph Burger, lead guitar, Jim
Farragher, drums, Bruce Bartl, keyboard, Jerry Harvieux,
bass, John Rawson, bass and Cheri Thorne, vocalist. Doug
Ahrens performed with the group as a substitute drummer.
Woody Woodrich occasionally filled in on guitar.
“The Chancellors” disbanded at the end of 1967. Dan Holm
resurrected the group with original drummer, John Hughes for
one year from May 1971 to 1972.
Holm, Hughes, Rivkin and Judge played a reunion performance
at the Medina Ballroom in 1982.
For more, see the band's