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WCJO_July 4, 1975_Barge_Mississippi River_VidCaps

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WCJO_July 4, 1975_Barge_Mississippi River_VidCaps
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Dave Sletten Remembered: A History of the Early Wolverines CJO

AMERICANA Classic Jazz ORCHESTRA

In a rare moment of cooperation, the City Governments of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN collaborated to make possible an unusual Fourth of July Surprise for unsuspecting folks along the banks of the Mississippi River: A tugboat was hired to push a barge from the West Bank of the University of MN in Minneapolis through the Locks separating the two cities on through to the St. Paul side, carrying
 
The Original Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra (1973 - 1979)
 
There was a Professional Video Cameraman on the scene, but that footage is nowhere to be found.  However, a friend of Joe Demko's also had a Videocam and shot some footage as the band was about to embark on the Journey.  These Video Captures are from that footage.  It was a very short film and the shooter was equally as interested in the Female Pulchritude witnessing the event as he was in the Band, but there were some very nice shots, nonetheless. 
 
This footage is the only Video available for this Early WCJO unit.  (There was some footage shot by WCCO-TV when the band went to Chicago to play at a club called Ratso's, which was also the first time Jabbo Smith played with the band, but it was erased--Idiots!)
 
It was great fun to approach various beach areas along the way and see peoples' reactions to a 12-piece Classic Jazz Orchestra blasting away!  Bandleader Ted (who can't swim and is basically Hydrophobic) was relieved to not have lost his balance and fallen into the Old Mrs. Miller River.  Dave Sletten (very fair-skinned) got more Sun than he probably should have and was beet-red by the time we finished.  But all agreed it was a memorable one-of-a-kind experience. 
 
 
 
 
 

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Back: Time Sullivan, Mark Bruner--trumpets; unidentified cameraman; Brett Forberg--drums.
Middle: Steve Benson--guitar, banjo.
Front: Johnny Olson--violin, piano; Ted Unseth--leader, alto sax, clarinet; Dave Sletten--tenor sax, clarinet.
 
 
 

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          Charles (Chuck) Greve III--tuba, bass.

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Steve Sandberg, trombone.

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Joan (Joanie) Gudmestad, vocals. 

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Mark Bryn, piano, soprano sax.

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Cathy Sletten, Joanie Gudmestad.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Joe Demko--banjo, guitar, vocals.

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Joe Demko, Ted Unseth.

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Off to the Locks and St. Paul--what a Blast!