2016 Nebraska Music Hall of Fame Inductees – The Country Ramblers

country-ramblersThe Country Ramblers

The Country Ramblers band was started in the summer of 1971. The band members then were: leader, vocalist and guitarist Jack Merrill from Silver Creek, NE; bassist and vocalist Dale Parker also from Silver Creek; lead guitarist and vocalist John Johnson from Columbus, NE; and drummer-vocalist Rick Graham from Silver Creek. This group played together for three years for numerous weddings, anniversaries, parties and bars around Silver Creek, Columbus and the surrounding area.

In 1974 two members moved on. Ron Sypal of Columbus was a new member on lead guitar, and George Thielen of Shelby, NE joined the group on drums. The group’s first female vocalist, Denise Klassen of Silver Creek, was with the band for a few years. Then Moni (Nienaber) Albrecht joined the group in the early 80s. Also in the 1980’s the band picked up Jutta Graham (bass guitar, Columbus). Later on Mike Allen (guitar, Columbus) and Howard Ernst (guitar, Columbus) would also be part of the Country Ramblers.

Since their inception in the early 1970’s, they have been playing country, classic rock, and even polkas and waltzes across the state of Nebraska for more than four decades.

In 1978 they made their first recording at Renee Sound Studios in David City, NE, produced by Bud Comte. The album “Just for You” was released on 8-track tape and over 600 copies were sold.

The band played some of Nebraska’s most historic and popular ballrooms: the Flying V, Utica; Oak, Schuyler; Starlite, Wahoo; Havens, Clarks; Pioneer, Silver Creek; Platt Deutche Hall, Grand Island. All across Nebraska many fans enjoyed their music.

Most recently they have been playing for veteran’s events, such as the Nebraska Viet Nam Veterans Conventions in Columbus, Omaha and Norfolk. In Norfolk they played the DeVent Center opening for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.

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