Early Bands of Anchorage
by Gary R. Smith
(Grand Junction, CO. USA)
The Five Pages
My father, Gene Smith, moved up to Alaska in the 1930s. He was a musician, played sax and trumpet, and formed one of the earliest bands in Anchorage. The KFQD Serenaders.
(I've attached pictures)
The band played live on KFQD throughout WWII, as well as playing local clubs including the Elks.
My dad played up into the 70s. I even have pictures in my 1963 WAHS (West Anchorage High School) annual of him playing at one of the school dances.
In 1961, I started performing in local bands. The first was with John “Jackie” Goodman, Cradoc “Dick” Bagshaw, Fred Johnston, Larry Monroe and Darryl Smaw. That band was called the Von Essex's and was the first band to play at the “Royal Pad”.
One of Ron Moore's friends was Darwin Lamm. Darwin had a number 1 record in 1960, and came to Anchorage and performed at the Pad. We were the band that backed him there.
After John Goodman left town and joined the Navy, I formed the band “The Five Pages”. That band included Don Huhndorf, Cradoc Bagshaw, Larry Cleveland, Bob Smith, and Caesar Romero.
We mostly played the military clubs on Elemendorf and Ft. Rich.
We did play on the roof of the Bun Drive in. Ron Moore had a battle of the bands night.
I left Anchorage in 1964 but have continued a career in music.
We had a great time back then.