Back row: Dan Reed on Guitar / Kathy Fults on Drums, Percussion and Vocals / 
Jim Cunningham on Hammond B3 Organ, Keyboards and Vocals / Omar Bilal on 4 & 5 string Electric Bass
Front row: Glen "Bummer" Ward on Drums, Percussion and Vocals / Mike Fruin on Trumpet & Flugelhorn /
Matt Myler on Trombone

 

GLEMMER MUSIC PRODUCTIONS
"Bummer the Drummer & The Kansas City Streetband"
Biography

 


It all started way back in 1947 in a little town situated in the very middle of the state of Missouri. That town, Fayette, Missouri (population 2,798) is the birthplace of singer-song writer and drummer extraordinare Glen "Bummer the Drummer" Ward.

Glen Ward picked up the nickname "Bummer" when he had visions of being a prizefighter. At that time the heavy weight champion of the world was Joe Louis and he had the nick-name the "Brown Bomber". Glen Ward took the nickname "Bomber" but very quickly it became "Bummer" due to numerous mispronunciations by his toothless playmates.

In 1959 at the age of twelve years old, Bummer enrolled in the Lincoln Public School music program. He learned to play the saxophone, the sousaphone, the guitar, the piano, the drum kit and conga drums. Weeks of wood shedding and many months of bashing out blues and R & B finally lead to the launching of that proverbial first garage-band called "The Egyptians". The band played the "Chitlin Chain Circuit" all over the state of Missouri. They played in every "juke joint" within a one hundred fifty-mile radius of Fayette, Missouri.

The year was 1965 and at the young age of eighteen Bummer graduated from Fayette High School and hit the road. He had gotten a gig in Columbia, Missouri with an eleven piece horn band playing some heavy hitting soul music charts. Bummer was playing James Brown, Solomon Burke, Bobby "blue" Bland and Sam & Dave songs with the best band in the area. That band was called the "Soulsters" and consisted of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, two tenor saxophones, four female singers and one lead male vocalist. That gig lasted until 1968.

Bummer moved on and ended up in New York City. He had been hired by "Roulette Records" (whose stable of artists included "Tommy James & The Shondells", and "Johnny Mathis") to play with acoustic folk recording artist Don Cooper who released three albums on the label. At Roulette Records Bummer honed down his chart reading and studio recording chops, as well as his singing chops. He moved into a second floor apartment in Greenwich Village on the corner of Bleeker and MacDougal Streets. He played showcase gigs in Greenwich Village at the "Bitter End", the "Uncola Festival" in upstate New York. He shared the billing with the likes of Joni Mitchell, Tim Hardin (who wrote the Bobby Darin hit song "If I Were a Carpenter"), The James Cotton Blues Band, and was generally just lollygagging around amongst the New York City crazies. The gig in the "city that never sleeps" came to an end in 1969.

 Some free lancing and a few years later, the year was 1973 and Bummer hooked up with a legendary guitarist-songwriter from Hilton Head South Carolina by the name of Jack Williams. The musical fit was good, so Bummer the Drummer and Jack Williams hit the road. They added a bass player and ended up at the Dillon, Colorado Holiday Inn. In the audience was another legend, Harry Nilsson. Harry Nilsson wrote the hit song "One is the Loneliest Number" for the famous rock band "Three Dog Night". He also released a number of hit albums on RCA Records and became best known for his association with the Beatles. After a lot of requests for songs by the Beatles, he had decided that the band had the right stuff to hit the big time. The plan was for RCA Records to fly the band to Los Angeles, California for ten days of recording sessions to be produced by Harry Nilsson for Nilsson House Productions, with an album in mind. The recording sessions involved spending fourteen-hour days and nights in the studio. Richard Perry was the recording engineer. Richard Perry is probably best known for producing "Barbara Streisand", "Tiny Tim", "Carly Simon", "Art Garfunkle", and "Derek and the Dominos" featuring "Eric Clapton". Bummer sang, played the drum kit and the conga drums for the recording sessions. He also had the good fortune of being able to showcase and later record two of his songs ("Uncle Roody's Pipe"and "Afraid to Tell Ya So") during those recording sessions. Unfortunately the prospective record deal fell through so the band broke up.

In 1974 Bummer moved back to Columbia, Mo. After piles and piles of trials and tribulations in 1977 Bummer gathered together some musicians, got picked up by an agent in Kansas City, MO., and moved there. And thus began the saga of The Kansas City Streetband". The band played in and around Kansas City, Mo. in all of the prime nightspots and in some that were not so prime. The touring schedule and numerous personnel changes made it necessary to set up a home-base in Columbia, MO. Along the way Bummer the Drummer has shared the stage with, and opened for some of biggest names in the music business. They include blues guitar legend "Buddy Guy", the queen of the blues "Koko Taylor", Legendary country music song writer and performer "Jerry Jeff Walker" (he wrote to song "Mr. Bojangles")the late great "Albert King", harmonica virtuoso "Charlie Musselwhite", "38 Special", "The Little River Band", "The James Cotton Blues Band", "Chuck Berry", "John Lee Hooker", and the ever-popular "Robert Cray Band". Bummer the Drummer and The Kansas City Streetband have played all over the US and performed for the USO in the Caribbean.

The band will release their third compact disc later this year. Two previous compact discs, (the first entitled "SOUND FROM THE STREETS" released in 1994, and the second entitled "MEANWHILE BACK AT THE RANCH" released in 2003) can be purchased on the band website at www.kansascitystreetband.com. The forty plus years of touring, making records and paying dues has paid off in Bummer's superb three octave vocal range and his "in the pocket" drumming

 

 

The Kansas City Streetband Free Mini Concert

FOR BOOKINGS CONTACT
GLEMMER MUSIC PRODUCTIONS
PMB 177  2101 West Broadway
Columbia, Missouri  65203
660-248-3002 / cell 573-881-7048 / Fax 573-445-3788
Web Site: www.kansascitystreetband.com
Email: info@kansascitystreetband.com
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