Colorado native Dean Reed was a virtual unknown in America. But in South America, East Germany and Russia, he was a superstar entertainer, often referred to as “the Red Elvis.” His albums sold in the hundreds of thousands across the Eastern Bloc, and he starred in dozens of foreign-language movies.
In 1959, the kid from Wheat Ridge High reached #24 on the Billboard national chart with “Lonely For You.” “A Girl Like You,” “Starry Eyed” and a cover of Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” also charted, and most of Stites’ eight local smashes landed on Denver radio station KIMN’s Top 10.
Band Box Records
Band Box enjoyed limited national hits on the Billboard country charts, but most Colorado artists in the late 1950s and early 1960s cut records at the recording studio. The biggest local success on the label was drummer Ronnie Kae, who took the instrumental “Drums Fell Off a Cliff” to #2 on KIMN in late 1963.