• The Hawkeyes

    (bottom) Derk Simonson, Dixie Davenport, James Williams & Don Roeder (top) Bob Arvin

    The Hawkeyes (Iowa City, Iowa)

    Personnel :

    Dixie Davenport (Lead)

    Derk Simonson (Tenor)

    James Williams (Tenor)

    Don Roeder (Bass)

    Discography :

    1957 - Someone Someday / Who Is He? (Sky 2635 / Capitol 14764)
    1957 - Full Moon Above / I'll Be There (Capitol 3813)


    Biography :

    The story began in 1957 when Tom Ecker, formerly of Waverly and at the time a senior at the State University of Iowa, went looking for some talent to make appearances around campus. His first discovery was his female lead, Dixie Davenport of Anamosa. Later, through reports that the Sigma Alpha Epsilon social house had a fine swinging quartet, Ecker investigated and after little persuasion, induced Don Roeder from waterloo and Dark Simonson from Lagrange Ill.to join the group. As such the group sang one performance, Roeder, Bass, Ecker and Simonson, the two tenors and Dixie, Lead. However, Ecker discovered that he was no singing rage after that one show and they picked up Jim Williams from Homewood, Ill. This is how the group appears but with much more polish and showmanship than the group that got together to sing at campus cutups.

    The Hawkeyes
    (bottom) Dixie Davenport (top) Derk Simonson, James Williams & Don Roeder

    After a few shows around the Iowa City area, Ecker thought The Hawkeyes were good enough to goon record. The only trouble was, he had to prove it to the big record companies. In March 1957, he formed the Sky Record Co. and the Hawkeyes went on wax as the first, last and only group to appear under that label. Due to Lack of gold, Ecker could provide no more than a one-piece background, so Bob Arvin, a fraternity brother of Roeder's and Ismonson's was called to play Bass. The group cut a tape of "Someone Someday" and "Who Is He?" a couple of numbers that Ecker and his wife composed. The tape completed, they sent it to a Detroit from to be put on a platter.

    The Hawkeyes

    The records returned from Detoit and were distributed throughout the state to radio DJ's and record counters. After a little while the platters began to sell and finally, demand exceeded existing supply. It proved one thing to Ecker, whose dreams expanded with each sale. The group had something to sell. His next stop was to get them on a name label, with in this day of romp and stomp, is like trying to con an english teacher out of better grade. With the help of Ford Roberts, a Cedar Rapids record spinner, the group sent records to four or five of the top recording companies. Roberts acting as go-between for the Hawkeyes with the companies, heard from three. The group signed with Capitol. In May 1957, Sky Records was disbanded forever and Capitol took over the Iowans.


    In September, they go together again and flew to Hollywood, home of Capitol. For five days they appeared at the United Artists Theater where they sang 21 performances along with Frankie Lymon and Lavern Baker. The five day  stint was arranged by Capitol to help the group pay for the trip. On their sixth day in California, they cut their first record for Capitol. Capitol had arranged a four piece combo of guitar, bass, piano and Drums to back the group. They recorded four numbers including "Full Moon Above", "I'll Be There" with were released shortly afterward . The Other two numbers, "Waiting In The Dark" and "Don't Play Game With Me" will be released when the sale of the first Capitol record have dropped of. Following their recording date, the Hawkeyes returned to Iowa. They never heard the finished record until it was released.

                                                                                                                                    Dixie Davenport
    As for royalties, the group is paid once a year.  They confess that not a great deal of money is made on the record unless it gets up around the million mark. The money lies in night club appearances. Records provide the artist with a means of building up a name for himself. The Hawkeyes returned to school. During the year they have made several personal appearances around the Iowa City area. Unfortunately, and despite their contract "Waiting In The Dark" and "Don't Play Game With Me" will never be released and the group will split up shortly after.

    Songs :
    updated by Hans-Joachim

       Full Moon Above / I'll Be There                     Someone Someday / Who Is He


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