Dr. J's Blog
Rock and Roll History, News & Views
By Cole Waterman
BAY CITY, MI — Nearly five decades since a group of first generation Americans recorded one of the best known and most influential songs of the 1960s in a humble, homespun studio in Bay City, the ditty is garnering recognition in its hometown.
Equal parts protopunk and garage rock anthem, Question Mark and the Mysterians' "96 Tears" is to be declared Bay City's official rock 'n' roll song by Mayor Christopher Shannon at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14, at Old City Hall, 814 Saginaw St. Following the dedication, the band is expected to perform at the downtown Bay City eatery.
Shannon said he has been in discussions with local music historian Gary Johnson for some time regarding how to properly give the song some recognition.
For a ten-year period from 1958 through 1967, the top nightspot in Bay City, Michigan, was Art Narlock’s Empire Show Bar. The biggest attraction at the club during the 1960’s was a Canadian rock and roll band billed as Roy Hockley and The Chessmen featuring Joie Jaye. Playing six nights per week, the band routinely packed the house at the Show Bar before Narlock’s business began to crumble due to financial difficulties that were rumored to be the result of gambling debts caused by heavy losses at Las Vegas casinos.
MRRL's 2014 vote ended at the stroke of midnight on June 1st. Benny & The Jets from Detroit finshed in first by a wide margin in the popular vote for the online Hall of Fame. The Chentelles from Fennville, MI, finished second; Michael Katon from Hell, MI, came in third; and Detroit's Marshall Crenshaw was fourth in the balloting.