This was addressed to my sister, Marjie Orton, back when she lived in Olema, CA which is near where I now live. Every quarter (I think) we did a newsletter which went out to our fans who signed up for it. There were well over 1000 names, if memory serves, which we kept on little file cards in a metal case (I still have the case… except now it’s empty! The cards are long gone.) I am not sure what issue number this is, but Art would put it together in his print shop and religiously mail it out time after time. Fortunately, this one from 1977 survived. It’s a little tattered, but still very readable. I am not sure how many more there are… if any. But it was fun writing for them. As with all of the pictures on our site, they can be clicked on to expand them so they are readable.
Part one was from our leader, Jonny “Silver” presenting his 1977 Silver Awards. Item 1, Jon’s sister, Jonee got married that year which made the top of the list. Item 2 was ex-member, Steve Elliot’s impressions. Item 3 says we had a Silver Laughter booth at the Mississippi Valley fair manned by Jon’s brother Kim (former drummer by this time) and kid sister, Lolly (short for Lois, Jon’s mother’s name.) I don’t remember the booth at all, but I do remember we played there. Jon was hypnotized by the hypnotist, Vandermede, during our break and got Jon to sing “Rock and Roll Music” a Capella. Also mentioned in this section are my Aunt Mimi (mentioned elsewhere on this website: mom’s brother, Johnny Foss’s wife), my Aunt Helen (on my father’s side), Paul’s parents, my parents, lights and sound man Carl’s parents, Ken’s parents and Jon’s parents. My father, Morton Orton, was separately named for Fair Sentinel Duty… whatever that was. Thankfully, our folks were squarely behind our musical efforts and were very proud of us. They often showed up at different performances to support us.
Item 4 was a mention of my sister’s band at the time, Honey Creek. Did I tell you she is also a musician and has recorded her own album, “Coast Is Clear” which may be found here. Item 5 is the bouncer at the Red Bull, Norfolk, Nebraska with whom we became friends. Item 6 was about Citizen’s Band radio handles which we used to communicate to each other on channel 15 when cruising the road. Item 7 again talks about Jon’s little sister, Lolly, trying to quit smoking. Item 8 is a shout out to Jon’s dad, John and Art “Smart” for great promotional work. Item 9 was a shout out to Frank Wiewel who engineered our second album (also mentioned elsewhere on this website.) Item 10 I have no idea to what it is referring, except that it must have been a couple of fans from Canada (misspelled on purpose, I expect). This is the first indication that we toured Canada in the summer of 1977. If you are wondering what some of the other words and phrases mean, refer to the article I wrote about Silver Laughter speaking in code!
Part two is my contribution to the newsletter while I was still called Mike. I think I tried to emulate John Lennon’s story about how the Beatles were formed and did a silly write-up about how Silver Laughter came about. Not sure I succeeded.
Part three is Ken’s contribution… and a great one, I might add. He talks almost exclusively about our new album (which was later dubbed “Sailing on Fantasies”) and the songs on it. He signs off using a John Lennon line from our Beatles tribute, “… but I just haven’t enough pens.”
Part four is from Paul. His opening statement indicates that this was a winter newsletter as he talks about it being white with snow outside and wishing it was next spring. In closing he says hello to Bev and PJ, one of our earliest fans we met at Donovan’s Reef in Redwood Falls, and her infant son. He also says hi to Dave (of The Contents Are:) and Teresa. I do not recall who Sandy was.
Part five is from Carl Frisch, sound and light man. This seals it as to when this newsletter was done; end of the year 1977 before Thanksgiving.
The rest of the newsletter is full of advertising about our newest single, “Lover”. Page 4 is our itinerary for the remaining dates in 1977 as well as for the upcoming 1978 year. In one of my opening posts, I lamented at not knowing the cities where some of the nightclubs on our calendar were located. Had I found this treasure first, it would have been a gold mine of information. As it is, I am lucky to have found it intact. Yes, it was printed on YELLOW paper. We’re not THAT old!