The Do's & The Don'ts

The Escorts, later known as The Do's & Don'ts
1950s and 60s Music from Cedar Rapids, Iowa


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The article, The Escorts Back In Spotlight Again by , was printed in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on July 30, 1997. It announced the induction of The Escorts, later known as The Do's & Don'ts, a rock band specializing in 1950s and 60s music, into the Iowa Music Hall of Fame. This article has been reproduced in it's entirety with written permission granted by the Gazette reprint editor. Reprinted with permission (c) 2004 The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Gazette (Cedar Rapids-Iowa City)
July 30, 1997

The Escorts back in spotlight again
'50s rock 'n' roll group tapped for hall of fame

Author: Ann Scholl Boyer

Back in the late 1950s, Dick Sherman was playing big band music when a musician friend convinced him he needed to take up rock 'n' roll to make any money.

Dick learned the new music form - and how. On Aug. 31, the rural Ely man and his wife Zelda will be inducted into the first ever Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Shermans are two of the four original members of The Escorts, one of Eastern Iowa's first rock 'n' roll bands. Another original member, Roger Booth, of Washington, will be on hand for the honor. The original guitar player, Dick Burns, died in 1984. His widow, Sandy Burns, of Washington, will represent him.

In April 1959, the Escorts played their first job in the window of the Montgomery Wards store at the store's grand opening in Washington, Iowa.

For six years, the band booked its own gigs throughout Iowa, created promotional materials and pressed its own records.

In 1966, Red Bird Records, a national recording label based in New York, picked the band up. The Escorts became The Do's and The Don'ts.

The band released eight records nationally. Its most popular song was "I Wonder If She Loves Me," which hit both Billboard and Record World Top 100 charts.

"We had crowds everywhere we went," Zelda remembers. "We had our pick of bookings."

They played all the major ballrooms in Iowa. The Shermans remember playing 21 straight nights. They had to schedule vacations a year in advance because they were booked solid.

"Had the label stayed in business, who knows" how successful the group would have become, Dick notes. The record company folded shortly after the group signed on.

In 1972, Zelda and Dick left the group to pursue other interests. The Do's and The Don'ts continued without the Shermans until it disbanded in 1983.

Meanwhile, Dick and Zelda took a year off. "It was harder than I thought," Dick says of leaving the profession. "We had to get back in it!"

Dick and Zelda performed as a duo for a year, along with a drumming machine they named Harvey. When the vibrations from the dancers caused ol' Harvey to throw the beat off, the Shermans decided to again put together a four piece band and again call themselves The Escorts.

"I liked to see people have fun," says Dick, 58. "If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't do it. I just enjoy seeing people having a good time and dancing."

"I just like to play any chance I get," Zelda adds.

When Dick got the band bug, he was playing Glenn Miller music with fellow musicians at the University of Iowa. He played an upright bass. "Rock 'n' roll was just starting to become known," he recalls.

A musician friend who was playing in a popular local band at the time told Dick he had to learn to play rock 'n' roll if he wanted to make money as a musician. Dick followed his friend's advice, getting together to learn the new music form in his dorm room with his next door neighbor Dick Burns.

"We were having fun with it. It was new to me," Dick Sherman recalls.

The two men grabbed Roger Booth, a drummer in the Hawkeye Marching Band. Zelda joined the group after Dick gave her an organ for Valentine's Day in 1962. That summer, she started playing with the band.

"I only played organ in church," Zelda recalls. "From that, my husband assumed if I could do that, I could play in a rock 'n' roll band. I didn't know anything about playing in a rock band."

Today, the group includes the Shermans' son, Rick, on drums; Frank Glaser, of Hiawatha, on guitar. Larry Smith, of Cedar Rapids, plays trumpet and keyboard.

Roger Booth has been playing with the group recently and will play with The Escorts when it performs Aug. 31 at the Roof Garden ballroom in Arnolds Park. The Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in its first year, is located at the Roof Garden.

The Escorts now play Top 40 country, rock 'n' roll from the 1950s and 1960s and "everything in between," Dick says.

Their son Rick, 36, began playing with the group when he was a junior in high school.

"He wasn't very advanced at the time," Zelda recalls. But Rick was dependable so his parents asked if he wanted to join them all the time. "He's a joy to work with," Zelda says.

The Do's & Don'ts Band original members: Dick Burns, Dick Sherman, Roger Booth, and Zelda Sherman.
 

Caption: The Escorts will be inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in August. Original members are (from left) the late Dick Burns, Dick Sherman, Roger Booth, and Zelda Sherman. See more pictures of the band.

The Escorts Do's & Don'ts Band 1997 Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Picture on the left: Past and present members of The Escorts, later called the Do's and Don'ts, include (from left) Dick Sherman, Larry Smith (Now Deceased), Zelda Sherman, Rick Sherman, Frank Glaser, and Roger Booth (Now Deceased).


This article was reprinted with permission (c) 2004 The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The content of The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is protected by federal copyright laws and may not be reprinted without written permission.

The Do's & Don'ts
For bookings contact Dick Sherman
650 Palisades Access Road - Ely, Iowa 52227
Phone: (319) 848-4913 E-mail:
www.EscortsDosDonts.com

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