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B. G. Ramblers

Toledo, 1954-71


Depending on who or when it's asked, the BG in the BG Ramblers stood for Bowling Green or Blue Green or....This band started as a polka band made up of young teens. The founding members were Jerry Suminski on organ and John Zankl on tenor and alto sax. In the big Toledo band explosion around 1960, they added more rock-n-roll to their sound and adopted the name B.G. Ramblers as several of the members were attending Bowling Green University. In 1963 the band band members included Suminski, Zankl, Billy Price on guitar, Bob Koons on drums, John Ahlfors on bass and trumpet, and Ken Pimental on alto and baritone sax. Other later members included Jerry Ahlfors, Pete Mousoulias, and others TBD. The band was usually six, but occasionally they had a seventh member. Prior to the BG Ramblers, Billy Price was in the Biscaynes. 

The band started out playing the Toledo and Detroit nightclubs, but they were mainly known for travelling the US and  having several residencies. In February of 1964 they were in Miami Beach at the same time the Beatles were there peforming on Ed Sullivan and had a picture taken with them. During 1966-1968 they played extended periods at Goose Bay in Labador where the main audience were soldiers from a local Air Force base. Tha band played other USAF related clubs in other cities, along with stays in Jacksonville, FL and Indianapolis.


Ad from August 1968

The band recorded three 45s during their existence, the first two were club band type sounds, while on the last 45 they were backing Connie Little (Ruby Starr) which led to the formation of the band Ruby Jones including a couple former members of the BG Ramblers. The first and last 45s were released on the band's own labels, while the M label was based out of Fort Wayne, IN, another city where they band often played. 

The band broke up in 1971, and several members settled in Florida which had become the band's home. Bob Koons, John Ahlfors, Jerry Ahlfors are deceased.

Exit Stage Left / Hey Mr. Popeye - Sparkel 1297, 1963
Get A Little Closer / Those Little Brown Eyes - M 1277, 1965
Don't Mess With Cupid / Bad Girl - Rambo IV 100, 1968