the Myrchents

Mechanicsburg, 1965-8

The Myrchents began as the Nomads, which included Jimmy Carmean (from Mechanicsburg) on guitar, Jack Brooks (from Milford Center) on guitar, Jack's cousin Keith Dickess on bass, and Steve? Baumgartner on drums. Jim Carmean's family had a rental house on their property which covenienly became the pratice space. The Nomads played the 3 chord frat rockers like the Kingsmen, Chucy Berry, etc. After some discussion the group decided to get serious and change their sound to Byrds/Stones scene, so they got Bill Edwards (from Plain City) on lead vocals and Rick Callender on drums. Rick was a 14 year old prodigy from Devonshire whose parents needed some convicing from the band members, including band practices at their house, to let Rick join. Jimmy's cousin Dale Carmean, a couple years older, joined on keyboards and the band became the Myrchents in early '66. The group didn't have many places to play in their small communities so they got jobs at the Marysville Armony, Valley Dale, and the Blue Dolphin swim club. Dale Carmean had some money from a trust fund (he had just turned 21) so the group decided to cut a record. They recorded three songs and after listening to the playbacks chose Keith Dickess' songs, "Indefinite Inhibition" and "All Around You", featuring Jack Brooks' Fender Strat (on the A side) and Vox 12 string (on the B side) tuned up for maximum twang-ring! Both sides are super teen garage rock. WCOL gave "All Around You" some spins and it fared well in a "Battle of the Platters" competition. Stations in London and West Jefferson also gave it some play. To promote the record they made a WCOL on-air appearence with the Supremes, a black vocal group from Columbus (who made a nice 45 on Ace back in '60). Dale Carmean joined the Army in May of'67, and Jack Brooks took over on keyboards. Bill Edwards also left and Jack did the majority of the vocals, including the second Myrchents 45. The group returned to Musicol and Keith Dickess had been engaged by John Hull to start a rock-n-roll subsidiary of Musicol that would work as more of a record label. The name was Ironbeat and the Myrchents were the first Ironbeat "signing". Mark Kreis of Marysville played keyboards on the record, that featured two Dickess-Brooks collaborations, "Darkest Hour" and "I Gotta Know If You're Leaving". "Darkest Hour" got airplay on WCOL but despite hard plugging by Dickess and the group, including visits to several radio stations, only a trial pressing of 200 were sold, and the record is much harder to find than the first. Rick Callender joined the Marines and was replaced with former Soul drummer Gene Hanselman. Jimmy Carmean left and group reorganized - Jack Brooks on guitar, Mark Kreis on keyboards, Keith Dickess on bass, and Gene Hanselman (replaced by Bob McCarthey at the end). This lineup didn't last long as the group broke up in summer or fall of '69. Mark Kreis had a long and still active career in the Columbus music scene, including running a recording studio in his native Marysville. Bill Edwards is deceased.