HARD CORE country rockers – Larry Park, left, and his uncle Babe Laam, right, both enjoyed successful music careers, Larry with local bands like the Lenzmen, and later with a myriad of southern California country rock bands. His band “Boy Howdy” charted hit it big in the early 1990s, charting several country rock hits. Babe Laam and his band brought rock and roll to Placerville in the 1950s and 1960, and became a fixture in local dance halls and nightclubs. He was also in charge of the city wastewater treatment plant. Both their stories are coming up in future episodes of Hangtown’s musical roots. Photo by Mike Roberts
LARRY PARK held a benefit at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds for Chris Reed, the son of a close friend, back in 1977. The house band that night consisted of, left to right, Herb Pedersen on banjo, Ray Park on fiddle, Larry Park on guitar and Steve Townzen on bass. Larry Park estimated that roughly 2,500 people turned out. Photo courtesy of Larry Park
THE HAPPY Hayseeds were created by Ivan Laam, standing with fiddle, and his brother Fred Laam, seated with banjo. Fred’s son Logan, standing with guitar, ran the band in the 1940s and 1950s. Steve Olivas is seated at right. This photo was likely taken around 1930, when the band recorded several string band classics for Victor Records. Photo courtesy of Steve Laam
Photo by Karen Estes QUINTESSENTAIL Country Rockers — The Lenzmen played around Placerville throughout the late 1970s, and are still cited by those who saw them as the best local band ever to set foot in the clubs of the day. Standing left to right: John McDonald, sax; Mark Pantell, drums and Dennis Parish, bass. Seated: Larry Park, fiddle and Val Pease, “with my 1958 Less Paul, which I wish I had today,” said Larry. Photo by Karen Estes

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