Last week Gary Bailey, guitarist of the Highlights, left a comment on a post about their 45 that I had done earlier this year in February. I´m re-posting it here because Gary was so kind to send me some additional information plus high-resolution scans of a great publicity shot of the group (as Gary wrote: “Now you can put faces with the Record”) and  a beautiful poster.

On the picture is:

Lower – Drummer Al Anderson, Middle Row Left – Gary Bailey-Guitar, Middle Row Right – Barry Rush-Lead Guitar, Upper Row Left –  Bob Bulger-Bass, Upper Row Right – Dale Anderson-Sax.

Note that the other Highlights have greased-up flat-tops while Gary is the only one donnin´ a fine pomp!

Gary Bailey and lead guitarist  Barry Rush, who co-wrote Ah, So, played music together from the time they were 9 and 12 years old.  Contrary to what I had written they were actually from Minnesota, while the 45 was recorded in Minneapolis where they were also booked through T.B. Skarning out of Minneapolis. The Highlights played together for 25 years. Both are  retired now, with Gary living  in Colorado and Barry in Minnesota and they´re  both still playing  music in  50’s Rock Bands.

Ah, So really is a cult song among many Rock´n´Roll fans and record collectors. It has been featured on Volume 1 of the  “Jungle Exotica ” compilation that was put out by Tim Warren of Crypt Records in the 90´s and that really got a whole new generation of music fans to hear it for the first time. The Japanese girl group “The´s” have recorded a cover version of Ah, So in 1991 and I´m sure others did too that I´m not aware of.

Studio Blues is a little unfortunately titled, because it´s a real fine instrumental rocker with great guitars and the same sparse but effective drum sound of Ah, So.

Thanks a lot Gary! I love this 45 and I´m sure a lot of people will continue to enjoy it in the future.

Keep on rockin´!


THE HIGHLIGHTS, Studio Blues, 1958

16 Comments on “THE HIGHLIGHTS, Ah, So, 1958”

  1. hendrik says:

    moin andreas, ein wenig zu viel zu tun oder keinen bock in letzter zeit? wenn du bock hast melde dich doch mal. gruss aus dem exil (KI) hendrik

  2. schrottvogel says:

    a-side’s fun, but the b-side’s even better…

    otherwise, it was nice to meet you on the radio! i just want to tell you this: your blog is a valuable contribution to preserving culture. you mustn’t expect big recognition, but i’m sure there’s many more people like me to which your blog has offered lots of great new music we’ve never heard before. it’s great that you do that! and i hope you’ll go on.

    see you maybe next time on pi-radio!

  3. Patty Rabago says:

    Gary Bailey is my dad. I’ve loved this song since I was little girl and would often make him play it for me. I love that this cool song is starting to go viral. Thank you for this great post and for sharing this song with a new generation!

    GO DAD!!

  4. mischalke04 says:

    Thanks for the nice comment. I´m 44 years old and always thought that my dad was a pretty cool guy. But I have to say yours is cooler!

  5. Cal Tininenko says:

    Gary’s been a friend for the past 20 years or so. I’m gonna play this for our pastor here in Grand Forks, ND…maybe we can get them to come up and play for church!

    Great guy and a great song.


  6. Al Anderson says:

    I’m so happy to hear that people are still enjoying this record. I was very proud to be a part of this group. I am so fond of the memories we made together. I still play drums every chance I get. Al Anderson, M.D.

  7. rburall1 says:

    This was the one 45 that my older sister owned that I still think of from time to time. I loved “Ah So”! I was only about 8 years old but I would go around singing it all the time. I was so happy to find it on the internet–I was afraid I would never hear it again (I didn’t remember the title or the band, as I was so small when I used to listen to it–it’s great to learn about the song’s background. Thank you!

  8. Joe says:

    I was in the Air Force with Gary Bailey and we played in a band called the Playboys–He was one terrific guitarist! Joe Carvalko

  9. David Balla says:

    Gary Bailey is great !! .I have only known him for a few years . Beside his great guitar playing on those records he has become an accomplished Bass player.I knew he had a great musical history. You would never know it because he is so humble.You know he still can rock.We play R+R in the winter time together.He is a treasure.Dave Balla ( R+R Drummer/Vocalist)

    KEEP ON ROCK-IN GARY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Gary Bailey says:

    I’m so glad to hear from many friends and musicians I’ve known in the past and played music with even to this day. I guess I’ll keep playing until no one wants to hear it any more. I wish I had a way to contact some of these people from my past. I still have some posters to post on the web. I finally got a copy of our record. I had to buy it on Ebay. You’re all so kind.
    Rock on–Gary

  11. peteebennett says:

    I know Gary Bailey today and he’s now the Best Bassist I know!

  12. rickinzer says:

    Gary invited me to jam with the group in Florida 4 years ago. He’s an encouragement for even a beginner. And one hell of a goodguy!

  13. Mike L. says:

    This song popped into my head out of the blue after 40 years, so I searched and found this. I spent my teenage years listening to Bill Diehl / WDGY (until I watched them demolish the transmitter building and towers for residential development) and dated a girl from Fairmont, so this hit home on a lot of fronts. Thanks!

  14. Al Anderson M.D. says:

    I had the pleasure of being the drummer on this record with this great group. The memories of working with these musicians are irreplaceable. I still think back on the memories ,places that we worked, including working with Bill Diehl. I have been a physician since retiring from music, however, my best memories are working with great people such as “The Highlights”.

  15. Al Anderson M.D. says:

    Thank you for maintaining this recording.

  16. Gary Bailey says:

    Al-Are you living in Minneapolis? I haven’t seen you in years. I’m still playing a lot of music in Florida.

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