NEW ULM - A couple summers ago, New Ulm musician Bob Eveslage and the Unbelievable Uglies band did two shows and lots of windshield time in one day, performing at outdoor gigs in Motley and Red Lake Falls.
Eveslage said the band's regular bass player, Paul Lidstrom, couldn't make it out from New Hampshire, so he contacted his former musical partner Rex Duffy who was living in and performing regularly in Las Vegas, to sub for Lidstrom.
Duffy flew from Las Vegas to Minnesota and the rest is history.
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
New Ulm musician Bob Eveslage (left) poses with musician Rex Duffy, before performing Friday at the Pub & Patio in downtown New Ulm. A Chicago native who performed with Eveslage in the Unbelievable Uglies band decades ago.
"We had two of best shows of my life that day," Eveslage said. "Rex loved it so much, he decided to move to Courtland and join the Uglies and start up our duo act we formerly did in Fargo years ago."
Eveslage, who specializes on keyboards, and Duffy, a bass player, formed R&B Crossing. They have performed more than 50 times the past year in and around New Ulm at parties, clubs and assisted living facilities. The duo performs on Friday nights at downtown New Ulm's Pub & Patio this month.
A repertoire of 171 rock, soul and rhythm and blues tunes makes them popular with many generations.
Duffy and his wife have lived in many places because she held corporate positions across the U.S. and in Argentina, England, Japan, Okinawa and Korea.
Duffy has opened for Bob Hope shows in Washington, D.C. and performed at the U.S. Open 40th anniversary party.
Duffy and Eveslage played with the Milky Way Band across the Upper Midwest years ago including gigs at the Holiday Inn in New Ulm and Fargo.
"I'd rather perform around here than with all the cigarette smoke of Las Vegas casinos and private parties," said Duffy, a Chicago area native. "I breathe for a living. I enjoy living and performing much more around here, believe it or not. It's the people here too."
Eveslage, Duffy and the Uglies may be best known for opening for The Who in November 1967 in Fargo. The crowd became so excited that the Fargo mayor accused them of inciting a teen audience to riot.
The Uglies received the National Ballroom Owners Association award three years in a row.
Uglies hits included "Keep Her Satisfied" and "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore," and several others that made singles record releases.
In 1978, two members of the area show band "Silver" - Danny Mangold and Gene Wilhelmi - bought the name and moved to Minneapolis, metamorphosing the group into The Metro All Stars. The band appeared on Star Search in 1981, winning a weekly contest.
In 2005, the original members of the Uglies were inducted into the Rock and Country Hall of Fame in Medina. They reunited and performed as "The Original Unbelievable Uglies."
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).