This is John Fyke in 1957 proudly showing off his 1956 Fender Stratocaster guitar, which he still has. (See below) John was also an upright bass player(see photos below) and led many groups during the 50s and 60s. Any travelling or local musician will remember John opening the Fyke’s Music Centre on 3rd street because it became a meeting place and hangout for anyone that happened to be playing in town. John later went on to own much of the free world.
The previous picture refers to John Fyke having opened a music store on 3rd street and here is a picture of Fyke’s Music Centre. In the doorway is his mother, Myrtle, who was the book keeper for the business.
Here is the somewhat scuffed 1956 Fender Stratocaster that John Fyke still has. The Fender Strat became hugely popular and cool in the 50s and 60s . Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins, Ritchie Valens were just a few of the 50s acts that played and popularized the Fender Strat . The Fender Strat remained the go to guitar for 60s players like Hank Marvin of the Shadows, Nokie Edwards of the Ventures through to Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. To have a Fender Strat in Medicine Hat in the 50s and 60s was a very big deal…..some of the local guys that had one included Roy Vossler, Ed Sehn, Elgin Man, Jimmy Mann, Dick van Riper and Klaas Craats.
One of our viewers passed on this letter to the web site and it is worth sharing ….. we LOVE to get feedback.. He says:
Subject: Not much to add but this is an awesome site…John Fykes Strat Comments
You’ve done a great job of capturing the Era… a little before my time but I recognize many of the musicians. I came across your article on John Fyke and a picture of his Fender Stratocaster on Facebook. In around 1974 I was a 13 year old budding guitarist and would visit his store every chance I got. That strat would often be at the store. It would sometimes be kinda propped up near the window. John would more or less toss ya the guitar and a cord. I would head over to the amps and plug into a fender bandmaster that I could only dream of owning. I’m sure John got his fill of my hacking. That guitar was already heavily warn then, time after time john would hand myself and my punk friends that guitar when we tried out amps. Just starting out on guitars we didn’t know much about strats or any other guitar for that matter. On multiple occasions I can recall us saying if this old warn out piece of sh** sounds this good imagine what it will sound like with my guitar ha ha. Anyway thanks a million! That article took me way back!!!!
This photo was taken at the old Medicine Hat High likely around 1956 based on John Fyke not yet playing a Fender Stratocaster guitar. This is Don Leppard on drums, John Fyke on guitar, Clarence Herringer on Piano and Lester Janz on trombone. The other players are not known. This would seem to be a rehearsal for a high school musical. ( For more Don Leppard see Marguerite Nering , Lemmana Septet and The Med Hatters….Clarence Herringer see Lemmana Septet….John Fyke see The Med Hatters and John Fyke)
A photo about 1955 with Archie Bertram (trumpet), Warren Miles (drums), John Fyke before the Fender Stratocaster(see photo above).
A photo taken at CHAT TV about 1959….Dave Mast (vocal) John Fyke (bass) Doug Burgess (drums) and a piano player that no one is sure of. Maybe Don Robertson?? Vocals and instruments would all get picked by a single overhead microphone so it was pretty primitive reproduction.
Another photo taken at CHAT TV about 1959….Dave Mast (vocal) John Fyke (bass)…unknown piano player
Very grainy but….likely from about 1959?? John Fyke (bass), Olie Cunial (drums ??), Erich Petke (accordion??), Leendert Bouman (trumpet), Flour Bouman (trumpet), Dick van Riper (guitar). The Bouman brothers were instrumental in starting the German Harmony Band , which is still going today.
I don’t know much about this but it seems that this is a page from a coloring book that was a promotion for various Medicine Hat businesses.