Ray and Wayne Spackman were two very interesting brothers that were involved in the 1960s music scene in Medicine Hat. They were well known for being able to fix anything electronic and Ray was one of the few guys in town that had a PA system in the bars, likely designed by him. People may also remember Ray’s 57 Pontiac that he converted to a truck in order to move his gear. Wayne played in a group called the Chinooks in 1961, which consisted of Wayne on piano, Gary Miller on guitar (see The Renegades), Bruce Romeike on guitar, Ray Spackman on sax and Ken Fenske on drums ( Ken’s father,Tex, had an auction business on North Railway Street.) Wayne, in the 70s, played bass with Ed and Gloria van Wert. During the 60s Wayne was sent to a number of towns in Alberta with his job at Royal Bank and in each town he was very active playing either piano or bass while Ray was a fixture in the Medicine Hat pub scene.
This is a picture of Ray Spackman in front of Ray’s 1954 Monarch at Gershaw Esso, where guys from that era would fill up with gas and hang out. This has nothing to do with the music scene but it’s such a great period photo.
This is a picture of Wayne Spackman, circa 1960, in front of brother Ray’s 1954 Monarch at Gershaw Esso, where guys from that era would fill up with gas and hang out. This has nothing to do with the music scene but it’s such a great period photo
This is Wayne Spackman in 1960 at a rehearsal for the Chinooks. He recalls that the band played a graduation in Burdette in 1961 for which they were paid the princely sum of $35…$7.00 per player. They also made several appearances on CHAT TVs Sock Hop. (See Doug Burgess )
This photo of The Ray Spackman Band is from about 1970 and is one of the very few shots we have of Ray performing. There was quite a small group of players in the 60s so the same core of players could be seen in various combinations working the clubs and lounges. This group is , from L to R..Ray Spackman (bass), Archie Thome (guitar) (see The Country Gentlemen), Dwight (Smokey) Eremenko steel guitar, the ubiquitous Joe Boschee (fiddle) (see Joe Boschee) and Norm Schafer (accordion).
Wayne Spackman spent a number of years playing bass with Ed and Gloria van Wert when they worked in the very popular dining lounges like the Legion and Batus (??)in the early 70s and later in Maxwell’s and the Westlander. This was at the time when there still were dining lounges in Medicine Hat. Wayne not only played with them but also became a keeper of much of their music, both Ed and Gloria together and Ed as a solist, and took great pains to restore and preserve much of their music and photos. This picture dates to about 1973 with upper L to R…Gloria van Wert, Ed van Wert, lower L to R Tony Williams (woodwinds) and Wayne Spackman (bass).
Following is an audio clip recorded at the Legion in 1970 with Wayne on bass and vocals. ( It was recorded with a small cassette deck sitting on a table , therefore the crowd noises.) This is Gloria and Wayne singing Rambling Rose