Feature of the
This is the first edition of the Feature of the Month for the South Dakota Rock & Roll Music Association. We are rock and roll fans, and looking to write a feature each month, that will not only bring back wonderful memories, but will also remind us all of the history that was made in our great state of South Dakota. We are hoping to write a feature each month selecting one of the many talented Bands, DJ's, Radio Stations, and Dance Halls throughout SD.
Don McCaskell was a teacher and coach in the De Smet school. In 1961 he and his wife Janice wanted to supplement their income so they opened a roller skating rink and called it De Smet Teen Town. This was well accepted by the youth and adults in the area but two years later there was a big change. Don's brother who was involved with the Blue Dog Lake Resort at Waubay, SD, suggested they add teen dances to their agenda. And like they say, the rest is history.
To everyone's surprise the dances were an instant success. In fact, kids came from as far away as Sioux Falls. No doubt many teens heard Don's advertising on a Pipestone radio station. There were probably some local citizens who didn't like the dances but it was good for the De Smet economy. On dance nights, cars would be parked for blocks around the large metal building. A lot of the KOMA bands from Kansas performed there, including The Red Dogs and the Spider and the Crabs. Some other groups that performed there were the Unbelievable Uglies, Steve Ellis, Fulda's Continental Coeds, and of course Myron Lee and the Caddies. One group called "Shotgun", would fire a shotgun in the air (with a blank shell) to start the show. They got your attention real fast.
In the late 60's Don and his wife moved to Huron and got into the insurance business but after nearly forty years they still have wonderful memories. It was a time when you could roller skate one night and dance to some of the hottest bands in the midwest the next night.