In 1964 two young men from the Iowa Great Lakes Region of Northwest Iowa formed what was to be one of the most successful recording and touring musical groups of the 1960's. Denny Story (Dee) and John Senn (Jay) formed Dee Jay and the Runaways and they area arguably the most successful band to ever come out of the state of Iowa. Their accomplishments are many, including numerous records and a national hit, and they did it all in less than five years.
1966 might have been the Runaways most extraordinary year as they toured throughout the United States and Canada. Their recording of "Peter Rabbit" on the IGL and Smash labels vaulted the band into the national spotlight and appearances on the "Dick Clark Show", "Where the Action Is", and "Upbeat" as well as other regional and national television shows. They were recognized by Billboard, Cashbox, and Record World as well. "Peter Rabbit" charted on the Billboard Top 40 and remained for fourteen weeks. No other Iowa group has come close to this level of accomplishment. The Runaways also found success with follow up recordings "She's a Big Girl Now" (Smash) and "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" (Sonic).
Some of the artists De Jay and the Runaways have opened for and performed with include BJ Thomas, Paul Revere & the Raiders, the Guess Who, Bobby Vee, Tommy Roe, the Platters, Bill Dogett, Mitch Ryder, the Young Rascals, and Bryan Hyland. Those are only a handful of national acts they have shared the stage with.
Road travel, the Vietnam War, and the challenge of replacing members finally took its toll in 1968. The love for music and pressure from their fans were major factors in convincing the band to reform for limited engagements, which they h ave been doing for a number of years. In addition to Denny and John, original members Bob Godfredsen (bass), Gary Lind (vocals), and Dennis Kintzi (keyboard) still perform to sellout crowds where ever they go.
The Runaways were the first band inducted into the Iowa Rock 'N Roll Music Association Hall of Fame in 1997 and they were also honored by the Minnesota Rock / Country Hall of Fame in 2003. John Senn's IGL Recording Studio was inducted into the South Dakota Hall in 2010. There aren't many bands across the Upper Midwest who can even come close to the success that this talented group of youngsters achieved in the 60's.