The Young Generation
In 1966, at the age of 14 or 15 years old, Dann Degen (Parkston, S.D.), wanted to start a band. And sometime during that year was introduced to two more guitarists, Joel Vetter and Gary Klatt (both from Tripp S.D.). And therein lies the beginning of the band, “The Young Generation”!
Big changes took place over time, and others from Parkston joined in. During ’67, ’68 and ‘69, “The Young Generation” consisted of the following members:
• Jerry Neugebauer, lead vocalist
• Joel Vetter, trumpet & vocalist
• Jim Wiegel, lead guitarist
• Gary Klatt, trumpet, trombone
• Stan Adkins, bass guitarist
• Dann Degen, rhythm guitarist
• Jerry Muhs, percussionists
• Jim Wudel, percussionist (When Muhs left for college, Wudel took over on drums!)
Because they were able to add the “brass”; the band slowly transitioned from “Rock & Roll” into “Rock and Soul”. They even purchased rose brocade jackets with satin lapels and incorporated dance steps into some of their songs. Motown proud!
As booking agent, Klatt arranged for “The Young Generation” to tour mainly around SE So. Dak. The better known venues include Vic’s Place, Island Park, Rest Haven, Groveland Park Ballroom, and Parkston Legion Hall… plus numerous school events.
And then came college and/or the Draft …
• Jerry Muhs, Army (Vietnam Vet)
• Joel Vetter, Navy
• Stan Adkins, Army
• Jim Wudel, Navy
• Jim Wiegel, Air Force
• Dann Degen, Air Force
• Jerry Neugebauer, Army Reserve
Until now, all band members agree the “highlight” for “The Young Generation” was being invited and performing for the 50th Class Reunion for the Parkston High School Class of ’69 in September of 2019. Today, being inducted into the South Dakota Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is definitely at the “Bucket List” level!!! (We are humbled…THANK YOU!!!)
NOTE: Stan Adkins went on to play professionally and was inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame twice. First for guitar excellence for his contributions to music in Nebraska and also as a member of “Jim Casey and the Lightnin’ Band”. (Unfortunately, both Stan Adkins and Jerry Neugebauer passed away in 2020.)