The Telstars
Date formed: Spring1962
Last date for lineup: 1964
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Bob Carlson: Bass, vocals
Paul Clark: Guitar, vocals
Paul Jackson: rhythm guitar, vocals
Larry Kelley: Guitar, bass, vocals
Steve Stock: Drums, vocals
Larry started the Tel-Stars after leaving the Mystics sometime in the spring of 1962. Larry had gotten a call from Bob Carlson’s father about putting some music together for a get–together that took place at the Sportsman's Club south of Boone on Montana St. Larry first approached Steve and within the week Dave Harrington joined in also. This first incarnation was pretty rough. A few days afterward Larry made a more formal proposal to Steve about putting a band together. It is not clear what happened to Dave, but Bob and Paul Jackson joined up around this time. At some point Paul Jackson left the band and Paul Clark joined. Here's a photo of the band after Bob left dated as 1964. It's possible this may be misidentified. The clothing and hair styles seem a bit out of place for 1964. It is possibly a reunion photo taken of the members at some point in the 70s.
   The name was arrived at one night while the band–Larry, Paul, Steve and Bob–were cruising Boone in Larry’s 1955 Mercury. They were just turning east at the corner of Crawford and 11th St. and the radio DJ was talking about Sputnik. As they turned the corner the light on the clock of Larry’s car started flashing. At that instant the song ‘Telstar’ by the Tornadoes came on the radio. Steve felt that it was a sign because earlier Larry had mentioned something about Telstar–the satellite–and this was just too much of a coincidence. It was decided to call the band the Tel-Stars then and there.
Not much is remembered about the equipment the guys had for this band. Larry had a very early version of a Les Paul gold top. He had bought it used from a fellow at Eschbach’s in Ames for $125. It's quite possible he had upgraded from the Sears amp he had started out with by this time. From the above photo it looks as though he and Paul C. may have played through the same amp. Steve had a thrown together drum set to start off with in the band. His kick drum was an old one from the high school band. He picked up the rest of his kit in bits and pieces. The band did have some sort of PA although the make and model are not well remembered. It is thought that it was made by the Shure company, but this would be way too early for the Vocalmaster that Shure introduced in 1968. Steve and Larry did most of the lead vocals with everyone doing backgrounds.
   The Tel-Stars got together regularly every week. Practice was (occasionally) held at Steve’s house on south Story St. or (usually) Larry’s folks’ place. Occasionally they would practice at the local radio station–KWBG–where Larry worked at the time. The band even practiced at KWBGs transmitter site a few times–setting up outside the building there.
The group did many of the popular tunes of the day covering songs like ‘Wipe Out’/Sufaris, ‘Little Duece Coupe’/Beach Boys and ‘She Loves You’/Beatles amongst others. The Tel-Stars played many of their gigs around the area–usually Boone, Ames, and Madrid. Some of the stand out jobs were at a place in Madrid that used to be a shoe shop–then later the library–where the group would pack the place out. Playing for Boone’s Crazy Daze celebration was also a well remembered high point. They put on their own dances as well, starting out charging 50 cents a head then moving to a dollar a head admission. It was not uncommon for them to draw close to 300 kids for a dance which brought in a large amount of money for the time. Being one of the few bands around, the Tel-Stars were hugely popular and it showed in the way the dances were so well attended.
   This line up of the group dissolved in 1964 when Larry went into the service. New members were brought in and the band continued on for a couple more years. Click on the next band pick to learn about the next version of the group.
   After the Tel-Stars it seems that Bob had no further involvement in bands in the area. Bob now makes his home in Kansas. Paul C. continued on into the next version of the band and at least one other area band. He later went on to perform in bands backing John Davidson, Bobby Rydell and Bob Hope. He was the music instructor at Center Point High School in Center Point, IA. Get some more information on Paul here. Larry went on to play in several other area bands and is involved in helping out with his son’s musical career nowadays, along with his own band - Flashback. He still lives in Boone and does satellite tv sales and installations. Steve ended up in Viet Nam. After his tour of duty he returned to the area, but was not known to be in any other bands. He did manage the Trestle Lounge in Boone for awhile. He currently lives in Los Angeles and does private investigation for an insurance fraud company. Not much is known about Paul Jackson’s current situation excpept that he lives in the Des Moines area.
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