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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Rockestra, Oatts into Iowa R & R Hall

Monday, September 24, 2012

Jackie Schmillen at this year's Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction at Arnolds Park. Photo contributed
OKOBOJI - Two individuals with ties to Cherokee were among the Class of 2012 inductees into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the annual induction ceremoniy held here over the Labor Day weekend.

Jackie Schmillen, daughter of Jane Schmillen and Joe Schmillen of Cherokee, was inducted as a member of the group Rockestra, which is based in Sioux City. Jackie is a vocalist with the group, which is a 40-piece unique blend of orchestra, traditional rock and roll instruments, and vocals.

The group performed its first concert in November 2004 at Eppley Auditorium on the Morningside College campus, and continued performing to ever-increasing crowds, which forced them to move to the Sioux City Orpheum, beginning in 2007. The group was the brainchild of John Luebke, and he serves as the Director of the group, with Stephanie Irish serving as music arranger and Assistant Director.

New Iowa Rock and Roll Hall Fame inductee Jim Oatts is shown here at the Cherokee Middle School, working with a student at a recent Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival Music Clinic. File photo by Mike Leckband
Jim Oatts is a trumpeter from Des Moines whose Cherokee connection is the annual Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival, where he and his group have performed several times and also provided instruction to area High School jazz band members.

In addition to Jackie and Jim, singer Tommy Roe, and the groups Endless Summer, The Chevelles, Night Flight, Split Second Band, The Macabras, and The Embers were inducted.

Also included were musicians Rick Casciato, Mike Langley, Shane von Holdt, Dewey Leopold, Sandy Manuel and Molly Nova; the Iowa State Fair Teen Town; broadcasters Mylan Ray and Woody Woodward; administrators Doris Welle and Naomi Senn; photographer Dick Cole; manger/promoter Rick Geisler, Kephart's Music Center in Decorah; the Nob Hill Ballroom north of Decorah; KICD Radio in Spencer; and Spirit Award winner Bob Yeske.

Jane Schmillen poses with singer Tommy Roe at the recent Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in Okoboji. Roe, who had several hit singles in the 1960's, including "Sheila," "Dizzy," "Sweet Pea," and "Hooray for Hazel," was one of this year's inductees, as was Jane's daughter Jackie, inducted as a member of Rockestra. Photo contributed

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