The Smoke Ring, originally from Norfolk, Ne, was formed in 1965 by combining two popular Northeast Nebraska bands, Little Joe and the Ramrods, and The Strollers. The Ramrods released several successful singles in the early 60's on Soma Records and Studio City Records, and as The Smoke Ring had a national release on Mala Records "That Girl Was My Girl One Time" in 1966 which found regional success throughout the country.

Left to Right:

Top Row - Little Joe Hupp, Jim Casey, Roger Volk, Mike 'Pinky' Semrad, Dave 'Knobby' Dohren, Greg 'Bosco' Goodman, Doug Speidel, John Schrad

Bottom Row - Larry Marik, Randee Falter, Jerry Benjamin, Tom Benjamin, Chuck Asmus, Ken King, Bob 'Tunda' Hupp

The band moved from a standard guitar based group to a larger 8-piece band with brass in 1967 and began to move in to national recording circles by hiring and backing name musicians while touring the Midwest. These included Dickie Lee, Rufus Thomas, The Shang-ra-la's, Bobby Vee, and The Everly Brothers. Their association with Memphis musicians Dickie Lee and Rufus Thomas, led them to Memphis at the legendary Sun Record Studio (Sam Phillips' studio which had released records by Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, Rufus Thomas and Dickie Lee among others.)

The Smoke Ring first cut a remake of the Four Lads' mid-1950's hit, "No Not Much". It was released in the fall of 1968 on the local "Goldust" label, quickly selling 10,000 records the first week of it's release. Upon this success, Buddah Records from New York released the song nationally. "No Not Much" eventually sold 800,000 records, hitting #17 on the Billboard Magazine Easy Listening Charts, and #1 in Memphis, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The Smoke Ring appeared on Dick Clark's American Bandstand in 1969, and have regrouped with original members playing at concerts in Northeast Nebraska over the last 4 years.



Pictured: Joe Hupp, Chuck Asmus, Nick hupp, Jesus Christ, The Virgin Mary,
Roger Volk, Bob Hupp, Jim Casey, Dave Dohren, John Schrad