Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Kampus Kids (Ensign)

The Kampus Kids were originally from East Liverpool, Ohio. The band's "Leave Me Alone" has a slight Buddy Holly sound. In 1961 the single made it all the way into the top five on radio station WNOR in Norfolk, Virginia. Even though the song was extremely popular regionally it failed to achieve success nationally.


  1. A delightful, slightly weird record... very well produced by Buck Ram, but still with that peculiar regional vibe. Made my night!

  2. It's interesting that Buck Ram produced The Platters on Mercury, and this label design borrows pretty heavily from Mercury's 1961 era logo.

  3. This comment is made to say what a great musician RICK PALMER was.I met him in '62 when this record was on the charts in Norfolk.VA. the Kampus Kids broke up and I joined Rick and Jerry as their drummer.At that time we were the Coachmen.From that time on Rick was my best friend as well as Jerry.Soon we made the record on JD label Diary of a teenage bride--All of your love,as RICK AND THE LEGENDS.The next record was a remake of Leave me alone --and a new song I wonder why.Then United artists had us cut I WONDER WHY and a new song Rick wrote,LOVE ME LIKE I KNOW YOU CAN on the UA label.I hope people continue to enjoy this music as I do.Rick was a great guy. Charles'BUZ ' Rose.

  4. Thank you so much Charles for providing the info about the Kampus Kids. I appreciate that, I had no idea. I have never heard the remake of Leave me alone but I have heard Diary Of a Teenage Bride and I wonder why, both are very nice songs. I was thinking that Rick also made the rockabilly record on the Carlton label in 1958 " You threw a dart" , is that correct?

    1. Yes Johnnie,Rick made that record and some others.Another was TNT ---WHIPLASH. by RIKI AND THE RICKATONES. The only problem is the record was labeld WHIPNASH-after they were pressed it was too late.anyway he made some other records also but I'm not at home and can't tell you all the facts.I don't have all the records except TNT but I have them all on CD.If you want copies I can get them to you.--thanks,Buz

  5. Beside your own personal compilation of his music did Rick ever release an album? There are many cool songs that would have made a great album. Buz thank you again for the additional info.

  6. It is June in 2015 and I have just become aware of this site. Hello Buz Rose.

    To johnnie o - Yes Rick made "You Threw a Dart" before he and Jerry Nolan and I teamed up in East Liverpool Ohio in 1959 with Rick on lead vocal and lead guitar, Jerry Nolan on rhythm guitar and me on bass. Jerry and I were backup vocals most of the time. After several ups and downs we quit our jobs and moved to Cleveland Ohio where our manager had a "You Write 'Em and I'll Record 'Em" business for songwriters who wanted to hear their songs recorded. We were his house band and some of the recordings we made for him were released on his Manhattan label. We did a lot of recording sessions and if there was any time left at the end of a session we would do a single take of one of our own songs and that was how "Leave Me Alone" was recorded at Audio Recording studio in Cleveland Ohio. After a time we started playing out on the road (we didn't have a drummer then) and our manager sold our contract to Buck Ram. As our new manager, Buck provided us with "Mr. Rainbow Man" After 55 years I don't remember where we cut that one but I spoke with Jerry Nolan a few days ago and perhaps he can add his recollections to this site .

    Anyway, Buck named us Kampus Kids and dubbed in some backbeat with brushes on "Leave Me Alone." I believe we still didn't have a drummer when we cut "Mr. Rainbow Man." Then we recruited Dee Linn from Steubenville Ohio to play a two week gig at the Jolly Roger in Norfolk VA. When I say recruited it was more like shanghaied. Dee came to audition at a local gig in East Liverpool Ohio because our part time drummer quit the day we were leaving for Norfolk. I contacted him and explained the situation and as soon as he auditioned it was an instant meld. Dee's style was R&B with a great double bass beat. We were R&R and we blended the two together and it worked like magic. We put him in the car and took off for Norfolk while his buddy drove his mother's Cadillac back home through a snowstorm.

    Our first gig together at the Jolly Roger was an instant success. Nobody guessed that we'd never played together before our opening night. We played seven nights a week and every night It was sold out with a line around the block for the next six months. During this time Buck released "Leave Me Alone" on the Ensign label and it went to number two in the Tidewater area (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton Roads, Portsmouth) and that's why a lot of people thought we were from Virginia Beach.

    It was great to find this site and I'm astounded to find those records on the internet after more than 55 years.

  7. Wow,nice history of the band, thank you JD.