|The story of the IGL
Recording Company began in 1965 when Cliff Plagman and Roger Blunt, both of Milford, IA. and John Senn of Spirit Lake, IA. got
together and discussed the concept of being able to record on a local level without having to drive to Minneapolis. They especially
wanted to design it for Dee Jay & The Runaways who were from Spirit Lake and led by Senn.
Blunt was assigned the job of finding out what type of equipment was necessary to get the best sound. After meeting with a representative from Des Moines, the team decided to purchase Ampex equipment including a three track tape deck, two four channel mixers and Neumann microphones. The equipment was installed behind Plagman's TV store at 906 9th St. in Milford which became the permanent home of IGL Recording.
During the final weeks of the studio, many old records were given away for the asking. Thinking that there was no value or interest in the old records, the were trucked to the county landfill and buried.
June, 1965 saw the official opening of the IGL studio. The discussion by the three owners quickly turned to how to let bands know of its existence. With Senn's input, it was decided to have the Runaways, who had a good name in the region, cut a record and try to get a "hit" out of the studio. The session resulted in two uptempo rockers, "Jenny Jenny" b/w "Boney Marnoie" (IGL 100) with lead vocals by Gary Lind. Since this was a trial record to break in the equipment, only 100 copies were pressed.
In August, the Runaways cut "Peter Rabbit" b/w "Three Steps to Heaven" (IGL 103), which featured on the A-side a song originally recorded by Sioux Falls, SD legend Myron Lee (M & L 1004). "Peter Rabbit" was licensed to Smash Records (#2034), a subsidiary of Mercury Records where it sold over 400,000 copies worldwide.
| IGL was initially the label for all standard releases, while Sonic was to be used for higher recognition
releases. It worked this way to begin with, but later the studio used whatever label the artists wanted. Tapes were shipped to
Wakefield in Phoenix, AZ. for pressing until 1975 when they switched to Queen City in Cincinnati, OH. A package deal including a
three-hour session and 1000 7-inch 45s cost $345. |
Due to the success of IGL in its first few years, Denny Kintzi, keyboardist for the Runaways, was added as a fourth owner in 1968. In 1970, Cliff Plagman sold his interest to Dave Peterson of Estherville, IA. and in 1977 Peterson sold his share of the studio to Jerry "Page" Wolford, a member of the Gas Company from Spencer, IA. In 1979, the entire studio was sold to John Senn, who became the sole owner.
In November, 1980, the business was officially closed. During the final weeks of the studio, many old records were given away for the asking. Thinking that there was no value or interest in the old records, the were trucked to the county landfill and buried.
Some well-known recording artists used the studio over the years including the Trashmen, Dickie Lee, the Velaires, and country-western star, Tom T. Hall.
Since 1983, Senn continues to run a 16-track facility in Spirit Lake called IGL Audio, producing local artists and commercials. Dee Jay & The Runaways periodically get together for reunion shows in the Great Lakes region with their last one occurring in 1996.
Throughout its fifteen year history, more than 150 singles and 50 LPs were released on the IGL and Sonic labels. IGL Recording is cited as the first studio in the state of Iowa in the Nashville Hall of Fame.
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