Feature of the Month

                                       ...........by Don Fritz
Written on 7.13.10

This is the thirteenth edition of the Feature of the Month for the South Dakota Rock & Roll Music Association. We are rock and roll fans, and looking to write a feature each month, that will not only bring back wonderful memories, but will also remind us all of the history that was made in our great state of South Dakota. We are hoping to write a feature each month selecting one of the many talented Bands, DJ's, Radio Stations, and Dance Halls throughout SD.

They were from Minnesota, they were talented, and they were all females. In the mid sixties four teenage girls, juniors at Fulda High School, made history by becoming the first all-girl band in the state of Minnesota, and possibly the entire upper Midwest. Their names were Nancy Hofmann (bass), Carolyn Behr (rhythm guitar), Carol Goins (lead guitar), and Vicki Steinman (drums). A chorus teacher at the school was instrumental in helping the girls form a group. He was a guitar player himself who enjoyed the Ventures and offered a lot of encouragement. Their first public appearance was at a movie theater in Marshall, MN. All the tunes the group performed were instrumentals, as they did not have a vocalist. The Vultures, another local group, saw them and invited the girls to participate in a "Battle of the Sexes" with them. They played at the Valhalla and the outing was a success.

This opened a lot of doors and soon the group was playing all over the area, including Iowa, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin. It wasn't long before Jimmy Thomas noticed them and started booking the band. This led to some gigs in Canada and expanded their territory. It was north of the border where the gals built up a solid fan base and an incredible following. By this time Carol and Nancy were both doing vocals.

Their quick success led to a recording session in 1965 at IGL Studios in Milford, IA. It was there they recorded an original song, "I Don't Love You No More", sung by Carol. Soon their record could be heard on radio stations all across central Canada. The girls soon added Nancy's sister, 14 year old Mary Jo Hofmann on keyboards. While on tour, one of the parents always accompanied the teenagers. With cities sometimes many miles apart and in climate weather to deal with, Canadian tours did have their challenges.

The Continental Co-ets had a very successful two year run but in 1967 some of the members left to attend college, one got married, and the rest is "history" but this group of ladies left their mark. They will not be remembered as the first all girl band but as an all girl band with a lot of talent.