The Smoke Ring was formed in 1962, when two Norfolk Nebraska groups, Little Joe and the Ramrods and The Strollers, joined forces under the leadership of "Little Joe" Hupp, along with his two brothers, Bob and Nick Hupp with Jim Casey on lead guitar, John Schrad on Sax, and Jerry Benjamin on drums.
The band expanded with the addition of Stroller lead singer, Chuck Asmus. A Midwest tour with Dickey Lee led to a recording contract in Memphis, Tennessee, with Dickey Lee and Allen Reynolds producing, what would become their first production chart records.
After a release on Amy-Mala-Bell Records, the Smoke Ring cracked the top fifty on the national charts with their harmony laden, and B-3 driven single, "No Not Much", on the Buddah label.
The Smoke Ring toured nationally for several years, making their home in Memphis. Most of the original band had left the group by 1972. In the sixties, The Smoke Ring was a KOMA band, advertising from Oklahoma City, and packing ballrooms all over the Midwest. Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, and Oklahoma, provided weekly performances, as the band toured in their '49 Flexble Bus, "Old Blue". A 1969 appearance on the Dick Clark Show, American Bandstand, gave the Smoke Ring national exposure. Added Jim Casey, "I think we played South Dakota more than any other state. From Igloo S.D. to Vermillion, then North and south, we hit just about every ballroom in the state!"
The Smoke Ring reformed in 1994, and continues to perform as a sought-after opener for national acts such as Chicago, The Beach Boys, Grand Funk, and more.