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Local Rock Group Gaining Fame

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The Brownsville Station, an Ann Arbor-based rock 'n' roll group, hopes its star is rising. And from the looks of the music charts in Ann Arbor, Detroit and environs, it is. The group's first record, entitled "Rock & Roll Holiday," was released in October. For the past few weeks, it has been among the Top Ten Tunes in Ann Arbor, and this week it was number 24 in Detroit, according to a Detroit radio station. Polydor Records, a company based in London, England, signed The Brownsville Station to a contract last week, and has printed 200,000 more copies of "Rock & Roll Holiday." About 10,000 copies already have been sold. The Brownsville Station, which plays the rock 'n' roll sound of the '50's and early '60's with their own fiare to' it, is composed of four young men- Michael Lutz, 20; Cubby Koda, 21; T. J. Cronley, 20, and Tony Driggins, 19. Lutz, a 1967 gradúate of Ann Arbor High School and now a junior at Eastern Michigan University, plays guitar and is the vocalist. Koda, a gradúate of Manchester High School, is the lead guitarist. Cronley, a junior at EMU, is L the drummer, while Tony Driggins , from Jackson, Hfelays the bass. HjjLutz, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roland Lutz of 2282 Amesbury Dr. in Ann Arbor, played in the Symphony Band while at Ann Arbor High School. He and the other three members of the group got together and formed The Brownsville Station less than 11 months ago, on Jan. 31, 1969. The group is naturally pleased with the Polydor Records contract, and call it a "big step forward." The position of "Rock & Roll Holiday" on the music charts doesn't make them sad either. Right now, The Brownsville Station is working on an album, tentatively scheduled to be released in March. And a tour of Atlanta, Ga., and Puerto Rico is on the docket during the Christmas holidays. The group says it doesn't aira its sound to one particular audience. Younger teens seem to like it, and the "oldsters" in their middle and late 20's like it too because it brings back memories of the sounds of their teen years. The Brownsville Station's live concerts, for example, usually consist of a combination of favorite rock 'n' roll tunes of the 50's, plus original songs. Elvis Presley's house Rock," Ricky Nelson's "Helio Mary Lou," Bo Didd1ey's "Roadrunner' and Link Wray and His Wray Men's "Rumble," for example, are standard parts of their shows. Koda and Lutz say the group wants its show to be "fun for people." They "try to keep the pace of the show lively and fast." "We're entertainers. We don't have any deep psychological message in our music," Koda says. "We want the people in the audience to walk out smiling," Lutz adds. "If they do that, we've done our job." The group has played at a variety of teen night clubs in Detroit and local towns, as well as throughout the state and Chicago and Cleveland. They also play frequently at high-school dances. Koda says his greatest thrill was playing recently with Bo Diddley at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit. The Brownsville Station has appeared on several Detroit and Windsor televisión shows, and regularly does radio talk shows, too. Now, of course, they're busy promoting their new record, which was written by Koda. Koda and Lutz write most of the music and lyrics performed by the group. And what about the future? The group hopes to keep . ing on more records and albums, plus play teen clubs and make tours. They say they're "grateful and happy" for the success they've had up to now, and hope for more. But right now, "nothing's really changed," Lutz says. "We still have about 94 cents among us," hit record and all.