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When Rejects were King

The Rejects were not only one of the most entertaining bands in the area, but also produced some great music. Their versions of cover songs left concert goers singing and enthusiastically clapping along. The band also created some original songs that delighted their fans. Some of those songs were recorded on the 4 CD's they produced over the years. To honor the band and those fans who still remember the band, I am proudly posting these original tunes that you can download for free. Dust off that kazoo and enjoy!


History of the Rejects : part One

“Cruisin’ at the Cruise In” wasn’t the first song I wrote, but it was probably the first to represent the style of the Rejects. I like the song and thought it would be a good title choice for this very important chapter of my story.

The story of the Rejects could probably be a book, or maybe a series of books. It all started in 1974. As Steve liked to say 1974 was the year the band Kiss started and the first year of Marty and Joe broadcasting Red’s baseball.

Hithergreen Middle School had great teachers who were young and forward thinking in their teaching philosophies.


     Steve Flaum, Mike Tripp, Ralph Petrosino, Mike Zimmerman, Jim McConnaughey, Ted Frederick, Jim Heikes and I were close to the same age. Student Council’s faculty advisor was Kay Hain. They were planning a dance, a sock hop, for the students. She had the idea of asking some of us if we would like to surprise the kids by coming out and lip syncing a song. The song we chose was “At the Hop” by Danny and the Juniors. Steve decided I

should be called Danny Glitter. With glue and glitter, my costume was complete. When Steve, Mike T, Ralph, Mike Z and I hit the stage, the students went wild. It was like we were the Beatles with lots of screaming during our 3 minute performance. Also, everywhere I went I left a trail of glitter...


      One of the traditions of the staff was to go out on pay day Fridays to a happy hour. Often times it was to the local “Steak n Ale”. Riding high after our successful school performance, I noticed that there was a nice little stage in the bar. I told Steve that we could, with little effort, put together a band and actually play, no lip syncing! Steve was all over the idea and the other guys seemed to be on board as well. We called over the manager

and told him that we had a band and that we could guarantee a full house if he let us play. When he asked the name of our band, Steve said, “The Reject All American Kazoo Band!” We would play for free, so the manager agreed. We picked February 14, 1974 as our first gig date.

      As the date got closer, Ralph, Mike Z, and Mike T started to have second thoughts. So, in their place we recruited Jim McConnaughey, Chuck Flaum (Steve’s younger brother), and Jim Heikes (Steve’s student teacher). We sent out flyers to all the buildings in the Centerville district. As expected, the place was packed. In fact, it created quite a traffic problem on SR48. We had only 12 songs prepared. Most of the songs were either all kazoo or sing-a-long,only a couple of which Jim and I played guitar. Our big number was “Country Roads” by John Denver. The happy hour gig was a great success. The manager wanted us back, but we chose to wait a month. We needed to add more songs!

If possible, the second gig was even more successful. Unfortunately, the traffic issue was worse and the manager got a lot of heat from local police. That would be our last performance at Steak n Ale, but the beginning of something bigger.

Chuck Flaum never committed to being a full time band member, but did fill in occasionally when needed. Our song repertoire grew as did our reputation. We billed our music as participatory rock n roll, giving or selling kazoos to the audience. You didn’t have to know the words to the songs, we were happy to have you humm along!




Original members of the band, The Rejects

     With the name changed to “The Rejects, Kings of Kazoo” we started playing at various bars in the area. Playing Friday pay day happy hours was a sure way to have a packed house. It wasn’t too long before I invited my brother Mike to join. Now we had a drummer.

We were playing at a small bar called “The Underground” and we were doing the song, “Lucille” by Kenny Rogers, which featured Jim McConnaughey on vocals and guitar. Jim was best friends with Jack Daniels and he had a little too much to drink that night. About half way through the song, he forgot the words, stopped playing and mumbled, “Ah hell, I quit!”. That was his last gig with the band. For many years after that we played as a four piece group.



Left to Right; Dan Hill, Mike Hill, Jim Heikes, Steve Flaum

There is a lot more to the story...if you would like to hear the rest, just drop me an email at and I will send you a pdf of the whole chapter about the band from my book. FREE

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