BMHOF Class of 2002
The “Rockin Rebels” were formed by Jim Kipler (lead guitar) and twin brother Mickey (saxophone) from a south Buffalo neighborhood organization named “The Panther Club.” The Kipler brothers were 14 years old and decided to escape the boredom of the club meetings by forming a band.
They met Paul Balon (deceased) at a local music store and went to school with Tom Gorman (deceased) the other original member of the group. Paul played rhythm guitar and Tom played drums in the group.
The Rebels were performing at a record hop with local DJ Tom Shannon and he was very impressed with the group. He suggested they go into the recording studio and record an instrumental version of the vocal hit “Short Shorts.” While waiting for the tape to roll, Jim Kipler started to compose on the spot, an intro to Shannon’s theme song that was his signature opening. Mickey joined in and began to play the melody to this catchy tune and it was then decided to record Tom Shannon’s theme song which was now named “Wild Weekend” and the rest is history.
Within a week of its release locally on Marlee records (local label founded by Shannon and Phil Todaro), the record sold 12,000 copies. This got the attention of Swan Records a national label and they picked up the record for national distribution. “Wild Weekend” went on to become a million seller.
The “Rockin Rebels” performed on the road with countless artists to include Roy Orbison, Del Shannon, Freddy Cannon, Curtis Lee, Ray Peterson, Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello and many more.
The highlight of the group was its appearance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in 1960
The Kipler Brothers continue to perform locally for weddings, parties and club dates.
Back - 2002