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Organizations books by Acclaim Press

Action Unlimited: The Band of Gold
ISBN: 978-1-942613-73-2



Book Details

Author: Dewey Pope
Hardcover: 192 pages
Product Dimensions: 6” x 9”
Retail Price: $24.95

Book Description

In the Sixties, when Rock ’n’ Roll exploded, there were literally thousands of bands. They dreamed of making it big, but most never got past playing in their garage. Some were good enough to play an occasional gig for pay at a wedding, a VFW hall or even a small local club. Even fewer played for pay regularly, with the prospect that music might become a career rather than a hobby. And then, there were those who were talented enough—and fortunate enough to be heard by the right people—who got the opportunity to take their shot at the big time.

One of those talented and fortunate bands called themselves Action Unlimited. Having made a name for themselves in Richmond, Kentucky, the sextet caught the eyes and ears of associates of Dick Clark’s organization, got a spot on the bill of one of Clark’s Caravan of Stars shows, and linked up with a manager who had the connections to book them into the best night clubs on the West Coast and Las Vegas.

The drummer of Action Unlimited, Dewey Pope, tells the story of the band’s ascent to the upper echelon of rock bands in Action Unlimited: The Band of Gold. Pope shares with readers the band’s evolution, their adventures (and misadventures) on the road, their coming-of-age experiences, their brushes with celebrities, and stories about sharing the stage and meeting some of the biggest names in music in the Sixties. Ride along with Action Unlimited in their tour vehicle—a gold-painted funeral hearse—and wax nostalgic as you share in their musical journey that took them to the threshold of stardom—so close that they could taste it—only to be denied entry. Join Dewey and band mates Jon, Kent, Dave, Chuk and Sam and enjoy the story of a Kentucky band that almost made it big.


About the Author

Dewey was born in Winchester, KY on September 25, 1946. He attended Hickman Street Elementary for eight years (1952–1960) and graduated from George Rogers High School in 1964. His main emphasis in high school was art and music.

After graduating from high school, he spent the next several years playing in rock bands throughout central Kentucky ultimately joining and going to California with the group Action Unlimited. The group opened for many national acts on Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars prior to leaving for California where they met a Clark representative who eventually took over their management and led the group to a record contract with Cameo Parkway Records released nationally in 1966. AU played up and down the west coast club circuit and Las Vegas throughout 1966 and 67. Some of the highlights during that time was performing as a featured act on a Dick Clark Sponsored tour throughout the Midwest, backing Billy Preston in Oxnard, CA and working with Jimmy O’Neil on a specially sponsored Shindig show for the USO in San Diego, CA.

After the group broke up in 1967, Dewey returned to Kentucky and joined the Army in 1969. He spent the first year stateside and was then assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) from 1970 to 1972. Dewey worked as an Army illustrator and Entertainment Specialist during his tour at SHAPE and played in a thirteen-piece orchestra, which provided the music for several musicals presented by the Entertainment Center on the SHAPE compound.

After returning from his active duty tour in the Army in 1972, Dewey returned to college on the GI Bill and received a BA Degree in Art in 1979. He spent the next several years working as a Graphic Artist, Illustrator and Visual Arts Specialist while at the same time working as a drummer in several local groups throughout central Kentucky. Dewey rejoined the military, going into the Army Reserve in 1981 and eventually to the Kentucky Army National Guard in 1985. He received an appointment to Warrant Officer in 1984 and worked for the next twenty-four years as a Photo Journalist, Illustrator and Visual Information Manager for the Kentucky Guard.

Dewey won an Army Wide Award (Special Achievement – Print Media) from the Second United States Army for a poster he designed for the 350th Birthday of the National Guard in 1986. Dewey produced, directed and edited two, state and national, award winning documentaries for the Kentucky Guard, “The History of the Kentucky National Guard” in 2003 and “Bataan: The Harrodsburg Tankers; A Time for Courage, A Time for Heroes”, in 2007. The awards included a Telly Award, several Videographer Awards, an Award of Merit from The American Association For State and Local History, Kentucky Historical Society Awards of Merit, Gold and Platinum AVA Awards and a Medal of Merit from the Order of St. Constantine.

During his time as an army photo journalist in the guard, Dewey had many stories, and photos, published in the Kentucky Guard publication, “The Bluegrass Guard” and in army publications on oversea deployments.Dewey retired in 2008 from the Kentucky Army National Guard and currently applies his time still playing the drums with the very popular group, “Prime Cut” throughout Kentucky, producing art prints and writing his first book, Actions Unlimited: The Band of Gold.  Dewey celebrates his fifty-fifth year as a musician (drummer) this year and was recently presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award (ALM) and inducted in the Academy of Local Musicians Hall of Fame.


Reviews/Praise

Dewey Pope is the kind of guy you want in your band. He is a classy drummer, classy gentleman and now, a classy writer. With AU: A Band of Gold, he has captured the very essence of “a band on the run”.  Different names, or different cities, could be substituted and this would still be the story of so many musicians, their bands and their dreams. The long road trips, broken down vehicles and varieties of sleeping arrangements are described accurately, if not painfully, for those who have experienced them. The thrill of meeting, playing with and getting to know your musical heroes is expressed humbly and graciously. Although he never uses the “L” word, it is the expression of love that develops among bandmates . . . in the lucky bands . . . that is eloquently made clear by this prolific writer.

Dewey, if we didn’t both play drums, I would like to be in a band with you. 

 --Jerry Morris (former drummer for Action Unlimited)

I’ve known Dewey for years and have heard him talk about this band often having no idea how close these guys came to making it. If it wasn’t for a few unfortunate events, I’m pretty sure they would have been a household name. Being a native of Kentucky as well, it was very interesting to hear where the band’s journey started. I read the whole book in one setting; very interesting read. 

 -- Kent Slucher (drummer for Luke Bryan)

While visiting Dewey’s Winchester home the veteran gave me the grand basement tour. To my surprise he had a music studio! Taken completely aback, I inquired and found that Pope’s instrumental talent extended back decades. When I occasionally fished for nuggets of that artistic past, little by little he opened the curtains to an intriguing history. The story is now completely revealed in his first book, AU: Bank of Gold. Hang on to your seats as you ride the peaks and valleys of the 1960s Kentucky band’s trek from the south to the dynamic, spontaneous California music scene. Filled with stories of gigs from Portland to Las Vegas to Hollywood, the band brushed shoulders with the likes of Billy Preston, the Beach Boys and Count Basie’s Orchestra. The “Band of Gold” rode a wave of success that took them all the way to Columbia Studios for a record deal.Once you start reading this book you won’t put it down! 

 --Rick Lee, Veteran and Author of Tribute to Valor and Courage

Bernard C. F. - WHAT A FUN READ!!! Dewey Pope didn’t just bang this out, he brushed a cymbal into the painting of an historic era of Rock and Roll history, of youthful dreams and disappointments, adventure, awe and survival. The book is a documentary, but feels like old friends sitting around sharing memories. It would make a great gift for anyone who became of age in the Sixties when we all were listening to the music.

Charles and Vicki O. - Hey Dewey Pope.  Thanks so much for your book, AU: Band of Gold.  Just finished it.  Well done my friend.  Good writing & wonderful stories.  The Results have some Wonderful memories.  A very good read.  Thanks again. 

Donna E. - I'm enjoying your book. Reads well and a great story.

Brenda S. - I started reading the book Saturday. I'm really enjoying it. I have always enjoyed Biographies, true stories. I found it interesting reading about how your interest began. Many good stories in the book.

Deloris T. S. – Dale and I have finished reading your book . It is AWESOME !! Thanks for taking us back in time . You are an amazing writer , I felt like I was riding along with you all in the hearse. And I know the music was good.

Roy E. - I sat down and read the whole book through. Couldn't put it down! Great Job! I'll be the sleepy looking guy today that's the newest Action Unlimited fan! I never realized how much you guys played and toured! Being on stage with Billy Preston! Whoa! Great Stories! I enjoyed your book.

Brenda N. - I enjoyed your book.

Bob A. - Let me encourage everyone to get a copy of this book, I did and finished it in 3 days, awesome story and very proud to have Dewey as a neighbor and a friend and what he and his group accomplished.

Bob T. - I got your book for Christmas. A gift from big bro. Loving it. Thanks to you and Kent for signing it!!

Roy F. - Great book, easy reading, took me back in the 60s, do yourself the best favor and buy one you will be glad you did! And the author just might sign it for you!

Cheryl N. R. - Your book is great, so interesting, I couldn't put it down! Definitely recommend to read! Great writing, Dewey!

Brenda W. - Spent most of my day reading this book. Was an interesting and entertaining read.

Paul W. - Enjoyed the book and to hear of all your travels. And all the up and coming stars you crossed paths with !! Enjoying what I have read !! I remember Hickman Street School, and a few of the people like Bill Joyce...I also wanted to be a drummer, but like you, buying the set of drums was out of my price range. So I never got one ! The traveling at a young age would have been hard also! I admire your determination to chase your dream, even to California and other far away places.

Ada B. C. - Just finished reading your book last night. Certainly enjoyed it.

Shelby W. - Loved your book Dewey! Great read and a trip down memory lane for the early part.

Dee B. - The book is great! Read a big chunk of it at the hospital while waiting for Mom to get out of surgery today.

Vicki H. - Nick read it all in one sitting and read me parts out loud while laughing.

Sherry H. O. - began reading Action Unlimited tonight and can’t put it down. I knew you had been “out west” with a band in the 60’s but it’s so exciting reading all the details from your point of view! Very good read!

Don M. - Read the book in one setting. Loved it.

Dottie F. - Glad to have stood in line for signing due to a good crowd. So proud of you Dewey. Sorry your parents and all the aunts and uncles weren't there to see it.

Mary B. – Loved the book. You are an excellent writer. I have mailed it to my sister and know she will enjoy it.

Darlene H. - Terry and I have both finished reading your book now and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It's really well written and held my interest all the way through. How exciting it must have been for you and the other members of the band to do something like this at such a young age!!! What great memories!!! We miss the 'good old music' and your book brought smiles to the face. Thanks so much for sharing your story with so many.

Sue B. M. - Dewey, just thought I would tell you that I have already read your book and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was very good and I am glad I got a copy.

Doug C. - Just got the book.  Thanks!  I love it.

Steve J. - A beautiful day..... Sun, Sand, Surf and ......a fun read by, Dewey Pope

Tom M. - Dewey, I finished your book today and it was a great read and blended in well with recent documentary on "The Wrecking Crew" and book that I read by Bobby Hart.  I am proud to know you and to have been able to work in close contact with you for several years.  You are quite the talented guy.

Larry A. - Congratulations Dewey!  Another major accomplishment to be proud of.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will also help other communities and organizations preserve their history through Our American Heritage Project, a non-profit organization.


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