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Da Yoopers
Origin Ishpeming, Michigan, USA
Genres Comedy
Years active 1975-present
Labels You Guys
Website Official website
Members
Jim Bellmore
Lynn Bellmore
Jim Boyer
Jim DeCaire
Reggie Lusardi
Bobby Symons
Former members
Dave "Doc" Bradbury
Dick Bunce
Steve Calhoun
Jerry "Cuppa" Coffey
"Cowboy" Dan Collins
Joe DeLongchamp
Jerry "Mungo" LaJoie
"Billy Bob" Langson
Pete "Casanova" LaLonde
Robert "Dill" Nebel
Jim Pennell
Joe Potila
Mike "Mikku" Powers
various other guest contributors

Da Yoopers is a travelling comedy show and musical group from Ishpeming, Michigan, United States. They are known primarily for their humorous songs and skits, most of which center around life in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The band's name includes the term "Yooper," slang for residents of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and the use of "da" instead of "the" is typical of the Yooper dialect.

Da Yoopers has released thirteen albums, all on their personal label, You Guys Records. The band's lineup comprises Jim Bellmore (guitar, vocals), Lynn Bellmore (keyboards, vocals), Jim DeCaire (percussion, vocals), Reggie Lusardi (bass guitar, vocals), Bobby Symons (drums), as well as Jim Boyer, who participates in the band's comedy sketches.

Contents

History

Da Yoopers was founded in 1975 by drummer Jim DeCaire and guitarist Rodney "Joe" Potila, along with keyboardist Lynn Anderson and bass guitarist Jim Pennell.[1] The band took their name from the word "yooper", a contraction of "U.P.", an abbreviation for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and "Da" came from the Yooper dialect pronunciation of "the".[2] The band toured throughout Michigan's Upper Peninsula for several years, before recording their first album, Yoopanese, in 1986 on their personal label, You Guys Records. This album included nine songs, all written by Potila and DeCaire.

A second album, Culture Shock, was released a year later. This second album featured several comedy songs, including "Second Week of Deer Camp" and "Rusty Chevrolet" (the latter a parody of "Jingle Bells"), both of which became local hits.[1][3] In addition, "Second Week of Deer Camp" would later be played on several Dr. Demento shows. This album also featured humorous dialogue and skits between songs, a feature later duplicated both in concert and on subsequent albums. Several local guest musicians also performed on this album.

By the release of Camp Fever, the band's third album, Pennell left and was replaced with Dave "Doc" Bradbury. In addition, Lynn Anderson married Jerry Coffey, who joined as a vocalist and percussionist.[1] It also included the first song of the band's career not to be written by Potila or DeCaire, as the album's title track was performed and written by local musician Joe DeLongchamp, who also played bass on some tracks. Yoop It Up, their fourth cassette, was released in 1989. This was the first album to feature DeCaire's son, Jesse.

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Early 1990s–present

Yoopy Do Wah, released in 1991, was the band's first album on compact disc,[1] released shortly before Mike "Mikku" Powers briefly joined the lineup as an actor for the group's onstage sketch comedy. Also that year, a compilation titled For Diehards Only was released, featuring a selection of songs from the group's first four albums. Da Yoopers' 1993 album One Can Short of a Six-Pack featured both regular and Christmas songs, including a parody of "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" titled "Grandpa Got Run Over By a Beer Truck". After the release of this album, both Potila and Bradbury departed the group. Potila was replaced with lead guitarist Jim Bellmore, who made his first appearance on the 1995 album We're Still Rockin'. Bellmore also succeeded Potila as the band's main songwriter, usually working with DeCaire. "Cowboy" Dan Collins, who had previously appeared on two other albums as a backing vocalist, also officially joined as rhythm guitarist on this album, and Reggie Lusardi became bass guitarist afterward. Several members soon joined as sketch comedy actors as well: Dick Bunce (who also played bass guitar on some songs), Pete "Casanova" LaLonde, Jerry "Mungo" LaJoie and "Billy Bob" Langson.

Two albums were released in 2000: Jackpine Savage and Naked Elves in Cowboy Boots, the latter an album of Christmas music. Both Dan Collins and Jerry Coffey left shortly after Naked Elves in Cowboy Boots to pursue other interests. 2004 saw the release of the concept album Songs for Fart Lovers and Diehards II (a second compilation composed of songs from the first four albums), with the two-disc 21st Century Yoopers in Space following in 2006. This album also featured several guest contributions in both performing and songwriting. Lynn, who divorced Jerry in 2005, was again credited as Lynn Anderson on 21st Century Yoopers in Space, and married Bellmore shortly after that album's release.

Tourist Trap

Da Yoopers Tourist Trap features the world's biggest chainsaw, Big Gus, as well as other intentionally gaudy museum items and merchandise.

Da Yoopers also own and operate a gift shop near Ishpeming called "Da Yoopers Tourist Trap", located in Ishpeming. This gift shop features various Upper Peninsula-themed merchandise.[3][4]

Members

As of 2009, the band's membership comprises the following:[5]

  • Jim "Schween" Bellmore - lead guitar, bass guitar, other instruments, vocals, sketch comedy
  • Lynn Bellmore - keyboards, vocals, sketch comedy
  • Jim Boyer – sketch comedy
  • Jim "Hoolie" DeCaire - drums, percussion, vocals, sketch comedy
  • Reggie Lusardi - bass guitar, vocals, sketch comedy
  • Bobby "Sy" Symons - drums

Studio only

  • Glenn Adams – narrator, sketch comedy
  • Jessie DeCaire – drums, bass guitar, vocals, sketch comedy

Former members

  • Dave "Doc" Bradbury – bass guitar, vocals
  • Dick Bunce – bass guitar, sketch comedy
  • Steve Calhoun – sketch comedy
  • Jerry "Cuppa" Coffey – drums, percussion, vocals, sketch comedy
  • "Cowboy" Dan Collins – guitar, vocals, sketch comedy
  • Joe DeLongchamp – bass guitar, sketch comedy
  • Jerry "Mungo" LaJoie – sketch comedy
  • Pete "Casanova" LaLonde – sketch comedy
  • "Billy Bob" Langson – sketch comedy
  • Robert "Dill" Nebel – sketch comedy
  • Jim Pennell – bass guitar, vocals
  • Joe Potila – lead guitar, vocals, sketch comedy
  • Mike "Mikku" Powers – sketch comedy

Discography

All albums released on You Guys Records.

Album Release
Yoopanese July 4, 1986
Culture Shock November 1, 1987
Camp Fever August 1, 1988
Yoop It Up August 1, 1989
Yoopy Do Wah October 1, 1991
One Can Short of a Six-Pack November 23, 1994
For Diehards Only April 16, 1995
We're Still Rockin' December 10, 1996
Jackpine Savage August 15, 2000
Naked Elves in Cowboy Boots November 14, 2000
Songs for Fart Lovers February 10, 2004
Diehards II 2004
21st Century Yoopers in Space 2006

References

External links


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