SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – One of the longest-performing bands in South Dakota is calling it quits this weekend. Something New has been entertaining crowds for 44 years. Founded in Salem by twenty-somethings John McCormick and Mark Kimmel, Something New has performed all over the five-state region.

From Bismark to Omaha, audiences have enjoyed their sound. The band currently includes Dickie Dawson on lead guitar and vocals, Helen Mogen on Keyboards, and Brian Oakleaf on drums. Former member Kenny Young is joining them for their final rehearsal and show.

Inspired and encouraged at a young age by the legendary Myron Lee, McCormick’s high notes are part of their distinctive sound. Over the years they’ve opened for a number of big name acts: Three Dog Night, Blood Sweat and Tears, Tommy James and the Shondels to name a few. 

“We were lucky enough to be looked at or viewed by an agent over in Omaha, and he liked what he heard, and he went to work and put us to work, and the rest is history,” McCormick said.

“How did we last so long? Well, we had 24 different people playing in the band over those years,” said Kimmel. “So it wasn’t just getting along with one person. It was getting along with four or five.” 

Inducted into the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, Something New has been performing since June 1976. The two founders decided now was the time for their song to play out. They are ready to put hauling around heavy sound equipment and getting home at three or four in the morning behind them.

“When you are in a band, the whole family is in the band, the wives and everybody put up with it and have to learn to work around that schedule, and everything else is second place to the band,” said Kimmel. 

Kimmel says he will still enjoy playing guitar in church, while McCormick says it is hard to think about their upcoming final performance and saying goodbye to something that has been at the center of their lives for so long.

“Going to be tough, it really is,” said McCormick.  

For more than 4 decades and for thousands of fans, Something New, has been something special.

This weekend’s farewell concert will include some of the band’s former members joining them on stage. The free performance is scheduled for 2:00 Sunday afternoon at City Park in Hartford.