Whitewater band jammin' for 54 years

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WHITEWATER, Wis. (WMTV) -- Mourning Dayze has been playing together for more than half a century. The band has been around since 1965 and is continuing to find ways to bring the community joy through music.

"We had a lot of fun," Doug Henry said.

Henry was one of the original band members with Rick Pfiefer, Steve Ellmann, and John Valentine. They played together into the 70's until Ellmann was drafted to the war, and Henry was too. Henry's papers didn't go through, so he ended up leaving to start a teaching job.

"Watching Gene Autry and Roy Rogers TV shows," Pfiefer says," that is really what inspired me, so I learned some songs and my mom got me an electric guitar."

In the days of Justin Bieber, and Beyonce, the Mourning Dayze says they never needed a Billboard top hit to enjoy playing and making music. They had their own little run-ins with fame.

"Cher was sitting in the way back corner as I was singing. I got so nervous when I saw her walk up to me I stopped singing," Rise Hebebrand said.

Hebebrand joined the group in the 1970's when the others were leaving. Her brother is Rick Pfiefer, who made her audition.

"He told me to walk back into the house and they would call me," Heberand said.

The group has traveled across the country to gigs in Nebraska, and New York. They have countless stories of run-ins with rising stars.

At the end of the day, nothing compares to jamming in their old garage.

"It was the start of it all," Henry said.