Cub Koda

Michael "Cub" Koda (October 1 1948 - July 1 2000) was a rock and roll singer, guitarist, songwriter, disc jockey, music critic, and record compiler.

Koda is perhaps best known for writing the song "Smokin' in the Boys' Room." When performed by Koda's group Brownsville Station, the song reached #3 in the Billboard charts in 1974, and was later covered by Mötley Crüe.

He co-wrote and edited the All Music Guide to the Blues (ISBN 0-87930-736-6) and Blues for Dummies (ISBN 0-7645-5080-2) and put together the CD of blues classics accompanying the latter title, personally selecting versions of each song that appeared on it. A complete discography and bibliography is available on the Official Cub Koda Homepage He also contributed liner notes for the Trashmen, Jimmy Reed, J.B. Hutto, The Kingsmen, and the Miller Sisters, among others.


Early life and career

He was a native of Detroit, Michigan and a graduate of Manchester High School, Manchester, Michigan.

Koda became interested in music as a young boy. He was a drummer by the age of 5, and by the time he was in high school he had formed his own group, The Del-Tinos. Using the style of rockabilly, rock & roll, and blues music, the band released their first single, "Go Go Go" (a version of a Roy Orbison recording), in the fall of 1963. They released two more singles, but eventually broke up in 1966, when Koda wanted to pursue other options.

With Brownsville Station

Koda then worked as a solo artist releasing two singles, "I Got My Mojo Workin" and "Ramblin' On My Mind", and working with a couple of bands, before forming Brownsville Station in 1969.

Formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1969, Brownsville Station also included drummer T. J. Cronley, bassist Tony Driggins, guitarist Mike Lutz, and later Bruce Nazarian and Henry Weck. The group was influenced by the likes of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, The Who, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Link Wray.

The band began performing throughout the U.S. midwest, and released several singles before getting noticed. They released their first album in 1970, but it was the 1973 single, "Smokin' In The Boys Room", that remains their best-known song. The song went to #3 on the music charts and eventually sold over two million copies. Although the song was the band's only hit, they continued to perform together until they disbanded in 1979.

Other recordings by Brownsville Station include, "I Get So Excited", "Hey Little Girl", "Mama Don't Allow No Parkin'", "I Got It Bad For You", "Kings Of The Party", "I'm The Leader Of The Gang", "Let Your Yeah Be Yeah", "Wanted (Dead Or Alive)", and "Barefootin." "Smokin' In The Boys Room" was later covered by Mötley Crüe.

After Brownsville Station

Before the break up of the band Koda purchased a multi-track recorder and started producing one-man band tapes of rockabilly, blues, R&B, country, early rock & roll, and jazz music, which he released as the album, That's What I Like About The South. He also became more focused on performing solo, and also began writing for numerous music magazines, most notably his column, "The Vinyl Junkie", for the Goldmine Magazine (later DISCoveries). He also wrote three volumes for the acclaimed Blues Masters series. Koda was also a contributor to the Allmusic review website and books.

By 1980, Koda was performing with Hound Dog Taylor's backing band (The Houserockers). Together with guitarist Brewer Phillips, and drummer Ted Harvey, they performed and recorded together for 15 years. The group's first album was, It's the Blues(1981), and their second, The Joint Was Rockin' , released in 1996. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Koda continued his busy schedule between touring, recording, and writing. In 1993, the twin release of Smokin' in the Boy's Room: The Best of Brownsville Station, was released on the Rhino Record Label, and Welcome to My Job, a retrospective of his non-Brownsville material was released on the Blue Wave Record Label. This followed a year later with the release of the album, Abba Dabba Dabba: A Bananza Of Hits On Schoolkids Records.

In 1997, he released the solo work, Box Lunch collection, on the J-Birds Record Label, and the 1998 Norton Record Label reissue of recordings he made with the Del-Tinos. He also released 1999's Points, and 2000's Noise Monkeys (one of his last works).

On June 30 2000, while promoting his new album, he became ill. Although he was recovering from kidney disease, which required dialysis, Koda died the next day, aged 51.


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