Long-time Triangle Talent Friend, Jim Muench, passed suddenly on Monday. The following was written by one of our staff members, Brenda Woods, in memorandum of Jim. He was a true friend to Triangle Talent, and was part of the Triangle Talent family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Muench Family.
Louisville, Ky – On Monday evening, February 9, 2015 while vacationing in Ft. Myers, FL with his wife, Eileen, Jim Muench died very suddenly leaving a hole in the hearts of his family, friends and his music community.
Unlike many musicians whose egos far out cede their talents and accomplishments, Jim was humble and selfless, quietly becoming part of the Louisville music scene. But his story deserves to be heard.
After prior incarnations of bands known as The Magna IV, Brothers Pride and
Louisville, the musical group “Munch Brothers” was formed with members Jim Muench (guitar), Don Keith Muench (Bass), Steve Muench (guitar), Danny Bell (drums), and Don Cameron (keyboards). (The spelling of their last name was modified thinking it would be easier and it was used for a time.)
In January 1974 the group was managed by Louisville disk jockey, Dude Walker of WAKY radio and embarked on a journey to Toronto, Canada. While in Toronto the Munch Brothers were engaged by CHUM radio and sponsored by the Peter Stuyvesant Cigarette Company to tour Southern Ontario with daily concerts throughout the Province. Dates included two appearances at Nathan Phillips Square performing to crowds in excess of 50,000 and concluded with a two week run at the Canadian National Exhibition. During this time the band released a record in Toronto entitled “I need some Rock and Roll”. The group also appeared with “Wolfman Jack” in concert in Oshawa Ontario.
Encouraged by the success enjoyed in Canada, the decision was made to move to Los Angeles in November 1974. After several months in California an audition was arranged with Peggy Rogers of Dick Clark Productions and a subsequent audition with the Osmond’s manager, Jim Morey. After shortening the name to “Munch” it was agreed for the band to appear in Honolulu at the Hawaiian International Center, opening the show for the Osmond Brothers, Donny and Marie, and younger brother Jimmy Osmond. After that performance, Munch was signed as the opening act for the 1975 Osmond tour and continued to tour with the Osmond family through 1978.
Shortly after the first Osmond tour, Munch signed a recording contract with Gene Autry’s Republic Records, which produced a number of singles and an album released in 1977. Republic Records suggested another name change for the band which became “Muench”, and the title of the album. The disk was a combination of original music written by members of Muench and songs written and produced by Jerry Fuller (Rick Nelson, Gary Puckett), Dave Burgess (The Champs, The Lettermen), and a number of tracks produced by Jim Ed Norman (Jennifer Warnes, Anne Murray, and string arranger for the Eagles).
During this time the band opened a number of shows for the Bee Gees in 1977 and performed with Andy Gibb on his “Shadow Dancing Tour” in 1978. Other notable performances include “Dick Clark’s Good Old Rock & Roll Show” aboard the Sitmar Cruise Ship SS Fairseas. Hosted by9 Dick Clark, Muench provided music for The Coasters, Freddy Cannon, and Gary US Bonds, as well as playing their own set.
Muench has performed for numerous charitable events sponsored by the City of Hope cancer foundation in Los Angeles and has appeared in venues along the west coast from Palm Springs to Portland, including the MGM Grand in Reno, NV. The group has also shared the stage with Survivor (Eye of the Tiger), Tony Joe White (Polk Salad Annie), and the Hudson Brothers. Among the notable musicians who have sat in with the group include singer/guitarist Peter Beckett and drummer, John Freisen of the group “Player”; guitarist Peter Woodford of the Doc Severinson NBC Orchestra; and blues guitarist, Coco Montoya.
After nearly twenty years in California, the 1994 Northridge Earthquake became a catalyst for the return of the group’s members to their hometown of Louisville, KY where they continued to perform.