February 2008 - True Story
The Fall of 1981, going to college and living with five guys in La Crosse, WI., music was always part of our house. Wether it was our stero or the newly aired MTV, between the two, there was always music. One day my roommate Pete pulls out this album, Timberline, The Great Timber Rush. He puts it on the record player and from that moment on and for the next two years of living with these guys, that album always started our nights out on the town and was put back on when we returned for our after bar get togethers. Pete, for whatever reason told all of us that we would never be able to purchase this album. I'm not sure the whole story but I believe he said it was out of production. Pete loved to rib us that the album was his and only his and we would never get what he had, your album. (There may have been a cassette copy made, just in case Pete moved out!) Fast forward about five years. I'm now living in St Louis, Missouri and somewhere in time between my time with Pete and my other roommates and then, to no avail could I ever locate that tape. One day I walked into a used record store in South St. Louis jsut to browse the selection. I remember after awhile thinking "What do you think the possibilities are that"? So I went over to the T's and browsed through the albums behind the letter T. You guessed it, there, in near mint condition was your album, Timberline, The Great Timber Rush! What a find!. I would later think about Pete and how I now know, that I too had what he thought only he would have, a copy of your album! That album to this day remains in my collection of vinyl from days gone by. From times of cassettes to CD's and how the music fromat has changed those albums still get played. Recently, while online I decided to enter Timberline in my search just to see what would come up. I wanted to know about the band and what happened and to see if there was any clue as to why Pete felt that no one would ever get there hands on your album. There, plain to see was your websit detailing the history of your band and what happened after the albums release. Wow, I finally found out! But what's even better, I saw that I could own a digitally remastered CDd of that great album. Without hesitation I ordered it. I recieved it today and with the wisk of a knife to get it out of the box, it went right into my cd player where I listened to it to completion. Jim, congratulations on your success as a musician and thank you most for this CD. It becomes part of my cd collection and right into my iPod. This album has made quite a journey over the last 25 plus years of my life, from vinyl to tape to my copy on vinyl to now on CD to my iPod and all because I found you on the internet! Wow, isn't living in the future grand! I'm not sure where Pete is today, but I would now like to think I have one-upped him! Thanks so much for everything and especially your music. I look forward to adding more of your music to my library. It sure seems that you have lived your song Timberline.
Congratulations!! Very Sincerely, Michael Dineen
I came early for sound check expecting a quiet hall. But inside, it sounded like the concert had already started...or maybe a party. Timberline was on stage doing a sound check but they weren’t just going through the motions. Their music has a feeling of joy that carried them beyond the fatigue of the road. The years of being together and believing in each other had created something with a life of its own. Wall to wall concerts for the last four years had made them stronger than even their own intentions. They were ripe for discovery by the “big audience.” I felt it strongly as I listened to them. I shared their energy and fresh spirit when I sang with them. It was reminiscent of PP&M before we “happened.” For me, it was “déjà vu.” For them it was the beginning of a long exciting road.
— Peter Yarrow 1977
The band, Timberline was formed by Jim Salestrom, then 15, and older brother Chuck in Kearney, Nebraska, in 1971. The original band featured Jim as lead singer and primary songwriter, Chuck on bass and vocals, Bill Howland on keyboards and background vocals, Dugg Duggan on lead guitar, and Dick Jensen on drums. Broken Bow, Nebraska's favorite son Craig Link, soon replaced Dick on drums. The band made their early recording demos in Denver with Dugg producing.
Within a year, the band was signed by Variety Artists, a national booking agency with Gordon Singer at the helm. Variety booked the band for 250 dates a year, including concerts in West Virginia, Virginia, Arkansas, Florida, Ohio, and Nebraska. After building a solid regional fan base, the band signed with manager Jack Daley, who set up Timberline's recording contract with Epic Records CBS.
Timberline recorded their first album for CBS, The Great Timber Rush, in Hollywood in January, February and March of 1977. The album was produced by legendary record producer, Bones Howe, and guest musicians included Hal Blaine, John McEuen and Michael Boddicker. Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary penned the liner notes.
Timberline toured as the opening act for Dolly Parton to promote the album, which opened the door for lead singer Jim Salestrom's career when Timberline disbanded in 1978, a victim of the disco craze. In 1979, Jim was asked to join Dolly Parton's band as a singer and musician, playing acoustic, electric and high-string guitars as well as the banjo.
"We all miss Bill Howland who passed away in 1988 after a long illness, but we still love to get together to play every now and again…and to remember. We were very tight as a band but even more important as brothers and friends." Jim Salestrom
(Lead vocals, backup vocals, acoustic and electric rhythm guitars, banjo)
Jim and his older brother Chuck formed Timberline, featuring Jim as lead singer and primary songwriter. Through the 1980's Jim traveled with Dolly's band as a singer and musician, playing acoustic, electric and high-string guitars as well as the banjo. He continues to perform full time around the world including Brazil, Argentina, Scotland, Ireland, England, Australia, Germany and Singapore, and has built a loyal following in the Colorado Rockies, which he calls home with his wife Pam and their two children Casey and James.
(Bass, backup vocals)
Along with performing in the band, Chuck was also the road manager and often took care of not only the band, and the sound, but the band's 1957 4104 Greyhound Bus. Today, Chuck continues to live in west central Nebraska where he is administrator with the Mid-Plains Community College Area. Chuck and Kristi, his wife of over 25 years, have two kids - Joshua, who is about to complete a degree at the University of Nebraska, and has dreams of playing music professionally, and Jennifer who is currently enrolled at Mid-Plains in primary education. Recently, Chuck began playing with "Chance" - a long-time fixture in the music scene in western Nebraska and he still occasionally performs with his brother Jim.
(Lead guitar, mandolin, harmonica, backup vocals)
Dugg produced the demos for Timberline which helped CBS Epic Records discover the band and he co-wrote several of the songs on the album. Dugg is currently teaching audio/video at the Colorado Institute of Art. He also continues to produce/engineer music in Colorado and performs in places like London, Singapore and Bali, as well as Colorado with Jim.
(Drums and percussion, backup vocals)
Is originally from Broken Bow Nebraska and joined Timberline in 1973. Craig has a background in big band, jazz and rock and continues to play through out the Midwest with various groups when he's not at his real job as the Managing Sales Director for convention business at the Ramada Inn in Kearney Nebraska.
(Piano, electric piano, organ, backup vocals)
Bill Howland was a theatre major at Kearney State College, where Jim and Chuck Salestrom first met him. They toured Nebraska together in the college choir. Bill had a brilliant, intelligent wit, and wrote "190 Miles Of Depression Blues" which was included on "The Great Timber Rush" album. Bill majored in journalism at the University Of Nebraska at Lincoln. He was a huge railroad buff and, after college, went to Chicago to work for the railroad. Anita Howland, Bill's stepmother, says, "He was one of the most loving, considerate and thoughtful children a Mom could ever raise." Bill passed away in 1988 after a long illness.