Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy 37th Anniversary To The KISS Army

 www.KISSopolis.com | Photo: Bill Starkey

Today In KISStory - November 21, 1975: The KISS Army as born in Terre Haute, Indiana.

A lifetime of thanks to KISS Army founders Bill Starkey and Jay Evans for starting the best fan club in the world. We Are One.

KISStory of The KISS Army:

In January 1975, Bill Starkey and Jay Evans, two teenage KISS fans from Terre Haute, Indiana, began contacting local radio station WVTS in an effort to get KISS music played. After being repeatedly turned down by program director Rich Dickerson, Starkey and Evans began calling WVTS claiming to be "the KISS Army." Additionally, they sent letters to the station and signed them, "Bill Starkey–President of the KISS Army," and "Jay Evans–Field Marshall." By July 1975, WVTS had begun to play KISS records, often referring to the KISS Army. Some of the letters included threats to blow up the station. Before long, listeners started calling the station asking how they could enlist.

Dickerson worked with Starkey and Evans to provide advance promotion for a KISS concert at the new Hulman Civic-University Center in Terre Haute. Before the show, Kiss publicist Alan Miller contacted Starkey to discuss the KISS Army. At Miller's request, Starkey and Evans took phone calls on the air at WVTS to recruit as many members as possible for the KISS Army. As a result of these efforts, the November 21 show sold out (10,000 seats). During the concert, Starkey was brought on stage and given a plaque by KISS. On November 21, 2010 the KISS Army turned 35 to celebrate it the Mayor of Terre Haute declared it KISS Army day and co founder Bill Starkey spent the day as guest DJ for 105.5 the river - a Terre Haute radio station playing KISS music.

Soon after the Terre Haute concert, the KISS Army became the official fan club of the group. Order forms for the KISS Army first appeared in November 1976's Destroyer. Former head of KISS merchandising Ron Boutwell estimated that the fan club (at its peak) earned US$ 5,000 per day, and had nearly 100,000 members. After a period of inactivity, KISS announced the re-launch of the KISS Army as the group's official fan club on August 23, 2007. (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiss_Army)


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