Fun Facts

Sometimes it is easier to understand who we are by reading some trivial facts about where we came from. What follows is some fun facts about the people that have been instrumental in building Mission Control Studios/Records over the past 30 years or so. Even though the label was officially launched in March of 2012, there was a lot going on that led to the launch. "Mission Control Studios" was used as the studio name as far back as the 1990's. The label was previously known as "Power Records".

As a group, Mission Control artists have sold millions of records in just about every format (Vinyl, cassette, CD, mp3) in over 40 countries world wide. They have won Grammy's, been inducted into various halls of fame, worked with the biggest names in the industry and played to millions of people world wide. While you may not know them by name yet, we hope that you will read some of these fun facts and get more familiar with this talented group of people.

In the following snippets (listed in alphabetical order by artist), Mission Control founder/CEO Karl Bingle has been shortened to just KB so it isn't so redundant! Reading through this list, you can see how all of these artists relate to each other, regardless of age or genre, and led to what we now consider our musical "family". This is by no means and all-inclusive list, just a few fun facts. Enjoy!


(Listed in alphabetical order by Artist)


Sherman Andrus

Sherman Andrus

Sherman is one of the pioneers of the Contemporary Christian Music industry, bringing gospel to the masses through his work with Andrae Crouch & the Disciples The Imperials (who also backed Elvis Presley), Andrus, Blackwood & Co., as a solo artist and now with the Gospel duo "Andrus & Bingle". If you are watching TV late at night and see an infomercial for "Elvis, the Concert" - you'll see Sherman! Sherman met KB through his brother Lonny and has done 2 albums with Mission Control. Sherman won a grammy for his work in the Imperials and is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Lonny Bingle

Lonny Bingle

Lonny (KB's brother) made his first instrumental album with KB in Dallas Texas in 1979. This album was produced by Terry Blackwood which led to Lonny's long time friendship and collaboration with Sherman Andrus. Terry and Sherman had a successful run as one of Contemporary Christian's top recording artists in both The Imperials and Andrus, Blackwood & Co. Lonny and Sherman have released 2 albums on MCR as well as a track on the 2012 Honor Flight album. Lonny continues to help with string arrangements on albums for MCR.

Eric Burgeson

Eric Burgeson

Eric earned a Gold record for two songs he penned on Marty Balin's 1981 solo album "Balin". He went on to further success in the band ShyAnne and then the legendary rock band Foghat. Eric was also a member of the Perones and Radio Face. Eric and KB met through a mutual friend (Jon Pieroni) and have been writing and recording music ever since including their project Professor Balls and Head East lead vocalist Kurt Hansen's one and only solo album.

Charlie Butts

Charlie Butts

Charlie has been a staple in the Spokane blues scene with his band "Charlie Butts & the Filter Tips". He first met KB when he played blues harp on Champagne Alley's album "City of Pain". Since that time, Charlie has gone on to play on numerous recordings with various Mission Control artists including Andrus & Bingle's "A Servant's Heart" and the highly acclaimed "In Your Honor" album featuring various Mission Control artists. Most recently, Charlie brought his grandaughter, Keyonna Knight to Mission Control Records to record her first Single, "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad".

Chris Collins

Chris Collins

Chris met KB through a mutual friend when KB was looking for a backing vocalist for his first solo album "Hard Rock Comedy" in 1999. Chris came with high praise, having won a slot singing with Rod Stewart at the Gorge in Washington State. Since that time, Chris has worked on dozens of recordings and is the "go to" female vocalist on the label.

Michael J. Dwyer

Michael J. Dwyer

KB met Mike in the early 1980's when he was asked to join Mike's band called "The Paradise Highway Band". Mike had been highly successful with his CCM band "Heirborn", an early Christian Rock band. They lost touch over the years and then came back into contact in 2011, when they started working on Mike's solo album, "As Real As it Gets", which became the first new album released on the Mission Control label.

Fun fact: Mike's brother-in-law, Bob Taylor, is the founder/owner of Taylor Guitars.

Flicky

Sean Flikke, aka "Flicky"

Flicky started recording with KB in 2006 with his debut album, The Orphan, The Bastard and The Thief" and they have remained friends ever since. A cool little fun fact on this album was the guest appearance by Mai Bloomfield of the band Raining Jane. Mai played Cello on a couple tracks. Her band has exploded world wide and is now Jason Mraz's backing band.

Jamie Frost

Jamie Frost

Jamie met KB back in the mid 1980's when KB joined Jamie's band, "The Move". That band later evolved into The Raves. Jamie and fellow Raves band mate Dave Becker went on to form the Young Brians. Jamie is also known for his work with The Makers. Jamie re-united with KB to play steel guitar on a new version of the Charlie Ryan classic hit "Hot Rod Lincoln" that can only be found on the 2012 Honor Flight album. Charlie had recorded his vocal on this song a couple years before he passed away on February 16, 2008. KB also remastered and released the Young Brians EP Bowling Shoes that had been previously un-released.

Steve Goodman

Steve Goodman

Steve and KB have been friends since their days working together in the IT department at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA. Their mutual passion for music has led to dozens of collaborations over the past 25+ years including Champagne Alley, KB's first solo album in 1999 "Hard Rock Comedy", 2012's Honor Flight album, and much more in between!

Kurt Hansen

Kurt Hansen

After completing work on the first Professor Balls album, Eric Burgeson brought in his friend Kurt Hansen to record his first solo album. Eric and Kurt had met when Eric was touring with Foghat and Kurt was touring with Head East. Eric, Kurt and KB recorded this album along with Professor Balls bassist Aaron Boschee and keyboardist Kevin Wakefield. Kurt unfortunately passed away too soon on December 16, 2003 at the age of 46.

Steve Hanson

Steve Hanson

Steve and KB met when they had apartments next to each other on Spokane's north side back in 1981. They quickly became friends and shared their common interest in music. A few jam sessions ensued along with much mayhem! Steve relocated to Seattle for over 20 years and the two re-united when Steve moved back to Spokane in 2006. Much more jamming and mayhem has since ensued and even led to a project band called "Dirty Shame".

John Herner

John Herner

John and KB grew up together on Spokane's South Hill. A couple years after high school, John and KB joined Michael Dwyer and Michael Lehnen in the "Paradise Highway Band" aka the "Lehnen-Dwyer Band". After 30 years of going in different directions the 3 re-united for Mike's 2012 solo album "As Real As it Gets". The 3 remain long-time friends and hope to collaborate on more projects in the future.

Keyonna Knight

Keyonna Knight

Keyonna was introduced to KB in 2013 by long time friend and fellow MCR artist Charlie Butts, who is Keyonna's grandfather. KB had an idea to do a cover of the classic Meatloaf hit "Two Out of Three Ain't Band", but with a female lead vocal. KB along with Edward Myers and Eric Burgeson put the track together and Charlie added some tasty sax. Keyonna came in and did an amazing job singing the song with only 1 or 2 takes, literally reading the lyrics from her cell phone as she recorded the track! Fellow MCR artist Chris Collins added some excellent backing vocals. Keyonna now resides in New York and is pursuing a career in Theater. Keep your eye on her, she will go far!

Michael Lenke

Michael Lenke

Mike has been a highly sought after horn player having worked with icons like Buddy Rich, Lional Hampton, Ray Charles Maynard Ferguson and more. Mike and KB met through mutual friend Eric Rice when Mike was playing in Eric's band J.R. Boogie. Since that time, Mike has played on dozens of recordings with KB starting with Champagne Alley's "City of Pain" album, Professor Balls "Mudbath" album, both Andrus & Bingle albums, The Singing Nuns albums, and much much more.

Esther (Martin) Koch

Esther (Martin) Koch

Well, it wouldn't be family without family, right? Esther is KB's mother and a talented songwriter. While KB was still a Sophmore in high school (1978), he produced 3 of his Mother's songs at the recording studio at Eastern Washington University. KB restored and remastered those original recordings in 2013 and they can be found HERE.

Chad Mitchell

Chad Mitchell

Best known for his work in the Chad Mitchell Trio, KB first met Chad while recording the The Singing Nuns album "Peace on Earth 2001". Chad recorded a great version of "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" with Randy Shaw in the style of the Bing Crosby/David Bowie version. Chad also contributed a beautiful cover of "Over The Rainbow" for the 2012 Honor Flight album and then signed with MCR in 2013, releasing the single "Ship of State" in 2014.

Edward Myers

Edward Myers

Ed first met KB at a crazy late night recording session with a bizarre character named "Doc Bombay" who also claimed to be a member of "The Commodores" (he wasn't). But, that funny incident led to a friendship and musical bond that has lasted ever since. KB and Ed first started working together on The Singing Nuns albums in 2000. Ed is the musical director/arranger not only for the Singing Nuns, but also "The Platters", who he continues to tour the world with as their musical director. Ed has worked on just about every project since that time with MCR including all the Singing Nuns albums, both Andrus & Bingle albums, the "Honor Flight" album and too much more to list here!

Charlie Ryan

Charlie Ryan

Charlie was introduced to KB by friend and business partner Dan Mackey. Charlie was looking for someone to restore some of his old and un-released recordings as well as record some new material. The two had their first meeting at Snoops Saloon, a bar also owned by Dan Mackey. Charlie handed over a brief case full of tapes and KB started work on restoring them. Over time, those recordings were released on the albums "Hot Rod Lincoln" and "Meet Mr. Honky Tonk" along with a handful of new originals by Charlie. Other MCR artist appearing on "Meet Mr. Honky Tonk" include Edward Myers, Chris Collins and popular Spokesman-Review columnist Doug Clark.

Charlie played into his '90's and had planned on releasing a 50th anniversary version of his classic "Hot Rod Lincoln" at a special show in Cleveland Ohio along with Commander Cody and Asleep at the Wheel. Unfortunately, Charlie passed away a couple months before the show and KB was honored to take the stage in his place playing with Asleep at the Wheel on their rousing version of "Hot Rod Lincoln" to end the show. The vocal that Charlie had recorded for the 50th anniversary of the song was released on the final version as a cut on the 2012 "Honor Flight" album.

Sami Scot

Sami Scot

Sami and KB first met in Chicago when Sami was playing a gig at a local piano bar back in 1997. KB was intrigued by her amazing and unique voice and how original she could make any song sound. They quickly became friends and have stayed in touch ever since. Sami released her first EP "8 Songs by Sami Scot" in 2014 and continues to record great original music. She released another EP titled "Lazy Days" later that year and continues to write and perform great music. She has been a real inspiration to MCR and even performed at KB's wedding in Boston in 2007.

Randy Shaw

Randy Shaw

Randy Shaw is a well respected journalist, anchorman, author, musician and singer. Randy and KB first met in 1983 when Randy was doing a story on a local chemical plant where KB worked. They became friends and stayed in touch over the years. In the spring of 2001, KB produced a live recording for Randy's band, "The Randy Shaw Band - Live". Later that year, Randy contributed 2 tracks to The Singing Nuns Christmas album, "Peace on Earth 2001". The album included an orignal composition, "Ornament of Paper" as well as a classic duet with Chad Mitchell on the song "Peace on Earth/Drummer Boy".

Randy was instrumental in the creation of the Honor Flight album that benefitted the Honor Flight charity that flies veterans back to their Washington D.C. war memorials. Through Randy's help and heavy promotion on KREM-2 TV in Spokane, (the local CBS affiliate), the album was able to raise over $20K.

The Singing Nuns

The Singing Nuns

KB first became aquainted with The Singing Nuns through Ed Myers, their musical director. The Singing Nuns first gained national attention with an appearance on the Merv Griffin show in the 1980's. Since that time, they've gone on to record over a dozen albums (mostly at MCR) and sell tens of thousands of copies world wide. It was through their encouragement, and the encouragement of Ed Myers, that KB was inspired to forge ahead with MCR.


We're excited to see what unfolds in the future. The one thing we know for sure, it's going to be great!