Michael “Cub” Koda (October 1, 1948 – July 1, 2000) an American rock and roll singer, guitarist, songwriter, disc jockey, music critic, and record compiler. Rolling Stone magazine considered Koda best known for writing the song “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room”, which reached #3 on the 1974 Billboard charts as performed by Brownsville Station, and was later covered by Mötley Crüe. He co-wrote and edited the All Music Guide to the Blues, and Blues for Dummies, and put together the CD of blues classics accompanying the latter title, personally selecting versions of each song that appeared on it. He also contributed liner notes for the Trashmen, Jimmy Reed, J. B. Hutto, The Kingsmen, and the Miller Sisters, among others.
Koda was a native of Detroit, Michigan, and a graduate of Manchester High School, Manchester, Michigan. He became interested in music as a young boy, learning drums 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.
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, 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 Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, The Who, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Link Wray.
The band began performing throughout the American 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 Hot 100 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,”The Martian Boogie”, “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” (title taken from Matthew 5:37), “Wanted (Dead Or Alive)”, and “Barefootin.” “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” was later covered by Mötley Crüe.
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 at age 51.
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