Formed in 1972 at North Central High School in Indianapolis, The Late Show’s original line-up included drummer Mark Cutsinger and guitarist Kevin Kimberlin, along with Don Main and Mark Moran.
With a move to New York City in 1974 the Late Show caught the attention of producer Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Artful Dodger, New York Dolls, The Knack). After a series of recordings with Douglas at the Record Plant, and major label offers from CBS, Epic, Windfall, and Don Kirshner’s Record label, all of which the band turned down expecting a bigger deal to be around the corner, Kimberlin left the band.
The band continued as a three piece from 1975 until 1979, when Steve Lester was added on guitar and keyboards.
By late 1979, guitarist Rick Clayton had replaced Steve Lester and Chris Pyle joined replacing Mark Cutsinger on drums.
The band entered Soundsmith Studios in Indianapolis with producer Greg Riker and engineer producer Mike Petrucci to record their first record, “Portable Pop”. The band had trouble getting the sound they wanted in the studio. Main recalled, “Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice studio, it was just too sterile sounding. So we literally set up in the loading dock area of the studio with monitors and recorded the entire album live.” “Portable Pop”, released in 1980 on Rave Records was the only official release by The Late Show, and was only available at the time on vinyl. The record has been out of print since the early 80′s. This power pop classic will be reissued in March 2012 on Cd and Cassette. The Cd release features 4 unreleased studio tracks and the cassette release features a 10 song live concert from 1979 - 80 FM radio broadcasts.
The band recorded their second record in Memphis, Tn with producer John Hampton (The Raconteurs, White Strips, Alex Chilton, The Cramps, The Replacements, Gin Blossoms) in 1983. The record entitled , The Late Show “Recordio in Stereo”, was shelved just weeks before it’s independent release by the bands lawyer, who assured them a contract with Atlantic Records was a done deal. As it it turned out the deal fell through and the record has remained unreleased since 1983. It will finally see the light of day with bonus tracks later this year on Trashy Creatures Records. Between 1986 and 1988, the band recorded demos In Los Angeles and their hometown of Indianapolis with producer Ian Ritchie (Roger Waters, Godley & Creme, Gary Numan, The Beach Boys, Dead Or Alive, Howard Jones, Laurie Anderson). Atlantic Records was responsible for paring producer Ritchie with the band but once again a deal with the label failed to materialize.
The “Portable Pop” reissue was produced for Trashy Creatures Records by Greg Roberson (Tiger High, Reigning Sound, Arthur Lee’s Love). It is available on Cd, for Digital Download, and as a High Quality Cassette. The Cd features the original 12 song LP plus 4 previously unreleased studio bonus tracks recorded just prior “Portable Pop”. The cassette reissue contains the original 12 song LP plus an entire 10 song live concert from 1980 as bonus tracks.
The Late Show’s Portable Pop LP was listed in Goldmine Magazine as #23 of the 50 essential US power pop albums.
The album was listed as #46 of the 200 most essential power pop albums in the book “Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide”
"The Late Show’s Portable Pop. Appearing on CD for the first time, the album was originally released on a tiny indie label in 1980 and became a much talked about and highly coveted power pop rarity. Trashy Creatures Records has given the dozen tracks the digital treatment . . . The Indianapolis, IN quartet specialized in Beatlesque numbers powered by plenty of guitar crunch, Don Main’s sweetly snotty lead vocals and oodles of nice vocal harmonies. Every cut’s a winner and there are also four bonus tracks: alternate versions of two tracks from the original release and two previously unreleased tracks from the same era (“Say Hello” is a real gem). Grade: A
John Borack April 7, 2013
"The band only released one proper album, Portable Pop, and though it’s a gem, it has sadly been out of print since the early 80s. Fortunately, for fans of airtight arrangements and angelic melodies,Portable Pop has been reissued by Trashy Creatures Records."
My Old Kentucky Blog May 2012
"Not only a gem of an artifact, but a gem of a record on its own. Power pop, straight up and pure. The Beatles’ references and influences are obvious, but who else are you going to touch down on when you start making pure pop of your own in ’72? Well, a lot actually…and The Late Show did. Sweetly. It’s classic stuff, chock full of hooks and melodies, buoyant vocals and delivered with enough effervescent energy to keep you up for the show. Originally out in ’80, and long since out of print, it’s not so much a missing link as another bridge between what was and what was coming."
Mr Atavist Blog June 2012
"Portable Pop is indispensable for power pop nerds (like us) everywhere."
Raven Sings The Blues Blog June 2012
"Portable Pop has a classic power pop sound but is also heavily influenced by sunny 60′s pop melodies."
Indie Media Mag May 2012
"Portable Pop consists of 16 absolutely stunning 1960's sounding pop songs ...this is really beautiful genre stuff that deserved to be reissued. I suggest you find a place for it in your pop music library."
The Ripple Effect August 2012
"A gleaming, lively, of-the-period piece of work, Portable Pop echoes bands like the Knack and The Romantics, but also the British Invasion sound, and Elvis Costello."
" ...fits right in that power pop niche also occupied by Big Star, The Knack, and Cheap Trick. Strong songwriting is given a dirty, garage sound due to the band recording the album live on a loading dock."
KMNR 89.7 Radio Blog May 2012
#26 in the Top 75 reissues of 2012
The Late Show will be featured in a new book called “Power Pop 360” and the song “Take a Chance” will be featured on the CD Compilation that will accompany the book.