"As The Commodores came out on stage, they proved once again that they still know how to party and work a crowd even without Lionel Ritchie. Even though they only played a 45-minute set, they breezed through as many hits as possible. Comprising of original members Williams King, singer and drummer, Walter Orange, who sang the infamous "Brick House," and J.D. Nicholas; together, they are keeping the legacy and the spirit of The Commodores alive."
BY: JEFF CLARK
The 60s pop-package “Happy Together Tour” opened a summer run of 50-something shows Friday night at the IP Casino Resort in Biloxi.
The tour was started by “Flo and Eddie” (Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman) of The Turtles in 1984. This year’s incarnation featured The Turtles, The Cowsills, Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders, Gary Puckett and Billy J. Kramer filled in for the absent Spencer Davis Group.
While all of the acts played their hits to an enthusiastic crowd, former Three Dog Night vocalist Chuck Negron stole the show.
How do you top Negron belting out “Joy to the World?” You don’t. You have The Turtles come out and do their thing, and do it quite well, and then you bring Negron back on stage for another chorus of “Joy” and then let him sing the refrain of “Happy Together.”
In full-disclosure, Negron is one of my favorite singers and “Joy to the World” is the first song I remember hearing on the radio as a young child.
Negron went through four Three Dog Night songs -- “Shambala,” “One,” “Mama Told me Not to Come” and “Joy to the World.” His voice was in excellent shape and as powerful as ever. I only wish there had been more as Negron’s portion of the show was over as soon as he started to hit his stride. I’m hoping he will add Biloxi to his next solo tour.
It’s interesting that Negron was on a pop tour, as I’ve always considered Three Dog Night a rock band. If you need proof of their rock credibility, give “Three Dog Night Captured Live at the Forum” a spin. Recorded in 1969, the album is a great testament to the band’s live shows, with Jimmy Greenspoon, Michael Allsup, Joe Schermie and Floyd Sneed killing it as their famous backup band.
It is worth noting that Negron is an author. His autobiography “Three Dog Nightmare” tells his tale of a life-threatening addiction to heroin and how Negron fought through his addiction and put his life back together. He has been sober 25 years.
Negron, who tried in vain to help Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain with his heroin addiction, still works with alcoholics and addicts.
Sweet! Hollywood recently unveiled a new candy bar in Negron’s honor. The Three Dog Nightmare bar retails for $7.99 and the proceeds from its sales with benefit Cr-Help in Los Angeles, the rehab center where Negron found sobriety.
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Happy Together Tour returns to the historic Paramount Theatre, on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, on August 13th at7:00pm. This summer tradition, to benefit the Light of Day Foundation, celebrating the music of the 60's and 70's delivers the biggest hits of the era by the original artists. One evening featuring over 50 solid gold hits! This year's unparalled line up includes your hosts The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, along with Chuck Negron - formally of Three Dog Night, Mark Lindsay - former Lead Singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Cowsills, and The Spencer Davis Group- starring Spencer Davis. The Happy Together Tour began back in 1984 with mainstays, The Turtles.
Starting up again in 2010 and now in it's 7th consecutive year. The overwhelming response and love for the music has endured and The Happy Together tour has become a summer staple in Asbury Park, bringing us back in time, celebrating the soundtrack of the 60's and 70's.
The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie are the signature headliners of the tour and act as your musical hosts with their antics, satire and number of hits. Led by vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, known as Flo & Eddie. Hits include "Happy Together," "She'd Rather Be With Me," "Elenore," "It Ain't Me Babe," and "You Showed Me."
Chuck Negron, formally of Three Dog Night, is thrilled to be on the tour and brings some of the group's biggest hits to the stage. Hits include "Joy To The World," "Mama Told Me Not To Come," "Shambala," "One," and "Easy To Be Hard."
Mark Lindsay, former lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders, was the cofounder and lead singer of this seminal act from its inception in 1963 through 1975. His voice is heard on all 16 of the band's Top 20 hits like "Kicks," "Hungry," "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone," and "Indian Reservation."
The Cowsills were the surprise of last year's tour, wowing the crowds with their effervescent pop magic. Bob, Paul & Susan Cowsill are a singing family and the inspiration for television's 'The Partridge Family.' Songs include "The Rain, The Park & Other Things," "Hair," "Indian Lake," and "Love American Style."
Gary Puckett & The Union Gap is on Happy Together by popular demand. Puckett's big signature voice will be belting out his hits one more time! Hits include "Young Girl," "Over You," "Woman Woman," and more.
The Spencer Davis Group starring Spencer Davis marks the band's first appearance on the Happy Together tour. A stalwart of the British Invasion, The Spencer Davis Group personified swinging London and British coo of the 1960's with songs like "Gimme Some Lovin," "I'm a Man," and "Keep on Runnin'."
The Light of Day Foundation, Inc., utilizes the power of music to raise money and awareness in its continuing battle to defeat Parkinson’s disease and related illnesses such as PSP and ALS within our lifetime. The Foundation’s mission is to fund research into possible cures, improved treatments and support for patients who suffer from those illnesses, their families and their caregivers to help improve their quality of life. For more information visit: http://www.lightofday.org.
Tickets available through the Stone Pony Box Office: 732-502-0600, TicketMaster & TM Charge By Phone: 800-745-3000. For more information visit www.apboardwalk.com
BY: ALICE MASCARENHAS
Maxi Priest’s latest song is about Gibraltar in the sun and carries as its working title the name ‘Gibraltar’. Currently working on his new album yesterday he was filming the video for the song on the Rock and will perform it live for the first time during his Gibraltar concert next month at St Michael’s Cave.
Maxi Priest has performed in the recent past in the GMF and on National Day and returns on June 10 to celebrate his birthday in concert on the Rock.
He wrote the song, he said, for many different reasons.
“As a kid I remember my mother always used to say to be ‘you’ve got to be solid as the Rock of Gibraltar’ and we just kind of took it because it had a ring to it but not really knowing the full meaning to it. Then coming here and its history immediately made me click… in a funny way emotionally, it is something you parents said to you and you’d use I, you’d say it but you never really quite understood exactly what it meant.
R&B legends The Commodores had such a great time on the Soul Train Cruise back in 2014 that they’re coming back to celebrate our 5th Anniversary! We are blessed they’ll be joining us for the 2017 Soul Train Cruise, bringing old-school funk and everlasting romance to the ship as is sails through one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
We spoke with Walter “Clyde” Orange last week, who told us all about the concerts he saw on the 2014 cruise, the new friends he made, the good times he had with the superstars he’s known for most of his life and how he’s ready to “Sail On” all over again.
“We had fun,” says Walter “Clyde” Orange, remembering the first time The Commodores stepped aboard the Soul Train Cruise back in 2014. “We enjoyed it the very first time. We also had fun watching the other artists,” he continues. “It’s an honor to be called back to do it again because Soul Train is a part of our heritage. This is a blessing and I am looking forward to it.”
That heritage Clyde speaks so warmly about has been a driving force of The Commodores for over 46 years. When they first met in Tuskegee back in 1969, they were a group of young, ambitious and unbelievably talented young men who were determined to make it big. “We were striving towards whatever it would take to make it in this industry,” he says with the same determination in his voice today that he had back then. “We were willing to do it.”
“You have your peaks and you have your valleys and that period that you go through wondering are we ever going to make it big,” Clyde says, revealing the group’s secret to nearly five decades of success. “But at the top of the list and how we created a bond between us is by caring about yourself. That helps you to get along with others and care about others. And that’s what this group is really about - caring about other people and their lives.” “So we used that as a base and we kind of structured our music to uplift people around the world,” he continues. “I thank the lord that we were thinking that way and dedicated our music that way.” With this mission, and a pledge to stay away from the drugs they watched claim many of their peers, The Commodores knew they couldn’t fail.
At first, the dream of hit songs, worldwide tours and shelves full of awards seemed like such a daunting one. “The only thing that we could foresee was us being together,” Clyde explains. “Just being here today, our dream has come true because my thinking was that this is going to last forever. Groups don’t stay together. You have personnel problems, you have health issues (Milan Williams, our originally keyboard player passed away a few years ago). But, yeah, we thought we would be together forever.”
Grounded in a heritage of respect and hard work that their parents instilled in them, the gentlemen of The Commodores then set about writing music, not knowing it would forever change the sound of American culture. And the song that started it all, well, it almost never happened.
“We came up with the track when our first producer, James Carmichael, came to Tuskegee from LA to work with us. He said, ‘You know, we need a song like the Ohio Players’ ‘Fire.’” A song with a groove so deep that bodies start moving before the brain even notices. A song that defines a group. A song that lives on for generations.
“So we started doodling around in the studio,” Clyde recounts. “I was grinding on the drums and Ron (Ronald LaPread) got on the bass and Milan on the keyboards and all of a sudden Ron came up with this boom, boom-boom, boom-boom-boom, and Carmichael said ‘Yeah, yeah, that’s it!’ But Ronald didn’t know what he had played,” Clyde laughs. “When he first played it, it was just an idea going through his head and his fingers doing the walking up and down the neck on that bass. It took us about two hours to get back that pattern back! That was how it was born and we cut the track we in the studio on the night of my birthday, December 10. That’s one thing I will never forget.”
But it turns out that the story behind “Brick House” had only just begun. “After we created the music we went home for Christmas and I came up with the title, “Brick House” and the words just began to flow. This was back in the 70s when CB radios were a big thing and I was a ham radio operator, learning morse code and sending morse code and I spent a lot of time sitting in between those two CB radios communicating with people around the world. So one day, I sat there with two tape recorders and I took the music that had no words and I wrote the song sitting right there between those two CB radios.”
Knowing he had something special on his hands, Clyde returned to the studio in Los Angeles with his bandmates after Christmas break to finish recording their debut album. “We listened to all of the tracks we had recorded before the break: only music, there were no words to any of the songs yet and when it came to listening to Brick House, we gave it a thumbs down. Everybody was in agreement with the exception of one person – Milan Williams. It broke my heart, so I didn’t say anything. I just wanted to cry because I knew I had some good words for the song.” Undaunted, Clyde went to the studio’s assistant engineer, Jane Clark, and poured his heart out. It turns out she liked the song, and reminded Clyde that he could use the studio even when the rest of the band wasn’t there. So one day, he came in early and recorded the vocals for the track. “Long story short, what you hear is what I did – it was just she and I in that studio.”
“Now, at 6:00 that very same day, our producer James Carmichael walked in. When he walked in, I said ‘Oh goodness, I didn’t ask him if I could come in the studio,’ and was worried I would get in trouble. But then he listened to the track and all the while I’m thinking ‘I am in trouble here today.’ After the song finished, he said, ‘Brother Clyde, come in for a minute. I think you got yourself a hit. I really think you got yourself a hit.’ I almost fainted. So that’s how ‘Brick House’ came about. It’s now our signature song,” he laughs at what is undoubtedly one of his favorite memories.
“Brick House” opened up the floodgates for a deluge of hits to come pouring through. “Easy,” “Just to Be Close To You,” “Lady (You Bring Me Up),” “Night Shift,” “Oh No,” “Sail On,” “Sweet Love,” “Still” and so many more followed, bringing gold records and multiple GRAMMY nominations to the young men from Tuskegee.
“Our hopes were really, really high,” says Clyde, “but thanks glory be to God and with him keeping his hands on us, keeping us together, we made it through.” “Everyone doesn’t get an opportunity like this and know how to take it and really use it and not abuse it. We know this is a blessing.”
“This is all we want to do,” he continues, “and we’re going to do it for as long as we can do it until we can’t do it no more. This is all I know how to do,” he adds with a chuckle. “But now age is catching up,” he laughs. “I can’t jump 10 feet high anymore, only six. But for as long as we can do this and that we are blessed to do it we’ll be doing it.”
Generations of fans are grateful that making great R&B music is all that Clyde Orange can do and all of us here at the 411 are excited that he’ll be doing it on the upcoming Soul Train Cruise. The cruise reunites the Commodores with so many of their fans and longtime friends that they’ve shared the stage with throughout their career. But it also brings the Commodores back together with the spirit of Soul Train.
“It meant everything, so much to me as an individual, so much to us as The Commodores,” Clyde says about the iconic television series. “For us to be a part of the Soul Train family, to be asked to do this cruise again, oh my goodness, it doesn’t get any bigger than Soul Train in my view. Soul Train is everything.”
“To keep Soul Train alive and to bring back the artists that performed back in the day to make them a part of this adventure is like winning a GRAMMY, and Oscar, anyone of those high awards. Soul Train is number one because that is all we have to relate to; there’s nothing like being black and proud and Soul Train. It’s all about Souuuuul!”
BY: JOHN LUCAS
Afterparties always seem like such a great idea at the time. Everyone milling about on the sidewalk after being unceremoniously ushered out of the bar, traffic in the street growing thinner. To those who are still standing at this time, news of an afterparty is like a death sentence commuted on the walk to the chamber. The next few hours will be heady. Time, in the traditional sense, won't exist. The next morning everyone will pray for death, but now is the time stories that will be told for years are born and bonds that feel unbreakable are made between strangers who will never see one another again. This column is about the things that happen during those special hours.
The time for dancing has passed. The thud and clatter of house music has receded. And now you are here. A taxi carried you through the sodium-bathed streets of the slumbering city. Here.
A basement apartment. On the laminate floor a bunch of strangers huddle, their tired, glassy eyes bulbous, wired, crazy. The chatter is loud. Voices come out of the gloom like a finger-poke in the sternum. On the glass coffee table, someone is manipulating a set of white papers, emptying in tobacco, crumbling resin.
There is hugging––guys and girls, guys and guys, girls and girls. There is the promise of messy, tired, sweaty sex. For some, but not for you.
You are alone. You lost your friends. You came here because you were chatting to a guy in the courtyard of that club and he knew a guy and that guy came over and chatted and then there was talk of an Uber and then...
There is a laptop on the floor. Something ambient is finishing––something that seemed to last an hour and sound like squashy orange synthesizers yawning. Now someone else sits before it, fanning out the deck of YouTube videos, picking a card.
And then it starts.
A solitary late-night synthesized piano chimes out a riff, sweet with 80s gloss and compression. A man moans. "Ooooooh."
A man in pain.
"I used to think that love was just a fairy tale / until that first hello / until that first smile."
The voice is measured, serious, the phrasing elegant. You register the pause between that "hello" and that "until." You register the tonal uplift on "smile." This is a man with an important story to tell. Even in your state you can tell that.
"If I had to do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing / cause this love is everlasting."
You note the clumsy rhyming couplet––the way that "everlasting" is shoehorned in against "thing." You note and you forgive. Because Billy––for this song is "Suddenly," Billy Ocean's mid-80s hit––is talking to you. There is a naivety in the flawed rhyme that tells you he really means it.
"Suddenly, life has new meaning to me."
And there, already, the song opens out to welcome in its gorgeous chorus. Afterward you will tell how there really is nothing on earth that can prepare you for the celestial, heart-expanding swell of the chorus of "Suddenly" by Billy Ocean. It is life with the color, brightness and contrast all turned up. It is like turning the corner of a suburban estate and finding the Grand Canyon. It is like meeting your executioner and having every shabby misdeed of your ugly past forgiven. It is like coming home.
"There's beauty up above, and things we never take notice of."
The author, right, at an afterparty that may not have been too dissimilar to the one described in this article.
George Eliot, author of Middlemarch, wrote that the purpose of the novel is to "extend our sympathies." Billy does that. Right here. He reminds us of those things we overlook, forget like the song of a sparrow in the morning, the smile of a grandmotherly figure on the bus, the kindness of that dude at the club who gave you a handful of cigarettes when you'd only asked for one.
"You wake up and suddenly, you're in love."
Riding up high on the crest of that glorious chorus, Billy looks down on us, a benign deity, and beatifies us by reminding us what is important in life. Like a sage sitting at the end of a neon-lit 80s bar in a white tuxedo with the sleeves rolled up, Billy is talking to you, telling you how to be a human being. Crumpled, with sweaty armpits and early-morning breath, you feel ashamed, inadequate. But there is hope. You and Billy are in this together. And Billy will show you the way.
"Girl, you're everything a man could want and more / one thousand words are not enough to say what I feel inside / Holding hands as we walk across the shore, never felt this way before / now you're all I'm living for..."
Maybe it's the spliff, but does Billy's voice falter just a little on the word "shore"? It's a hint of imperfection that reveals the trembling emotion beneath. Billy is keeping it together––just––and he's doing it for you. He's doing it because he needs to tell you something important, something about how your selfish little life of SnapChat fucks, soiled nights and Uber escapes is meaningless. Meaningless against the glory of love. But it's OK. It's all right. Billy is here now. You will trust in Billy and Billy will take your hand and you will walk across the shore together.
The cover art for Billy Ocean's 1984 album Suddenly, on which the eponymous single features
And now that transcendent chorus once more. Is that a quiver of your lip, a stray tear loosening in your eye?
"Suddenly, life has new meaning to me . . . "
Oh God, the wasted time. Oh God, your futile aspirations, your petty jealousies, your stupid, selfish dreams. Oh God, the one who you left so cruelly; the one who you never plucked up the courage to speak to. As the sound expands and the piano doubles down, playing a quasi-classical phrase over Billy's ecstatic revelation, you see the truth of your miserable life laid bare before you.
"Each day, I pray, this love affair would last forever, oooh oooh / Suddenly, life has new meaning for me."
You picture every musician in that LA studio sweating, giving everything and you wonder if they knew, like, really knew what they were doing, recording a song with the power to change lives, to alter destinies, to breathe new life into a loveless world.
To say: "You will be alright."
Now you are getting on your feet, fumbling for your phone, searching for that Uber app. Now, finally, you understand. This is why you came here. You will leave this dingy apartment, and its ring of messy strangers. You will go home, you will sleep and you will wake up renewed, ready to live a new kind of life.
Billy has spoken to you. Billy is all seeing, all knowing, a deity in white satin, his message smothered in 80s reverb.
Billy has spoken to you and it is OK. Everything is going to be OK now.
The Commodores performed to a crowd of more than 10,000 fans Saturday on the fairways of Pinehurst Resort, capping off the fourth annual Concours d'Elegance vintage and collector car show. The legendary Motown band performed many of its memorable hits, including "Brick House," Three Times a Lady" and "Nightshift." This is the second year the Concours has featured a concert. Three Dog Night performed at last year's show.
Late this morning, the Wisconsin State Fair announced its final two main stage headliners: the return of the Happy Together Tour and Berlin featuring original band member Terri Nunn.
Taking the stage on Sunday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m., the Happy Together Tour will feature several of the hitmakers from the '60s and '70s, including The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night, former Paul Revere & The Raiders lead singer Mark Lindsay, The Cowsills, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap and The Spencer Davis Group. Tickets for the show will cost $25 and $35.
Two days later, on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m., the '80s will then take over the stage with the combination of Berlin and A Flock of Seagulls. Original band member Terri Nunn leads the reformed Berlin, which will bring several of the band's classic hits – including the Oscar-winning Best Original Song "Take My Breathe Away" from "Top Gun" – to the State Fair main stage. The Grammy-winning English new wave band A Flock of Seagulls will join on the retro-trip with their hit "I Ran (So Far Away)" and more. All tickets for the show will cost $22.
Tickets for the shows go on sale starting Friday, April 22 at 9 a.m. both at the State Fair box office and at State Fair's website. All tickets, both reserved and grandstand, for both shows will be reserved.
The Ohio rapper spreads a message of self-reflective positivity on his new EP, The Road Less Traveled.
BY: SHAELYNE MOODIE
"Ohio has given birth to many greats in the music industry. Artists like The O’Jays, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Kid Cudi have all had an impact on their generation's culture with their distinct sounds and vivid storytelling. ‘70s R&B group The O’Jays exhibited simplicity in their lyrics about love, friendship, and even backstabbers, which set them apart from the usual formulaic hit songs..."
More at the link below.
BY: LEE ZIMMERMAN
One group that often misses out on props for both its longevity and iconic status is the Commodores, originally formed when its members met at Tuskegee University and began playing the local club and college circuit. That was 1968. A year later, the band’s drummer and current singer, Walter “Clyde” Orange, was invited to join by the group’s original bassist, Michael Gilbert.
"I have been with this band for 46 years, and that’s a miracle."
A Jacksonville native and resident of Coral Springs for the last 24 years, Orange penned two of the band’s biggest hits: one of their first, “Brick House,” and their last, the Grammy-garnering “Night Shift.” In between, he’s seen the band grow and prosper, even despite a seemingly steady shift in it personnel roster, the most significant of which was the loss of singer/songwriter Lionel Richie.
These days, the band continues to perform around 60 dates a year, filling their sets with the many hits that once dominated on pop, soul, and even country music playlists for much of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
“I first caught [the Commodores] on Valentines Day night, 1969,” Orange remembers. “I played in several bands in high school and college, and on that particular night, we had just finished playing a gig around the corner from a club called Laicos — It was ‘Social’ spelled backwards — and they were playing there.
"I immediately realized these guys were different. Number one, they all dressed alike. They all wore these silk shirts. They had a choreography routine. Everything was uniform, and they had a certain look about them. They were all clean-cut. They also played different kinds of songs. They were playing the theme to ‘Hang ‘Em High.’ That was unheard of. They were a dance band, but people would sit and watch them. Very few people would actually get up and dance.”
That first run-in proved fortuitous. A short time later, Orange learned that the Commodores' drummer was leaving, and was invited to join the band. “Four months later, I was visiting my mother in Jacksonville, and I got a call. ‘We need you on a plane this weekend!’ It was my first time on an airplane. And they wanted me to bring my drums too. So that was it. When I arrived at the airport, they told me drive out to meet them in Atlantic City. I had never driven in traffic. And I had never been to Atlantic City. I was a nervous wreck. But the rest, as they say, is history.”
Orange spent two weeks on the road with the group, learning their material. The fact that he was a trained musician who could both read and write music didn’t hurt. Plus, he was already seasoned. As a kid, he'd slip out of his bedroom window in the middle of the night to play gigs, then return early in the morning before the rest of his family was awake.
As fate would have it, Orange was offered another gig at the same time, one he was tempted to take, even while working the road with the Commodores. “I loved jazz and being a drummer, and I loved guys like Buddy Rich. During those first two weeks while the band was playing in Atlantic City, I would take a walk after the gigs and go see the jazz organist Bill Doggett, who was playing nearby. After seeing him a few times, he offered me a job. He said, ‘I’m going to need a new drummer, and I know you can play, so I’ll give you $200 a week.’ That was tempting, but I had to turn him down, because I was already committed to the Commodores. The next time I went in, he raised it to $300. Again, I was tempted, but I said to myself, ‘Don’t do it. Be a man of your word.’ At that time I had no idea what the Commodores were going to pay me, but being a man of my word, and being raised in the church and being in the Boy Scouts and then the Eagle Scouts, I knew I couldn’t break my commitment.”
That decision would soon prove profitable. The band was already gaining a large following for their willingness to play pop hits that drew white audiences as well as their black base. The opportunity to tour as an opening ace for the Jackson 5 brought them to the attention of Motown Records, and an unexpected partnership with arranger James Carmichael, who agreed to be their producer. Orange credits Carmichael for helping to shape the group’s sound and give them their direction.
It was Carmichael who helped deliver a string of hits that made them popular with radio programmers and audiences alike; songs like “Easy,” “Just to be Close to You,” “Sail On,” “Three Times a Lady,” “Still,” “Sweet Love,” and “Lady (You Bring Me Up),” among the many. “Thank the Lord we have enough songs that we can keep people entertained for an hour and a half,” Orange says. “When we’re up on stage, we mean business. We give you everything you want to hear. That’s what keeps the Commodores going, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Orange admits that Lionel Richie’s departure in 1982 was cause for concern, especially as far as he was concerned. “It was scary, especially for me,” he says in retrospect. “I was playing drums and singing and playing right there with him. We had our routines and dance steps. So after he left, we had a period where we had to make believers out of people again. However, our sound didn’t change. We just had to find someone to fill that void and that space. We had to let people know that he was gone...It didn’t feel good, but as our manager told us, the show must go on.”
Looking back, Orange credits camaraderie, discipline, and an unwavering faith in God for getting them as far as they have. “We have a love for what we do,” he insists. “We have a respect for what we do. I have been with this band for 46 years, and that’s a miracle...There’s women. Drinking. Drugs. We’ve never been into any of that — other than the ladies, that is...It’s almost like a fraternity. Besides, I’m 69 years old. If I don’t have it together by now, then I never will.”
7 p.m. Sunday, April 3, at the Pavilion at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 NW 40 Street, Coconut Creek. Tickets cost $45 to $65 plus fees. Visit Ticketmaster.com or call 800-653-8000.
BY: ZACH DENNIS
1) A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed by the Miami City Ballet will be taking the Kravis Center stage for the first time on April 1 at 8 p.m. The performance is part of the company’s 30th anniversary season and will infuse the classic sensibilities of Shakespeare’s tale with new sets and costumes by artist Michele Oka Doner and direction by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. The show will also happen at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on April 2 and 1 p.m. on April 3 with tickets starting at $20. They can be purchased at the Kravis Center website.
2) The 2016 Palm Beach Book Festival will be taking over the Norton Museum of Art on April 1 and 2 with events kicking off at 10:15 a.m. on April 1 at Palm Beach Dramaworks with a talk on women’s fiction moderated by local author, Scott Eyman. Other featured authors include Jupiter’s own Burt Reynolds talking about his memoir, “But Enough About Me,” “Breakfast Club” star Molly Ringwald, film critic Owen Gleiberman, and Jodi Arias prosecutor Juan Martinez. For more information, and tickets, click here.
3) Princesses and Superheroes Day will be invading the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum in Boynton Beach on April 2 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. with appearances by some of the most famous pop culture figures of the past few decades. The event will include a day of family-friendly activities, games, arts and crafts, music, and face painting with a chance for children to meet local heroes such as firefighters and policemen. A performance by Princess Fiona from Shrek the Musical will also take place on the grounds. Tickets start at $3 and more information can be found here.
4) Brew at the Zoo will be asking visitors to sip on their favorite craft beer while enjoying the animals and amenities the Palm Beach Zoo has to offer. The event will feature beer from more than 25 breweries with the participating companies located within 50 miles of the Zoo. Tickets start at $35 and the event runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with visitors getting a collectible sampling mug, lanyard to hold your mug while you eat, and live music from The Brews Brothers at the Fountain Plaza. For more information, click here.
5) Haochen Zhang will be bringing his elite series of piano performances to the Kravis Center for one night on April 4 at 8 p.m. The pianist is the youngest competitor to win the Cliburn Competition and will be performing a program, titled “At Eight,” that includes pieces by Chopin and Schubert. The event will be proceeded by a talk by Zhang as well as a performance by the Youth Orchestra of Palm Beach County. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased here.
6) Afroman is headed to Lake Worth on April 6 at 7 p.m. to bring his styles of rap and hip-hop to Palm Beach County. The artist gained popularity in 2001 with his song, “Because I Got High,” and his album, “The Good Times,” which was certified gold in the United States. He is looking to return to form with his new album, “Afroholic – The Even Better Times,” and his new hit songs, “Let’s Get High Tonight” and “Ghetto Memories.” The concert will be at Propaganda in Lake worth with tickets on sale here.
7) Chris Botti, the largest-selling American instrumentalist in the world, is taking the Kravis Center stage on April 6 at 8 p.m. for a special concert. Botti’s album, “Impressions,” won a Grammy Award in 2013 and he has also had four no.1 jazz albums and performances with Lady Gaga, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased here.
8) Let it Be will bring The Beatles to Palm Beach County on April 8 at 8 p.m. with a look at the rise from Liverpool to Shea Stadium with renditions of hit songs like “Twist and Shout,” “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude,” and “Come Together.” The program was called “by far the best of the bunch” by The New York Times with tickets starting at $20 and available here.
9) The Delray Affair will be celebrating its 54th year from April 8-10 and from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. as the largest arts and craft festival in the Southeast United States. The festival will feature more than 600 vendors with hand-crafted items, fine arts, and a medley of food with live music being featured in two beer gardens all throughout the week at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts. Parking is $5 with free entry. For more information, visit theirwebsite.
10) Art 4 Autism will be showing off the latest paintings and designs in Boynton Beach on April 9 from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Bond n Smolders on S. Federal Highway. The event will feature a silent, Chinese, and 50/50 auction with art exhibited alongside food and drinks. Tickets are $10 with more information at their Facebook page.
11) ABBA The Concert will be bringing the classic hits onto the Kravis Center stage on April 14 at 8 p.m. with a performance that has been called “the closest to ABBA you’ll ever get.” The touring group will sing your favorites including “Fernando” and “Dancing Queen” along with a re-creation of “The Name of the Game.” Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased here.
12) The Hatsume Fair will be celebrating its 37th year with a festival at the Morikami Museum on April 16 and 17 that will feature three stages of events including “taiko drumming, martial arts demos, samurai sword fighting performances, Japanese dance performances, and the annual costume and fashion show contest.” Japanese arts and crafts, as well as games, will also be on display with food from the Kirin Beer Garden, Cornell Cafe, and Sake Station. Tickets are $12 for adults for one day and $17 for the weekend with children ages 4-10 getting in for $6 for one day and $11 for the weekend. For more information, click here.
13) The 5th annual Gulfstream Goodwill Industries Golf Tournament will be taking place at Ironhorse Country Club from 7 a.m. until after 1 p.m. on April 22. The event will feature a silent auction and prize drawings as well as breakfast and lunch. For more information, click here.
14) Minkus’ “Don Quixote” will be gracing the Society of the Four Arts stage in Palm Beach on April 23 from 2 p.m. to 5:10 p.m. Choreographed by Alexei Fadeyechev, the performance will feature new sets and costumes to accompany the classic tale of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Tickets start at $20 for adults and $15 for students with more information here.
15) The Food Truck Safari will be bringing local foodies to the Palm Beach Zoo on April 23 at 4:30 p.m. The event will feature some of Palm Beach County’s most notable food trucks with live music and animal encounters being provided. Tickets start at $10 for adult non-members and $9 for members while children get in for $7 if not a member and $6 if they are. For more information, and ticket sales, click here.
16) A Night with Janis Joplin will be invading the Kravis Center stage on April 28 at 8 p.m. with renditions of her most notable hits such as “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Piece of My Heart,” and “Summertime.” Tony Award nominee Mary Bridget Davies plays Joplin in a show that “celebrates the 1960s icon and the powerhouse artists who inspired her.” Tickets start at $20 and can be found here.
17) SunFest 2016 is taking over downtown West Palm Beach with a medley of performances and shows from April 27 through May 1. Musical acts include Alabama Shakes, Duran Duran, Meghan Trainor, Train, Jason Derulo, Death Cab for Cutie, and ZZ Top. For more information on the festival, see the Post’s coverage here. And for tickets and information, visit the festival’s website here.
The King Center presents an Elko Concerts Production THE HAPPY TOGETHER TOUR on Thursday, June 9th at 8 pm. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 1st at Noon. Tickets start at $48 (inclusive of fees).
The Happy Together tour returns to the King Center offering 59 Billboard Top 40 Solid Gold Hits in one great concert event! The unparalleled lineup includes The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night, Mark Lindsay formerly of Paul Revere and the Raiders, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Cowsills and The Spencer Davis Group. The acclaimed yearly summer tour delivers the biggest hits of the celebrated era, alongside first-class media production offering fans the opportunity to relive that legendary time in culture and music!
Tickets may be purchased by visiting kingcenter.com or by calling the King Center Ticket Office at 321.242.2219. Ticket office hours are Monday - Friday, Noon - 6pm & Sat, Noon - 4pm.
BY: JIM DAIL / CONTRIBUTING WRITER
“This Diamond Ring” band plays the Happy Together tour at Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella on Saturday, March 26.
Years ago, Gary Lewis was enrolled at a theater arts college in Pasadena, wondering what he should do for a career when he heard The Beatles.
“The first time I heard about them was early 1963 and my first thoughts were, ‘Oh my gosh, this is great,” he said in a recent interview.
A year later, Lewis and his band the Playboys had their own hit at the top of the charts, “This Diamond Ring.”
The group will perform Saturday, March 26, at Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella as part of the Happy Together tour, which also includes The Turtles, The Buckinghams and The Grass Roots. Lewis was part of the first Happy Together tour in 1985, which featured the same lineup as this year’s event.
Lewis, the son of comedian and actor Jerry Lewis, started to play the drums when he was 5 years old. He formed The Playboys from classmates at school. Fortunately, his mother helped fund the band because he did not want his dad to know.
“Even though I was into show business, it was at the other end of it, so it was cool because no one could say by getting into the business was just nepotism,” he said. “My dad actually didn’t know I had a band until ‘This Diamond Ring.’ Mom financed everything for us but she said we couldn’t tell my dad because if it fails then we’d have to come up with an excuse. She financed it for a year, and she was like our manager and she did it out of love. Mom was great.”
Once “This Diamond Ring,” was a smash, he was free to tell his father.
“He was shooting a movie on the Paramount lot, and I walked in with my first gold record of it and he was cool that way,” he said. “Any time any of his sons came to see him on the set he would shut down everything and devote his time to us. And I brought it to him and gave it to him. He was surprised. He asked, ‘When did this happen?’ so I told him the story.”
The younger Lewis was riding high but he was given a little bit of caution by his producer, Snuff Garrett.
“He didn’t want us to get too excited because there were so many one-hit artists,” he said. “He said we have to concentrate on number two, and if we get that one then we are good to go. As it turned out, our first seven singles all went Top 10.”
Among those top hits were “Count Me In,” “She’s Just My Style” and “Save Your Heart for Me.”
“I was so blessed to be listening to and making music in the ‘60s,” he said. “It was just such a terrific time. It wasn’t just years but it was an event.”
And that’s what he looks for when he gets on stage.
“It’s still just a good time to be out there,” he said.