Wednesday, January 8, 2020

January Brings Some Great Music to The Brauntex Theater...In New Braunfels

Hello Folks,

 Let's Kick 2020 off with a host of awesome music at The Brauntex Performing Arts Theater! The month of January looks amazing at the historic downtown landmark! First up, on Friday January 10th the legendary Peter Noone returns with Herman's Hermits. Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone is a multi-talented entertainer, who has been delighting audiences nearly all his life. He was born in Manchester, England, where he studied voice and acting at St. Bede’s College and the Manchester School of Music and Drama. As a child, he played “Stanley Fairclough” in the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. He was also featured in the television series Knight ErrantFamily Solicitor and Monro’s Saki Stories.
At the age of fifteen, Peter achieved international fame as “Herman’s Hermits”, lead singer of the legendary Sixties pop band Herman’s Hermits. His classic hits included: “I’m Into Something Good” “Mrs. Brown, you’ve Got A Lovely Daughter”, “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”, “Silhouettes”, “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat”, “Just A Little Bit Better”, “Wonderful World”, “There’s A Kind of Hush”, “A Must To Avoid”, “Listen People”, “The End of the World” and “Dandy”. Ultimately, Herman’s Hermits sold over sixty million recordings. In all, fourteen singles and seven albums went gold. The Hermits were twice named Cashbox’s “Entertainer of the Year”.
As “Herman”, the photogenic Noone graced the cover of nearly every international publication, including Time Magazine. He performed on hundreds of top-rated television programs and appeared with such luminaries as Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin and Danny Kaye. He also starred in ABC’s musical version of The Canterville Ghost, Hallmark Hall of Fame’s presentation of the classic Pinocchio (in which he played the title role) and three highly successful feature films for M-G-M: Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely DaughterHold On! and When The Boys Meet The Girls.
Throughout the seventies, Noone performed, composed songs and produced recordings with such artists as David Bowie, Debby Boone and Graham Gouldman. His album with the Tremblers, “Twice Nightly” and his solo effort “One of The Glory Boys” were both critically and commercially successful. With characteristic zeal, Peter took on leading roles in full-scale theatrical productions of Dick WittingtonAladdin, and Sinbad The Sailor. These live stage spectaculars were mounted at major theatres throughout Great Britain and Noone was highly praised for his outstanding work.
The eighties found Peter starring on Broadway in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of The Pirates of Penzance. He won rave reviews for his superb portrayal of the dashing, young hero, “Frederic”. His performance was so well received, that he went on to reprise the role at the world-famous Drury Lane Theatre in London. Noone charmed audiences worldwide as he continued to play “Frederic” with both the U.S. National Touring Company and the International Touring Company of “Pirates”.
Peter’s acting career flourished with guest-starring roles in prime-time television shows such as: Married With ChildrenMy Two DadsQuantum LeapDave’s WorldEasy StreetToo Close For Comfort and Laverne and Shirley. He also starred in the Los Angeles stage premiere of Topokana Martyr’s Day and the U.S. National Tour of the smash Broadway hit Romance, Romance.
For four years, Noone served as the winsome host of VH1’s My Generation, the highest-ever-rated half hour retrospective of popular music. He also hosted the informative PBS Special The British Invasion Returns and recorded the title song for the Kirk Douglas film Diamonds. He created two unique websites (peternoone.com and hermanshermits.com) that have become so popular, the New York Daily News dubbed him the “King of The Sixties on the Internet.”
Accompanied by his band, Herman’s Hermits, Noone consistently plays to sold-out venues the world over. He has a legion of faithful fans (known as “Noonatics”) whose loyalty is unparalleled. Today’s teen girls scream just as passionately as their mothers did back in 1965, prompting VH1 to select Peter as their viewer’s choice for the “Sexiest Artist of the Year”. Most recently, Noone starred in the recurring role of “Paddington” on the CBS daytime drama, As The World Turns. His colorful performances instantly made him a favorite of the soap opera magazines and online message boards. There is no doubt that Peter Noone’s extraordinary talent, disarming wit, handsome features and compelling stage presence will bring the audience to its feet once again on Friday night! Tickets still available bye contacting www.brauntex.org
Friday January 17th, another favorite, returning for their 4th time to the Brauntex, The Oakridge Boys will bring their basket of hits and amazing vocals to downtown New Braunfels. Theirs is one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of the Oak Ridge Boys have spawneddozens of Country hits and a Number One Pop smash, earned them Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM awards and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades. Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring three decades of charted singles, and 50 years of tradition, to bear on a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere. And each remains as enthusiastic about the process as they have ever been.

“When I go on stage, I get the same feeling I had the first time I sang with the Oak Ridge Boys,” says lead singer Duane Allen. “This is the only job I've ever wanted to have.”

“Like everyone else in the group,” adds bass singer extraordinaire Richard Sterban, “I was a fan of the Oaks before I became a member. I’m still a fan of the group today. Being in the Oak Ridge Boys is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.”

The two, along with tenor Joe Bonsall and baritone William Lee Golden, comprise one of Country's truly legendary acts. Their string of hits includes the pop chart-topper Elvira, as well as Bobbie Sue, Dream On, Thank God For Kids, American Made, I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes, Fancy Free, Gonna Take A Lot Of River and many others. They've scored 12 gold, three platinum, and one double platinum album, plus one double platinum single, and had more than a dozen national Number One singles and over 30 Top Ten hits.

The Oaks represent a tradition that extends back to World War II. The original group, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, began performing Country and Gospel music in nearby Oak Ridge where the atomic bomb was being developed. They called themselves the Oak Ridge Quartet, and they began regular Grand Ole Opry appearances in the fall of ‘45. In the mid-fifties, they were featured in Time magazine as one of the top drawing Gospel groups in the nation.

By the late ‘60s, with more than 30 members having come and gone, they had a lineup that included Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, Noel Fox, and Willie Wynn. Among the Oaks’ many acquaintances in the Gospel field were Bonsall, a streetwise Philadelphia kid who embraced Gospel music; and Sterban, who was singing in quartets and holding down a job as a men’s clothing salesman. Both admired the distinctive, highly popular Oaks.

“They were the most innovative quartet in Gospel music,” says Bonsall. “They performed Gospel with a Rock approach, had a full band, wore bell-bottom pants and grew their hair long... things unheard of at the time.”

The four became friends, and when the Oaks needed a bass and tenor in ‘72 and ’73, respectively, Sterban and Bonsall got the calls. For a while, the group remained at the pinnacle of the Gospel music circuit. It was there they refined the strengths that would soon make them an across-the-board attraction.

“We did a lot of package shows,” says Bonsall. “There was an incredible amount of competition. You had to blow people away to sell records and get invited back.”

Their Gospel sound had a distinct Pop edge to it and, although it made for excitement and crowd appeal, it also ruffled purist feathers and left promoters unsure about the Oaks’ direction. Then in 1975, the Oaks were asked to open a number of dates for Roy Clark. Clark’s manager, Jim Halsey, was impressed by their abilities.

“He came backstage and told us we were three-and-a-half minutes (meaning one hit record) away from being a major act,” says Bonsall. “He said we had one of the most dynamic stage shows he’d ever seen but that we had to start singing Country songs.”

They took his advice and the result was a breakthrough.

“Those who came to Country music with or after the New Traditionalists of the mid-eighties cannot possibly imagine the impact the Oaks had in 1977, when they lit up the sky from horizon to horizon with Y’All Come Back Saloon,” wrote Billboard’s Ed Morris. He added “... the vocal intensity the group brought to it instantly enriched and enlivened the perilously staid Country format. These guys were exciting.” Within a year, Paul Simon tapped them to sing backup for his hit Slip Slidin’ Away, and they went on to record with George Jones, Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, Roy Rogers, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bill Monroe, Ray Charles and others. In 2007, they recorded with the son of an old friend. Shooter Jennings, the son of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, invited the Oaks to perform Slow Train, a song on his sophomore CD.

Their career has spanned not only decades, but also formats. They have appeared before five presidents. They produced one of the first Country music videos (Easy, in 1977, although not released in the U.S., it reached the 3 slot in Australia). They participated in the first American popular music headline tour in the USSR. And they have become one of the most enduringly successful touring groups anywhere. They still performing some 150 dates each year at major theaters, fairs and festivals across the U.S. and Canada.

They did it with a consistently upbeat musical approach and terrific business savvy.

“We always look for songs that have lasting value and that are uplifting,” says Allen, who has co-produced the Oaks’ last seven studio albums. “You don’t hear us singing ‘cheating’ or ‘drinking’ songs, but ‘loving’ songs, because we think that will last. We also don‘t put music in categories, except for ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ When we get through with it, it’s probably going to sound like an Oak Ridge Boys song no matter what it is.”

They proved their business acumen in any number of ways, including such steps as declining the chance to sit on the couch during their many appearances on the Tonight Show.

“We said, ‘If you‘re going to give us four minutes on the couch with Johnny, we’d rather have four minutes to give you another song that lets people know what got us here,’” says Allen. “We didn’t get here talking; we got here singing.”

They also proved themselves to be capable and tireless advocates of charitable and civic causes, serving as spokesmen and/or board members of fundraisers for the Boy Scouts of America, the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse (now known as Prevent Child Abuse America), Feed The Children, the National Anthem Project and many more.

The group’s first personnel change in many years occurred in 1987 when Steve Sanders, who had been playing guitar in the Oaks Band, replaced William Lee as the baritone singer. Late in ‘95, Steve resigned from the Oaks and exactly one minute after midnight on New Year’s Eve, Duane, Joe and Richard surprised a packed house at the Holiday Star Theatre in Merrillville, Indiana, by welcoming William Lee on stage and back into the group. The hit makers were finally together again!

The Oaks’ high-energy stage show remains the heart and soul of what they do, and they refine it several times a year, striving to keep it fresh well into the future.

“We‘re not willing to rest on our laurels,” Golden says. “That gets boring. As a group, we do things constantly to challenge ourselves, to try to do something different or better than the last time we did it.”

“I feel like I can do what I do on stage just as good now as I could 20 years ago,” says Bonsall. “I plan to be rockin’ my tail off out there as long as I’m healthy. The people who come out, who bring their families to see us, deserve everything I’ve got.”

“We’ve experienced a lot of longevity,” adds Sterban. “I think the reason is the love we have for what we do—the desire, the longing to actually get up there and do it. We love to sing together... to harmonize together. It’s what our lives are all about.” I have worked with these guys on several occasions and 
every time, the amaze me...go get some of the few remaining tickets for this one, it WILL sell out.

The Limeliters will take the stage on January 30th. The Limeliters launched their career in 1959 at San Francisco’s famous “Hungry i”…and before long, founding members Alex Hassilev, Lou Gottlieb and Glenn Yarbrough emerged as one of the dominant voices of the early 1960’s folk music scene. For three years they were the musical representatives for Coca-Cola, and their rendition of the jingle “Things Go Better with Coke” became a national hit. A string of best selling albums for RCA Records and frequent appearances on every major TV show quickly made them a household name.

Time Magazine summed up their appeal with the following memorable quote: “If the button down scrubbed looking Kingston Trio are the undergraduates of big-time folk singing, The Limeliters are the faculty.”

In the ensuing years, the lineup of the group has featured several spectacularly talented new members, but The Limeliters have never deviated from the integrity of the fabulous sound that they pioneered. With their energy and enthusiasm undiminished, current members Andy Corwin, Daniel Boling and Steve Brooks remain as exciting an act as the genre has produced. Now more than ever, the surging vocals, thrilling harmony, and whacked out sense of humor of this unique trio continue to earn them their title as…The “Slightly” Fabulous Limeliters!

Rounding out the month of January at the Brauntex, One of my personal favorites...Radney Foster will perform. The position that Radney Foster enjoys in the country music landscape is remarkable. For 30 years, Radney has thrived as a songwriter, recording artist, live performer and producer. His songs, solo and recorded by other artists, have topped the country, Americana, and AAA charts alike. At the same time, he’s earned the respect of his peers and a devoted audience as intent on listening as they are eager to dance. Radney grew up in two worlds: herding cattle on horseback at his grandfather’s East Texas ranch in the summer and hunkering over a transistor radio in his West Texas hometown, listening to border radio that played country to conjunto. That hybrid of influences may be why Radney has always been tough to categorize. His first success was with the seminal country/cowpunk duo Foster & Lloyd, whose first single, Crazy Over You, went straight to number one. His subsequent solo albums told tales through a honky-tonk lens and yielded enduring hits, Just Call Me Lonesome and Nobody Wins. Considered an elder statesman of Texas singer/songwriters, Radney has written and produced songs for Randy Rogers, Jack Ingram, Kacey Musgraves, Wade Bowen, Josh Abbott, Pat Green, Cory Morrow and many others. His songs are regularly mined by superstar acts like Keith Urban (Raining on Sunday, I’m In), Sara Evans (Real Fine Place, Revival) and the Dixie Chicks (Godspeed). Radney has performed with Charley Pride and Asleep at the Wheel and performed at the Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC, during President Obama's inaugural festivities. Just to give you a little taste of this mans songwriting, I'll just wrap this up with a little video...Until Next Time...CHEERS!





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