If Kansas Citians know him at all, they likely know Ray Hildebrand from his 14 years as an executive of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the evangelistic enterprise whose headquarters looms over the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium. But Hildebrand will take the stage Friday, March 2, at the Midland Theater as part of the Ultimate Doo Wop Show. He and his original partner, Jill Jackson, will perform their #1 hit song, “Hey, Paula,” for the first time in Kansas City as Paul and … [Read more...] about Paul and Paula and Ray
The birthplace of punk rock in Kansas City is coming down. Well, maybe not the birthplace, but the site of one of the earliest clubs to feature punk and new wave music, mainly by local bands, in a big way has an imminent date with the wrecking ball. According to a story at kshb.com, the orange brick building on the southeast corner of 47th and Troost is coming down to make way for a new Ollie Gates shopping center. Lately, it housed a payday loan operation. But in 1981 it was the Music Box, … [Read more...] about A punk progenitor
Kansas City Star Books has published a winner with its new “The Kings of Cut-Rate: The Very American Story of Isaac and Michael Katz,” by Brian Burnes and Steve Katz. The authors had great material to work with, starting with the rags-to-riches story of the Katz brothers and including dozens of vivid images of their marketing mastery, many featuring the unforgettable grinning-cat logo. The book touches on Kansas City music history, mainly the 25-plus-year run of Katz Drug Co.’s annual, free … [Read more...] about Go, Katz, Go!
According to several sources, the Kansas City area’s first homegrown rock band of note was Larry Emmett and the Sliders. While African-Americans were playing and listening to rhythm and blues in local clubs at least since the early 1950s, the flowering of white rock bands did not occur until after the Elvis Presley explosion of 1956. In fact, Larry Emmett was not a white man, but a Native American who was born on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation near Mayetta, Kan. His parents moved to … [Read more...] about KC’s first homegrown rocker
Rod Peal is a rock musician-turned-entrepreneur who opened Halcyon Diversified Trading in December 2009 at 4706 Mission Road, Roeland Park, Kan. Peal buys and sells a variety of hip goods, from used vinyl records to musical instruments to furniture. On the second Friday of each month, he hosts an art opening with live music. Peal had heard that the location was once a rock club, but no one was able to confirm it for him until now. The building once housed not one but two rock clubs catering … [Read more...] about Site of early clubs rocks again
Those Chicago-based musical archaeologists at the Numero Group are offering up a chance to own a slab of Kansas City Rock History. Three years ago they released a brilliant 2-CD set titled “Titan: It's All Pop!” It is 40 tracks of locally recorded, 1970s-vintage power-pop from the Titan label, which was headed by Tom Sorrells and Mark Prellberg. Now Numero has released a four-LP version. Says Numero: “The original 40-song double disc was sequenced as a kick-ass mix tape. For the 52-song, … [Read more...] about Own a piece of KC Rock History