PORTSMOUTH — Get ready to rock this weekend as the Rock n’ Roll House Party returns to Shawnee State University at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 9, in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.
This will be the 17th year of the event celebrating music since its debut in 2000.
“It started as a one-time experiment, and it sold-out. We did show number one, and it was a success, so we went on to a second show. It’s just gained momentum and now we’re in our seventeenth year. It’s one of the oldest rock n’ roll showcases in the country at this point. There have been 265 million selling records sung from the stage of the Vern Riffe Center by original rock n’ roll artists,” said Hometown Radio host Steve Hayes.
The highlights of this year’s performance are B.J. Thomas and Tommy James & the Shondells.
“Each show has been so delightfully different, and they want to know what’s going to happen this year. It’s intriguing and it’s a fun night. It’s also a coming out party for Portsmouth and the area. It’s always every Spring, and everyone is tired of the Winter, it allows everyone to get out of the house and have fun,” said Hayes.
B.J. Thomas is considered as one of the best singular voices of modern music. He has a Grammy Award in several genres, including pop, country and gospel. Making the charts in 1965 with “I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry,” Thomas’s music is a part of Americana classics. Other hits, such as “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “I Just Can’t Help Believin’,” and “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” have insured that his name lives on in popular music’s book of greatness.
Tommy James and the Shondells first appeared at the third installment of the House Party appearing with Wilson Pickett. The buzz of the performance lasted until the early hours of 1 a.m. and earned Tommy a special spot with the fans. Many of his covers, such as “Hanky Panky,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” “Sweet Cherry Wine,” and “Draggin’ the Line,” have been covered by more than 300 artists.
There are 31 Top 40 Hits between both artists.
“This show has a positive impact on our community. It fills up our hotels, and our restaurants. We actually have people that come from 6-8 different states, just for this show,” said Hayes. “All of our artists have a national following. It’s kind of neat to see the different people and see how far people will come just for our show.”
Tickets are still available for the upper tier sections at $55. Tickets are available at the McKinley Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The box office will also have special hours on Saturday for last- minute ticket sales. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 740-351-3600 or online through Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/41686.
Additional information about the event can be found on the VRCFA’s website at www.vrcfa.com.
More information about this year’s artists can be found on their websites at, http://bjthomas.com and http://www.tommyjames.com.
Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, Shawnee State University and Hometown Radio Inc. of Portsmouth are the proud sponsors of the 2016 Rock n’ Roll House Party.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext 1932 or via Twitter @PDT_Ciara