“Rock n’ Roll keeps you young, and that’s a good thing baby,” as said by Mark Lindsay, formerly from Paul Revere and the Raiders, was certainly a fact Saturday night at Rock n’ Roll House Party 18 at the Shawnee State University’s Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.
Though the lineup included the “hit kings” of rock radio, bringing back the sounds of the 60s and 70s and taking the crowd back to groovy tie-dyed shirts, long hair and melodic guitar riffs. As fans danced in their seats and sang along to their favorite tunes, everyone regained their youth if even for a moment.
The night featured old friends, old music and old memories with returning guest Mitch Ryder, of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (credited for the creation of the Detroit City rock sound). Ryder is known for such hits as “Devil with a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Jenny Take a Ride” and “Sock It to Me.” Adding some romance to the evening, sunshine pop group The Association sang such favorites as “Along Comes Mary” and “Wendy.” The Buckinghams also added some more sunshine pop to the evening with songs such as “Kind of a Drag,” which was released in 1966. The Buckinghams originally formed in 1966 but dissolved four years later only to return after a decade. They have been touring for close to 40 years since. The final performer of the evening, Lindsay headlined. It was quite a reunion for these starts, all of which had toured together decades ago.
Lindsay sang “Indian Reservation,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 list in 1971. The record was certified platinum after selling more than a million copies. The singer explained that he was proud of this song, which continued to lead the charts and sold the record number of 45s until Michael Jackson released Billie Jean in 1982.
“Michael Jackson may have been a little twerp, but he was one of the most talented individuals ever,” the entertainer explained.
As Lindsay performed, he told stories that set the mood and transported the hundreds in attendance to a very different time. He joked that he dreamed he was back in the 60s. Everyone was wearing shades and saying “far out.” Then, he woke to realize he was not in the 60s but rather in his 60s. That was a decade ago, but Lindsay can still kick like he did in his youth. “Oh, you don’t need kicks girl,” but Lindsay certainly had them, kicking to the sky in his long red robe as he performed 1966 hit “Kicks.” The crowd couldn’t stay in their seats any longer, singing every word as the show closed and the party moved over the Oscars and the Holiday Inn for an after party with music, prizes and a live DJ.
Rock n’ Roll House Party has brought performances of 275-million sold hit recordings sang by original artists to the Vern Riffe stage. After 18 years, the event is still a non-profit gala. Rock n’ Roll House Party 18 was sponsored by Scott Schmidt and Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, Hometown Radio of Portsmouth, Shawnee State University’s Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, Jeff Albrecht and the Downtown Holiday Inn/Oscar’s Restaurant, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Century 21 Empire Realty of Portsmouth, Dr. Thomas Khoury M.D., American Savings Bank, Morgan Brothers Jewelers, Mary’s Spirit Shop, Billy McClurg & Dawgbyte Productions, The Pepsi Cola Bottling Company, Sodexo Catering and Glockner’s Quality Rentals.
Rock n Roll House Party first debuted on April 8, 2000 and has been bringing rock legends to the area since. Hungry for my oldies but goodies, fans are already anticipating the lineup for next year.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1930.