published Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Stars of the ‘60s and ‘70s to highlight Riverbend

  • photo
    The Happy Together Tour features, top row, from left: The Buckinghams, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, The Grass Roots, Gary Puckett and The Union Gap and The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie.
    Contributed Photos

The Happy Together Tour, featuring stars of the '60s and '70s, will headline the Riverbend Festival on Sunday, June 10, said talent and production coordinator Joe "Dixie" Fuller.

The Happy Together Tour features Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, The Grass Roots, The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie, and The Buckinghams.

Collectively, they are the voices behind such hits as "I'm a Believer," "Young Girl," "Let's Live for Today," "Happy Together" and "Hey Baby (They're Playing Our Song)," respectively. A single band will back each performer throughout the show, Fuller said.

"It's an unbelievable show of hit after hit," he said.

Meanwhile, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will take a break from its usual Sunday night Riverbend slot, Fuller said, and will add some swing to its sound, performing a full set of big-band music on the Unum Stage on opening night, June 8.

"This will give the symphony the chance to do a whole set on their own," Fuller said. "Maestro Robert Bernhardt will be conducting, and they will do an hour and 45 minutes of big-band-era music."

In recent years, the CSO has been joined on the main Coca-Cola Stage on Sunday night by a special guest artist. Last year, for example, the CSO and Pink Floyd tribute band The Machine performed classic Floyd hits and the "Dark Side of the Moon" album in its entirety. The year before, The Waybacks and special guests collaborated with the CSO to re-create The Beatles' "Abbey Road."

Also announced were Get the Led Out, a Led Zeppelin tribute band that will perform the final night, June 16, on the Bud Light Stage, and the Thunder Fire Tour, which will play 8-11 p.m. Friday, June 15, on the Unum Stage. It will include Drum Wars with Vinny and Carmine Appice as well as Hands Without Shadows featuring master guitar shredder Michael Angelo.

"It's a perfect Riverbend act and if you have seen them, you will come away entertained," said assistant talent coordinator Jeff Styles.

Carmine Appice has played with Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Rod Stewart and was part of BBA (Beck, Bogart and Appice). Over his career, Vinny Appice has played with John Lennon, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. Together, they do a show that is full of energy, humor and skill, Fuller said.

Angelo got the name for his act because his hands move so fast when he plays guitar, there are no shadows.

Riverbend is scheduled for June 8-16. Previously announced acts include Foreigner, Eric Church, Lauren Alaina, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Foghat and The Futurebirds.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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