By Carey Langsner, Rock At Night Ontario, Canada Correspondent
Venue: Sanderson Centre, Ontario–Stampeders “Song on the Radio 2016” Tour
In 1975, I was in grade nine when The Stampeders came and played at my high school. The Stampeders were one of the biggest bands in Canada at the time with a multitude of songs playing on my radio daily. I had never been to a live concert before, and the tickets were selling for the large sum of $2.00 each, so a group of my buddies and myself bought them as soon as the ticket booth opened.
The concert was amazing and for me it made the music more than what you heard on the radio or your record player. I realized that there was actually a band playing the music, and you could actually watch them play. This was the start of my lifelong love of live music.
The Stampeders are a Canadian rock trio, consisting of Rich Dodson (guitar, vocals), Ronnie King (bass, vocals), and Kim Berly (drums, vocals). The original five piece band formed in Calgary, Alberta in 1964 as The Rebounds. They renamed themselves The Stampeders in 1965. In 1966, they relocated to Toronto, Ontario, and became a trio in 1968. In 1971, they had a hit with “Sweet City Woman,” which won Best Single at the Juno Awards, reached #1 on the RPM magazine charts, and #8 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Written by Dodson, the track stayed in the Billboard chart for 16 weeks and the disc sold a million copies by September 1971, and was granted gold disc status. They also won Juno Awards for Best Group, Best Producer (Mel Shaw), and Best Composer (Dodson) that year.
In 1976, they had another U.S. hit with “Hit The Road Jack”, featuring Wolfman Jack. In Canada, they went on to score seven more hits. Now 41 years later , the band that started me down this road was coming to my hometown. No way was I going to miss this show. With camera batteries all charged up and empty memory cards in the cameras, I was all set. Waiting for the band to take the stage seemed to take forever but once they started the music, it was like I was back at that original concert. It is amazing the things that the brain can remember that you have not thought of in a very long time. I remembered every word of every song. I had a hard time concentrating on shooting the show and not singing along with every song!
The hair might be shorter now, the movements slower, the stories (rests) between each song longer, but that did not stop the music from being just as good today as it was all those years ago. The Stampeders played two sets of hit after hit after hit to the more mature crowd. The near sold out crowd sung along to every song. My trip down memory lane now has live pictures to go with it.
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