MILFORD — The Main Street Stage at Milford Fest Saturday, May 27, will showcase two groups bringing the sound of Motown in the afternoon and classic rock and country for the evening’s street dance.
The Spaniels Forever will take the stage from 1-3 p.m. The original group, The Spaniels, were the first artists signed to Vee-Jay Records, the ground-breaking independent African-American owned record label that eventually paved the way for Motown Records. The Spaniels recorded their initial release, “Baby It’s You” May 5, 1953, and it reached No. 10 on Billboard’s R&B chart Sept. 5, 1953.
The Spaniels’ roots go back to 1948 at Roosevelt High School in Gary, when classmates Billy Shelton and Pookie Hudson began singing together and formed the group, The Three B’s. Upon graduation, after some local success and plenty of regional sock-hop performances, Hudson went on his own to form the first official incarnation of The Spaniels.
The Spaniels line-up has survived personnel changes over the years, including the happy return of Billy Shelton as The Spaniels bass singer, where he has remained ever since. Shelton later became the group leader following Hudson’s 2007 death.
Shelton, now 82, is the last of the original group of friends who began singing together in Roosevelt High School’s hallways during the formative days of the early 1950s, and his voice remains untouched by time.
The group has been aptly re-christened as The Spaniels Forever as Shelton continues singing those classic Spaniels’ hits and other songs in four-part harmony with Patrick Pitre, Gene Stewart and Dan Porter.
More information can be located at www.spanielsforever.com.
Classic Rock And Country
The final stage performance of the day will present Rip Chord, a classic rock and country band, taking the stage from 5-9 p.m. and will include a street dance.
This group is the combination of five musicians with a goal to provide top notch music. Prior to the formation of Rip Chord, each member had played with other bands performing for wedding receptions, company parties, high school dances, colleges, and nightclubs.
Their song list includes hits from Tommy Tutone, Styx, Hank Williams Jr., Dobie Gray, Foreigner, Journey, Rascal Flats, CCR, Ted Nugent, Keith Urban, Rick Springfield, Rolling Stones, Guess Who, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Aerosmith and many more.
With decades of combined playing experience the members of the band include:
Geoff Barden is the youngest member of the band and supplies solid percussion work. Geoff has been playing drums for 23 of his 28 years participating in music since he was in grade school.
Larry Criswell supplies bass guitar and backup vocals. Larry has decades of experience performing many types of music. Bands he has played with include Simon Genesis, Midwest, and Boomer Rockwell.
Donn May provides lead guitar and vocals. Donn has been performing in bands since high school. Bands he has played with include Simon Genesis, Class Act and Boomer Rockwell.
Randy Barden provides the lead and backup vocals along with rhythm guitar and some percussion. Randy has been performing in bands which include Simon Genesis, Island, The Allies, Legend, Boys Night Out, and Boomer Rockwell.
John McCorkle is the newest member in the band providing solid keyboards. John has performed in many bands in the Columbia City area.
More information on Rip Chord can be found at www.ripchord.rocks.
For a complete list of activities throughout this year’s Milford Fest visit www.milfordfest.org.