PRINCESS THEATRE - Raising the Curtain: May 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I can't say Thursday night was a packed house, but there was a nice crowd, and everyone seemed to have a great time.  I was just disappointed in was a $10 ticket and the music was so much better than you might have expected, so why weren't you there?!

Folks we have got to get out and support every event held at the Princess if we expect our city to grow.  It's wonderful to see old friends, to be inside the Princess, and to have something to do in Harriman.  Isn't that what we've been wanting?  

Before showing and telling you about the show, I like to take a line here to thank The Spot restaurant for being open late during performance evenings.  They do a bang up business during these times, keeping the roadies, sound guys, and artists fed.  One day soon, someone will figure our they can make a buck opening a place to hang out prior to and after concerts at the Princess!

The Spot is more than a sandwich shop too.  They fed the band plate dinners, that Kerry Walker raved about.  So check'em out!
To a little over half capacity crowd, the DetroitDaddies Trio, consisting of Michael "Crawdaddy" Crawley (harmonica/vocals), "Detroit Dave" Meer (guitar/vocals), and Ben Maney (keyboard/vocals)  and took the stage and really warmed up the crowd.  
The bluesy "trop" artists got the house moving, and all so ready for the main event!  Crawdaddy was a ball of fire, and got the crowd into the music by jumping from the stage and continuing to play while sitting in some laps!  He then leaped back up and rolled back into place at the microphone!
Up next was another music treat, The Rockerz from Atlanta!  The Rockerz have made a name for themselves throughout the south playing with the likes of Mitch Ryder, Barry "Eve of Destruction" McGuire, Sonny Geraci of the Outsiders (Time Wont Let Me), Climax (Precious and Few), Archie Bell, Dennis "Classics IV" Yost, and Dennis Tufano (original voice of the Buckinghams).
The current line up of The Rockerz is fairly new but Steve G is a seasoned leader and front man who pulls it all together.  The Rockerz formed in 1995, and Stevie's strong vocals and guitar playing are the foundation to the band's great sound.  Steve Guettler is the bands front man playing a great lead guitar and doing vocals, with Brad Slipiec (keyboards), Alex Jones (bass), and Kerry Walker (drums). 

Stevie G has been the undisputed Master of Mayhem since The Rockerz first album, "If You Came Here For The Party Then We're Here To Rock-n-Roll" in 1996.  Ten years later, the album, “Sand in My Shoes” was out and rocking hard.  Stevie G has written all of the songs on these albums, and his latest album, “Big News in a Small Town”, is no exception and sure to be a hit!
So, then it was time for Dennis Tufano, the original voice of the 60s group Buckinghams!  Backed by the Rockerz and Steve Jarrell, who drove up from Nashville just to be on stage with his old friend Dennis.  I've written about Steve previously on my personal blog, and he is a talented sax player with a following of his own.  His contribution to the band Thursday night was notable.
The ladies went wild from the first moment Dennis stepped on stage.  He may be my age now, but he has been taking better vitamins!  He still had his youthful shape and energy, and he put his heart and soul into every song.  He was dripping wet from the sweat he worked up entertaining the Princess audience.  

The women were whistling, yelling, and clapping during and after songs like "Don't You Care", "Hey Baby They're Playing Our Song", "How Can I Be Sure", "Kind Of A Drag", and more.  He still pulls his audience into his beloved music and travels many miles a year from his California home for the love of his craft.
Tufano is an accomplished "harp man" as well, so he and "Crawdaddy" hit it off immediately, talking over and examining the "harp box" backstage. 

So, suffice it to say, if you weren't there, you missed a great show.  The "Tufano" name may not be well known, but folks rest assured, if Princess Productions brings a show, any show, to the Princess, you can count on being entertained.  So, get up and get out!  I'll keep you informed right here!

Next up at the Princess from "Hunger Relief in Roane County", the Vespers!  Sunday, June 3rd on the Princess stage.  For more information, click HERE!

Here are more photos from Thursday night's concert:

Sound check is my favorite time.  I'm there getting a feel for the band and performers and the anticipation begins to build.
Our own Jimbo Duncan and Darrell Cole run themselves ragged making sure all the cables are interconnected and each mic, amp, "wedge monitor", and woofer are putting out the needed sound and feed.  Darrell even added his backup singing talent to one of the Rockerz songs!

Each performer goes through a portion of the upcoming songs and makes sure they can hear themselves and that the audience will be comfortably entertained.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I wasn’t the only photographer at the Grand Opening of the Princess Theatre on March the 22nd, as many of you who took a camera probably know. Me, being the principal historical photographer inside the theater, I knew others enjoying the opening that night had cameras, but I also knew I’d probably never get to see most of the photos shot.

Just this week I stumbled upon a series of photos that quickly struck me as being fantastic, and worthy of being documented here as part of the future legacy of the 2012 Princess re-opening. Those shots*, detailed below, were made by a local talented man, most of you know...Jason Mynatt! I really don’t know if I’ve ever met Jason, but I know Ken well, so he has to be a great person!

However, I plan on making it a goal of mine to meet him one day soon and to talk cameras!

This first photo was the one that really got my attention first. It first glance it appears to be the same original 1939 photo we’ve all seen before, except this time, there is what appears to be a cowboy, carrying a guitar, walking under the marquee. What a great shot! Honestly, I’m so jealous of this shot. First because I also wanted that shooting advantage that night, but it was never arranged for me, and I didn’t take the initiative to find access myself! Second, the shot is remarkable!

The shot seems perfectly arranged and the lighting is perfect, and I would have spent minutes clicking away at different settings to come close to capturing the moment. However, Jason did this with a few tweaks to the Hipstamatic “app” on his iPhone! Yes, his iPhone! Notice the difference between the first and second shots. The first is the iPhone and the second is his trusty Canon EOS 30D. Proving once again that it’s not the camera, but the photographer’s eye!

I just wanted you all to enjoy these shots, as did I, and put them in a place that hopefully would preserve them for the future to enjoy!
Details of black and white “cowboy” photo:
Date: 3/22/12 8:44 PM Dimensions: 1936 x 1936 pixels File Name: The Princess and the Cowboy.jpg File Size: 747.42K Camera: 250 (iPhone with Hipstamatic App) Exposure: 0.067 sec (1/15) Aperture: f/2.8 Focal Length: 3.85 mm ISO Speed: 400 Exposure Bias: - Flash Used: No
Details of black and white empty photo:
Date: 3/22/12 9:41 PM Dimensions: 2327 x 2918 pixels File Name: IMG_0535.JPG File Size: 1.17M Camera: Canon EOS 30D Exposure: 0.6 sec (1/2) Aperture: f/11 Focal Length: 24 mm ISO Speed: 100 Exposure Bias: - Flash Used: No 
Details of color photo:
Date: 3/22/12 9:14 PM Dimensions: 2833 x 2272 pixels File Name: IMG_0262.JPG File Size: 1.88M Camera: Canon EOS 30D Exposure: 0.125 sec (1/8) Aperture: f/3.5 Focal Length: 24 mm ISO Speed: 100 Exposure Bias: - Flash Used: No
So the next time I start to think I shot something good, I’m going to remember these photos by Jason. I’m not the only one out there that knows their way around a camera!
You can find these and other shots at KJMImages on Etsy, and probably at Tennessee's Finest Awards & Frameworks. It’s worth your time to browse his photos.

My thanks to Jason Mynatt for allowing me to post these shots here, and for bringing me down a notch.
*NOTE: These shots are from small files, so you know the “real” things have to be great!

Monday, May 14, 2012


I know I am!

Here's the 2nd in a series! 

The Princess Foundation proudly presents Dennis Tufano, "Original Voice of The Buckinghams", and blues harmonica great Michael “Crawdaddy” Crawley and The Detroit Daddies!  They're all coming May 24th, at 7 PM.

Tickets are on sale at Rocky Top General Store and Harriman Jewelry for $15 for the floor and $10 for the balcony and will be festival seating.  All proceeds go to the Princess Foundation.

If you came up through the 60's music era, like me, then you'll instantly flash back to those trademark opening horn notes on The Buckinghams'  #1 hit, "Kind of a Drag", which became a signature of the Chicago horn sound.  Dennis Tufano was the voice that sang that song, and he's coming to the Princess to sing all his greatest hits! 

Dennis, a native of Chicago, is the "original voice" of “The Buckinghams”. The Chicago-based group scored with a string of five Top Ten hits in the late-sixties including, the No#1 “Kind of A Drag”, “Don’t You Care”, “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”, “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song”, “Susan” and “Back In Love Again”. 

In the Buckinghams, Dennis was part of the song-writing duo "Tufano and Giammarese" and recorded three albums with Lou Adler's custom label, Ode Records.  Appearing as guest vocalist he went on to co-write with renowned composer and musician Tom Scott.  With Scott as composer, Dennis performed the "original title/theme song" for the long running "Family Ties" television show. (First 13episodes)

Dennis also wrote the music and performed with Bernie Taupin, Elton John's lyricist, on Taupin's album, "He Who Rides The Tiger". Subsequently he teamed again with Taupin to co-write, co-produce and perform the Farm Dogs album “Last Stand In Open Country”.

Back on the road, Dennis joined Olivia Newton-John on her hugely successful tour and was featured, with her on the HBO Special in two dramatically inspired duets.

As an actor, Dennis has appeared in theater productions in Los Angeles and has worked in film, television, radio and commercials.

He was also one of the founding members of an improvisational voice-ensemble called the “LA.MadDogs”. This group of actors performs on hundreds of movies and numerous television shows and have produced and performed seven "live" radio dramas, three of which Dennis directed, for KMPC RADIO THEATER in Los Angeles.

Dennis produced, directed and shot a documentary in Chicago, "Major Hall: Therapy Tuesday" and is currently preparing it for release. He has been praised for his performance on the, “PBS Music Series the ‘60s”, and will be included in the award winning PBS-DVD series.

At the age of eight, Michael “Crawdaddy” Crawley’s grandmother gave him his first harmonica, a gift from Hawaii where she once lived. It inspired him to learn his first Beatles song, “Love Me Do”.

Crawdaddy’s first introduction to the world of Trop Rock was at Knoxville’s Tropic Festival in 1997, where he appeared with St. Somewhere, A1A and Greg Bridgewater.  The next year he traveled to Key West with St. Somewhere for Meeting of the Minds, the official Convention for Parrot Heads in Paradise. Here he discovered Parrot Heads and their love of Trop Rock music.  From 1998 to 2001 he joined St. Somewhere on the road, traveling all over the United States.

Thirty years after picking up his first harp, Crawdaddy continues the musical journey his grandmother began.  Over the years Crawdaddy has befriended some of Jimmy Buffett’s bandmates – the Coral Reefers, and he has performed with a variety of musicians like Fingers Taylor, Magic Dick of The Geils Band, Mitch Kashmar of the band War and Mark Hummel, and has opened up for well-respected artists such as BB King, Johnny Winter, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Blackfoot, Delbert McClinton, The Sauce Boss, Marshall Tucker, Mac MacAnally and Nadirah Shakoor.

These days Crawdaddy performs in a wide range of musical outfits, spanning many musical genres: a blues duo called the Detroit Daddies; the Trop Rock duo with Tall Paul (affectionately known as “TallDaddy”); a seven-piece blues band called “Jenna and Her Cool Friends” (who represented Knoxville at the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis); a local Jug band called Y’uns; and a rock outfit called Crawdaddy the Band.

So, see you at the Princess!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


What is a "vesper"?  Traditionally, the vespers, were the evening prayers of Catholic and Lutheran based religions, but the term has also been used by Protestant faiths to describe their evening worship services.
The Vespers is also a band name chosen by four young singer/songwriters, who have toured from Boston to Austin, hitting everything from festivals to college campuses in between.  And, they are coming to the Princess Theatre on June 3rd!

The band chose "Vespers" to convey their fundamental belief in Christianity, but their songs are not necessarily evangelical. The songs are simple folk songs, with a touch of twang in the instrumentation.

The bands popularity has grown by word of mouth, and that word is..."magnificently unforgettable” and “fresh and infectious"!  With two sisters on lead vocals and two brothers filling out the sound, the foursome are distinguished by an arsenal of eleven instruments and the kind of harmony only siblings can create.

The doors will open at 5 PM of June 3rd, with all proceeds going to "Hunger Relief in Roane County".

Tickets  are $10 or $5 with a non perishable food item.
Still photography is allowed for this event. Videotaping will not be permitted.
Tickets are available at Amazing Bakes Cookies and Cakes, 611 Queen St. Harriman, TN 37748 (during normal business hours).  

OR, call 865-228-4306 for more Ticket Information.

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