Green Bay, 2005
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Now, on to Green Bay II,
April 11-17, 2005.
I was thinking about many things while taking my two flights to Green
Bay on Monday, April 11: remembering the great experience in July 2002,
looking forward to seeing the great array of talent scheduled to appear,
the convenience of staying in the Radisson Hotel, which is expeditiously
close to all four stage venues, the daunting challenge of trying to see
and experience as many of the scheduled acts as possible, the usually
consistent quality of sound, and the substantially reliable punctuality
of each set's start. Despite a 4+-hour layover in my own hometown of
Detroit, I arrived in time to see Li'l Rachel open the show at 5:45 p.m.
in the Ballroom.
In 2002, the Oneida Casino's last 50's rockfest was in July, and was
part of the Casino's annual "birthday" blast. I understand that this
anniversary event is their biggest bash, and also commands the biggest
budget for entertainment. The 2005 event, I was told, would not command
the same budget.
This might explain why so many original rockabilly acts from 2002 were
not rebooked; legends such as Jack Scott, Billy Lee Riley, Johnny
Powers, Hayden Thompson, Mac Curtis, Gene Summers, The Collins Kids,
Alvis Wayne, Sid King, Sanford Clark, Sleepy LaBeef, Jack Earls, Vernon
Taylor, Sonny West, Billy Adams, Larry Donn, Ray Campi, Eddie Bond,
Marvin Rainwater, Rudy Grayzell and Joe Clay.
That said, there were over 100 acts booked, and the inclusion of some
non-rockabilly legends, e.g., Ike Turner, Bob Wills' Texas Playboys,
Clarence "Frogman" Henry and Hank Thompson, were welcome additions.
I would like to thank all the people who sent me pictures, and others
who gave permission for me to use their pictures.
Also, a special thanks to Sean Mencher, and Marc Mencher of Mencher
Management & Booking. I probably hounded them so much for additional
information after Green Bay, they thought I was like TV Police
Lieutenant Columbo constantly asking "just one more question." THANKS,
To the bands whose sets I didn't see, it was nothing personal! I don't
know if anybody attended all the shows.
E-mail: Barry M. Klein