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Marking a Milestone With Good Ol' Rock 'N' Roll
Livermore Will Celebrate 125 Years With a Weekend Festival Featuring Two Live Bands

, Messenger Correspondent

LIVERMORE - When the town of Livermore celebrates its 125th birthday during Livermore Daze festival Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 15-17, the featured live music will also be a blast from the past - although not from quite as far back as the town where the tunes will be played.

The bands performing, BB and The Bullfrogs and The Escorts/The Do's and The Don'ts. Both groups specialize in '50s and '60s Rock and Roll. Yet BB and the Bullfrogs, who will be playing Friday night, bring a slightly different perspective.

Unlike the songs they play, some of which have been around nearly 60 years, the band members themselves are all in their late teens and early 20s.

Lead singer Tyler Peterson believes that is to the band's advantage.

"When you've got other bands who were playing the '50s and '60s when the songs were brand new and are still out their playing the same music now, I think we offer something that they may not," he said. "We're a high energy band. Vocally we offer a lot that other bands may not."

Peterson said audiences appreciate what they're trying to do.

"I can't tell you how many times people come up and tell us they're happy to see young people keep the music alive," he said. "We're out there to see that people can still hear this kind of music live."

The band's normal three-part harmonies will be aided, said guitarist Brent Brekke, by the addition of members from another local band.

"We're going to be joined by two members from Dee Jay and the Runaways," said Brekke, "so we'll be able to create some really nice four part harmonies, plus have a lot of guitar."

As for the music, Brekke says look - and listen - for nothing but very familiar old school rock and roll.

"We cover the Everly Brothers, Elvis, all the way up to the Beatles and the Beach Boys," he said.

The band also covers a lot of ground, literally, Brekke said.

"We're booked every weekend all summer long," he said. "We play all over Northwest Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota."

But, Brekke said, nothing turns the band on more than playing close to home.

"We're thrilled they've asked us to play because a quasquicentennial, you only have once, so it's a real honor," he said.

On Saturday night, the hits will keep on a comin' as The Escorts/The Do's and The Don'ts fill the Livermore night with the sweet sound of rock and roll at its roots.

However, unlike the band mates of BB and the Bullfrogs, the members of The Escorts/The Do's and the Don'ts were actually alive when the hits were made famous, said bass guitarist .

"It started in 1959 as The Escorts," he said. "I'm 66 years old and Roger Booth, our front man, is three months older. So we've been doing this a long time."

In fact, the band even had a song that hit the Billboard charts in 1966, "I Wonder If She Loves me."

"We traveled a lot in those days," said Sherman, who is also joined on stage by his wife Zelda, the first woman to be inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"We'd play six nights a week, all over the state," Sherman said. "We once played 21 nights straight."

Nowadays the pace is a bit slower for the band as they generally perform once a week.

As for playing at Livermore Daze, Sherman said, it's one town that he's somehow managed to miss during his years of touring.

"I had never heard of Livermore before they called us," he said, "but I hear they have a lot of fun in that little town and I'm really excited to have some fun, watch people dance and have a good time. That's why we're doing it. That's why we keep on doing it."

Livermore Daze
Schedule of Events

Friday 1 to 5 p.m. - Library open house and book sale. 5 p.m. - Maruerite Wyman Park dedication by City Hall. 6 to 7 p.m. - Alumni banquet at Livermore School Gym. 8 p.m. - Dixie Johnson presentation with humor and accordion music 9 p.m. - BB and the Bullfrogs perform for dance on Main Street.

Saturday 8 a.m. - Clark Brothers 3-on-3 basketball tournament, also Livermore pictorial cancellation stamp booth 9 a.m. - Art in the Park show at Wyman Park, quilt show at Methodist Church. 10 a.m. - Livermore Daze Quasquicentennial parade with Dallas Clark, of the Indianapolis Colts, acting as parade marshal. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Fifth annual Car Show, Main Street. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Model car show a the Legion, also a take-n-take model car event for children. 1 p.m. - Paint ball shoot 1:30 p.m. - Charles Reets, juggler and comedian, Main Street; also Elvis performs at Wyman Park. 3 p.m. - Tug of war 5 p.m. - Garden tractor pull across from the Gold Eagle Cooperative. 8 p.m. to midnight - The Escorts/The Do's & The Don'ts perform at street dance, admission is $3 or $2 with a food or paper product donation for the Humboldt Country food pantry.

Sunday 10 a.m. - Ecumenical church service east of Catholic Church, rain site is the Twin River Valley High School. Noon - Old Settlers Picnic at Wyman Park with burgers supplied by cattlemen's association. 1 p.m. - Mud bog racing 1 to 4 p.m. - Old Settlers log cabin and the Livermore Museum will be open, historic bus tours of area will be offered.

Reprinted with permission (c) 2005 The Messenger, Fort Dodge, Iowa.

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