Four hitmakers of the 1960s will headline the first-ever Hudson Summer Fun Fest from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday at the outdoor concert site on Denton Avenue midway between U.S. 19 and Little Road.
Gary Puckett & the Union Gap (Woman, Woman and Young Girl), Gary "U.S." Bonds (Quarter to Three), Frankie Ford (Sea Cruise), and Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon (Palisades Park) will take turns on stage, starting at 4 p.m.
"These guys have had 25 gold records among them," said Eddie Morelli, who recruited the talent for the show. "This is going to be a great show."
Gary 'U.S.' Bonds
Bonds was a doo-wop star in the early 1960s, but his career was revived in 1981 by a most interesting fan, one Bruce Springsteen, who showed up at one of Bonds' lounge gigs one night and joined him on stage to jam.
Springsteen proposed that Bonds make a comeback album and wrote the hit This Little Girl Is Mine for the album. Guitarist-singer-actor Steve Van Zandt produced the album, and the three have been buddies ever since.
In fact, Springsteen sang on Bonds' 2004 album Back in Twenty, and most of the Springsteen crew is involved in Bonds' 2007 disc, Dedication/On the Line.
Bonds has been active on the touring circuit for more than 40 years and still earns rave reviews for his rough, expressive voice.
Gary Puckett & the Union Gap
Puckett's pop-soul band members made their visual mark in blue-and-gold Civil War uniforms, but it was their music that kept them in the limelight for a rollicking four years from 1967 to 1971: Lady Willpower, Over You and Young Girl, which, interestingly, was a top hit in England twice, first in 1968 and then in 1974, three years after the band broke up.
Puckett went solo in the mid 1980s and has been on the nostalgia circuit since then, appearing with the Turtles in 1984 and the Monkees in 1986. He continues to tour the United States and Europe. He has released two solo albums, including At Christmas, a collection of holiday standards.
Rolling Stone calls Ford's signature song, Sea Cruise, "one of the best New Orleans rockers of all time."
His other hits, You Talk Too Much, Time After Time and 1961's Seventeen, were made before he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1962, where he entertained troops in the United States, Korea and Vietnam.
Once out of the service, he returned to full-time entertainment and made several more albums.
Ford was named "King of Swamp Pop Music" by Louisiana Lt. Gov. Melinda Schwegmann, was voted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame and was also given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the South Louisiana Music Association.
Ford was a huge hit when he appeared in a Legends of Doo Wop show at River Ridge High School several years ago.
Freddy 'Boom Boom' Cannon
The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll describes Cannon as "A major star in the early '60s," who made it big with Tallahassee Lassie (No. 6, 1959) — written by his mom, by the way — and a new version of the 1920s jazz hit Way Down Yonder in New Orleans (No. 3, 1960).
He earned his nickname of "Boom Boom" because of his band's driving beat and his whoops after every line in such songs as Palisades Park.
He frequently appeared on Dick Clark's American Bandstand (he holds the record for most appearances, at 110) and has toured with Clark since then. Cannon now does up to 150 shows a year.