Good Time for Jennifer Torres’ children’s novel

A Time magazine headline on page 66 of its Dec. 12 issue:: “It’s a mean, sometimes sad world ¬ but reading can help.”
Writer Kirsten Salyer adds: “As much as we may (sic) want to shield children from all the terrible, horrible no-good, very bad things in life, too often we don’t get a choice.”
Jennifer Torres Siders, a former Record reporter, is one children’s author who helped provide some of that emotional shelter in 2016, though her 176-page book won’t be released by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers until Jan. 17.
Salyer chose “Stef Soto, Taco Queen” ¬ Torres’ first full children’s novel ¬ as one of five examples that can help young people cope with a sometimes-difficult world.
Salyer’s synopsis: “Now in middle school, Estefania ‘Stef’ Soto has become embarrassed by her Mexican-American family’s food truck and is tired of being teased at school as the ‘taco queen.’ But when the family business is threatened, she becomes one of its biggest defenders and, in the process, learns to embrace her identity.”
The other four books listed:
“Why Can’t Grandma Remember My Name” by Kent L. Karosen
“Goodbye Days” by Jeff Zentner
“The Secret Horses of Briar Hill” by Megan Shepherd
“Gertie’s Leap to Greatness” by Kate Beasley

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Galt’s Garner takes Cash tribute to public television

Galt’s Garner takes Cash tribute to public television
James Garner’s tribute to Johnny Cash now is being shown on KVIE, Sacramento’s Public Broadcasting System (PBS) television outlet.
The Galt resident, who’s been playing tribute to Cash (1923-2003) for nine years, recorded a sold-out two July 9 show at Lodi’s Hutchins Street Square.
Edited to 88½-minute, the second concert is scheduled for broadcast four more times on Channel 6: 2 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. Sunday; 10 p.m. Dec. 15; 10 p.m. Jan. 26
Rick Duncan (bass), Nick Auriemmo (drums) and Denny Colleret (guitar) supported him during the 26-song, two-hour, story-telling concert that was recorded for CD and DVD.
www.CashTribute.net
(NOTE: In Cash Nation, newly discovered poetry and song lyrics have been discovered and published as “Forever Word: the Unknown Poems.” The collection spans Cash’s life and career, including illustrations of his handwritten words.)

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Stockton artist shows why Gucci chose her

Stockton’s Jayde Cardinalli Fish is opening a display of her visually commanding pop art that’s been proposed by Gucci designers as adornments for their 2017 spring collection.
It’s really amazing stuff ¬ bisecting somewhere between imogis and “Game of Thrones.”
The illustrator/designer attended the Gucci introduction in Milan, Italy, and was featured in November’s edition of Vogue magazine.
The 33-year-old St. Mary’s High School graduate’s display ¬ “In Dreams” ¬ opens at 6 p.m. Friday at the Fifty24SF Gallery, 218 Fillmore St., in San Francisco (415) 861-1960. It’s in the Lower Haight, northwest of the Market and Octavia streets intersection. Regular hours: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
http://jaydefish.com; http://westcoastnorthbeach.com; gallery@Fifty24SF.com.
Twitter: @FIFTY24SF; Instagram @fifty24sfgallery; Facebook: Fifty24SF

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From Costa Rica to a taco truck with UOP authors

Books and music by University of the Pacific authors and artists range in subjects matter from the Nez Perce Indians to Roman Empire women of the Christian movement to jazz and opera recordings.
Jennifer Lopez, a former Record reporter, has been recognized by Time magazine for “Stef Soto, Taco Queen ¬ her first novel for children.
Unique holiday-time gifts that keep the bucks in the community:
Non-fictsionbooks:
Encounters with the People: Written and Oral Accounts of Nez Perce Life to 1858,” by William Swagerty, Washington State University Press, $50, 522 pages. Swagerty, history prof and director of UOP’s John Muir Center creates Nez Perce history from unpublished stories and unique sources, including Native American oral histories, diaries, reports and maps. Swagerty, with co-editors Dennis Baird, professor emeritus at the University of Idaho, and Diane Mallickan, a Nez Perce and Shoshone-Paiute and park ranger. The book won the 2016 Western History Association’s Dwight L. Smith Award for bibliographic or research in Western Americana.
Melania: Early Christianity Through the Life of One Family,” by Caroline Schroeder, University of California Press, $95, 344 pages. A UOP religious-studies prof assembles concepts of 16 scholars to see Christianity through eyes of Melania the Elder and granddaughter Melania the Younger. They used their wealth and status to help shape what now is Christianity. The volume illuminates women’s roles in Christian evolution.
City of Flowers: An Ethnography of Social and Economic Change in Costa Rica’s Central Valley,” by Susan E. Mannon, Oxford University Press, $20, 224 pages. An associate professor of sociology reveals social and economic changes in Costa Rica and four social classes cope. Class, race and gender aspirations and anxieties play a roles. One in a series examining issues caused by globalization and its impacts.
“Garlic Capital of the World: Gilroy, Garlic, and the Making of a Festive Foodscape,” by Pauline Adema, University Press of Mississippi, $55 hardcover, $27 paperback, 212 pages. Adema, UOP’s director of the university’s food-studies program in San Francisco, first West Coast program of its kind. Adema examines the way food festivals create brand identity. Specifically, garlic’s role in developing Gilroy into a tourist destination.
Fiction
“Stef Soto, Taco Queen,” by Jennifer Torres, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $10, 176 pages. Torres’s debut novel is one of five children’s books highlighted in Time magazine’s Dec. 12 edition. She’s UOP’s director of community relations, Stefania “Stef” Soto wants independence from her overly-protective parents. She, wishes they’d retire to run her father’s taco truck, Tia Perla. She wants to be a normal seventh-grader Family and friendship win out.
“Blood Flag: A Paul Madriani Novel,” by Steve Martini, William Morrow and Co., $19, 336 pages. Martini, a McGeorge School of Law graduate’s 14th Paul Madriani thriller. He gets drawn into a possible World War II conspiracy when a client denies she killed her father and believes his death is connected to a package he received from a member of his Army unit. Madriani’s assistant and other Army-unit members’ deaths under similar circumstances prompt Madriani to seek the truth.
“Dessert First,” by Dean Gloster, Merit Press, $17, 304 pages. A UOP grad, Gloster, a former stand-up comedian, lawyer, and clerk to two U.S. Supreme Court justices, writes his first young-adult novel..A bone marrow transplant from Kat Monroe might be her younger brother’s only hope to recover from leukemia. She deals with loss and heartbreak, too.
“The Tsarina’s Legacy,” by Jennifer Laam, St. Martin’s Griffin, $17, 352 pages. In this latest historical novel, Laam ¬ director of advancement services at UOP and a 1994 grad,¬ connects the old Romanov throne with a modern heiress trying to decide between royal perks and staying true to herself and safeguarding a better future for her country.
Music
“2014-2015 Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet,” Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet, released by UOP’ Brubeck Institute, $10, jazz. The 2014-15 Brubeck Fellows – Lucas Bere, tenor (saxophone); Joel Ross (vibraphone); Sean Britt (guitar); Sarah Kuo (bass); and Jalon Archie (drums) – combine on 12 songs theyl composed or arranged. Available on the Brubeck Institute’s website: http://www.pacific.edu/Brubeck-Home/Media-Gallery.html.
“Perspectives On Light and Shadow: Sonatas by Beaser, Ysaÿe, Bartók,” by Ann Miller and Sonia Leong, Hhr, $9 for MP3; $14 for CD. Miller (violin) and Leong (piano), The Conservatory of Music, professors perform music representing shadows, darkness and playful light. iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, Spotify.
“Medea in Corinto,” by Giovanni Simone Mayr, Dynamic, $25, opera video. Marco Stefani, a graduate of UOP’s Conservatory of Music, performs “Tideo” in a double-DVD opera directed by Matteo Ricchetti. The story of revenge, jealousy and passion is based on Euripides. Available on Amazon and other video outlets.
Information

http://www.go.pacific.edu/news

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Feeling both sides of Beach Boys’ vibrations

It’s a book-length scenario/standoff/survival saga in itself.
Brian Wilson and Mike Love provide relatively amicable accounts in their new memoirs.
A popular theoretical myth always has prevailed: Love, Wilson’s cousin, was appalled by music Brian created in the recording studio after he stopped touring with the band in 1964.
It became “Pet Sounds” by 1966.
Such transformative tunes didn’t fit the Beach Boys’ hit- and money-making format. Love preferred short, sweet, dance-ready sing-alongs about girls, surfing, cars and teenage romance. Not rule-breaking experimentation.
Love supposedly hated it. Brian was messing around with an all-American franchise. Sensitive and emotionally fragile, Brian allegedly was shattered creatively by Love’s disdain.
In “My Life as a Beach Boy,” Love admits his reservations. How does such “serious” and mesmerizing music fit into a “Dance, Dance, Dance” stage show? He also expresses artistic admiration for his cousin’s landmark craftwork.
Though not initially credited or compensated, Love contributed lyrics to three of the songs, including “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” a definitive expression of teenage emotion, angst and aspiration that’s yet to be eclipsed.
In “i am Brian Wilson,” the “Pet Sounds” perfectionist doesn’t recollect being totally traumatized by Love’s critique, though the initial commercial apathy toward “Pet Sounds” was discouraging.
Wilson, his imagination unhindered, crafted some of pop music’s most beautiful songs ¬ symphonic and experimental at times ¬ that became “Pet Sounds. ” Released in 1966, many consider the No. 1 album in rock history. Even if it doesn’t rock very much.
It’s a vivid, glorious, aural panorama of Brian’s mind – beautifully harmonic ballads with masterfully-layered vocals emphasizing his entrancing, virtually perfect, falsetto.
Members of the Beatles have recalled feeling motivated to eclipse “Pet Sounds” and its wondrous sonic and melodic imaginings. Even train whistles and barking dogs. So, a year later, they countered with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
Pop music was altered forever.
Disturbed by the initial commercial response to “Pet Sounds,” Wilson admits to feeling intimidated ¬ as much by his own often drug-addled mind as any individual’s opinion ¬ even as the “Smile” saga began.
It became the “Dead Sea Scrolls” of pop music. Battered by personal, emotional and psychological issues, Brian began this pop masterpiece in 1966, ostensibly as a Beach Boys’ successor to “Pet Sounds” for five decades.
Ridiculous rumors, spooky speculation, persistent predictions ¬ almost nonstop nagging and hoping¬ ensued and endured.
In 2004, “Smile” finally emerged as a Brian Wilson solo project. Its grandeur and authentic encapsulation of the American adventure prompted generational comparisons to George Gershwin (1898-1937).
An avid admirer, Wilson recorded an entire album of Gershwin’s music: “Brian Wilson Re-imagines George Gershwin” (2010).
Love was uninvolved in the finished “Smile.” The Beach Boys had released an early attempt, “Smiley Smile” (1967). Two of its tunes are on the final “Smile,” crafted by Wilson and L.A. singer-songwriter Van Dyke Parks, a long-time Wilson writing partner.
The trend-free “Heroes and Villains” (originally 1967) opens both “Smiles,” the latter a mélange of rock, chamber music, operetta, pop, instrumental windstorms, rhythmic oddities, glee-club interplay, animal sounds and some of the most brilliant vocal harmonies ever written, sung or recorded. In any era.
“Pet Sounds” and “Smile” remain among the most imaginative, enduring , ever-intriguing recordings f the rock/pop era,
Interestingly, Jeffrey Foskett, who sings and plays “hammer” on “Smile,” is part of the Beach Boys band Love and Bruce Johnston bring to Stockton’s Bob Hope Theatre tonight (@ticketmaster.com).
Only four “Pet Sounds/Smile” songs typically make it onto the set list. Wilson added and alternate, lyrically-altered version of the essential “Good Vibrations” (Mo. 1, 1966) as the final song on “Smile.”
So, amicably enough, Love can express both aspects of he and his cousin’s stylistic visions.
— Contact Tony Sauro at (209) 546-8267 or tsauro@recordnet.com. Follow him on Twitter @tsaurorecord

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Gibbons fins a ‘classic’ fit for ZZ Top

ZZ Top
With: Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Ironstone Vineyards Amphitheatre, 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys
Tickets: $50-$145; $245 (buffet, 5:30 p.m.)
Information: (209) 728-1251; ironstoneamphitheatre.net.
Being “labeled” isn’t such a bad deal for Billy Gibbons and ZZ Top.
“ ‘Classic’ includes ‘class’,” Gibbons said. “So that’s kind of nice.
“We sincerely revolve through so many different labels and, of course, we still prefer the one that’s on a hot-sauce bottle.”
That would be BFG (Billy F. Gibbons) hot sauces and barbecue sauces that complement the torrid, smoking brand of blue-rock this Houston, Texas “classic-rock” trio has been cooking up for 45 years.
No other rock band has remained intact for that amount of time.
Gibbons and Dusty Hill, both 67, are known globally for their distinctive beards, shades and cowboy hats as much as for their deeply-rooted American music with all the labels: Blues; hard-rock; blues-rock; and, well, pure ZZ Top rock.
Naturally, drummer Frank Beard, 67, doesn’t maintain facial hair.
In addition to the crunching rhythmic stomp, rough-hewn guitar licks and Gibbons’ gruffly grizzled vocals, these guys appreciate (occasionally accentuate) the wry, subtle ¬ often self-deprecating ¬ wit that leavens even the bluesiest blues.
As part of a three-stop Northern California journey, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers conclude Ironstone Amphitheatre’s eight-concert summer season with a Friday show in Murphys.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, a 39-year-old ZZ Top blues-rock acolyte from Shreveport, Louisiana, and his band open.
ZZ Top. Which played at Ironstone in 2014, returns with a new album (No. 25) ¬ “Tonite at Midnight, a collection of 15 tracks from “several piles” of track from world tours that had been overlooked. The Texas trio is the definitve “live” blues-rock band.
Of course, such ZZ Top brand names ¬ and guitar riffage ¬ as “Gimme All Your Lovin’ ” (Houston); “Got Me Under Pressure” (New York); “Cheap Sunglasses” (Paris); “Legs: (Sao Paolo, Brazil); “Sharp-Dressed Man” (Los Angeles); “La Grange (Dallas); “Tube Snake Boogie” (Rome); and “Gimme All Your Lovin’ ” (Houston) are on the setl list..
Jeff Beck joins them for “Rough Boy” and during an example of the band’s collective sense of humor.
After hearing an unnamed group of musicians’ “fake” a ZZ Top version of “Sixteen Tons” on YouTube, Gibbons & Co. decided to try and top it. Tennessee Ernie Ford’s No. 1 hit form 1955. written by Merle Travis, never has been rocked u like this.
Gibbons, also an avid collector of guitars and cars ¬ the 1933 red Ford “Eliminator” from the band’s 1983 album cover of that name ¬ took some tour time to respond to a few questions:

Q. When choosing tracks for a live greatest-hits album, what are the key factors? Who chooses?

A. It’s always been the collective decision by the band. This latest was the unexpected (discovery) of several piles of hard drives that had been gathering over … the recent couple of tours. We immediately took to setting up our famed listening sessions to see what was going down. Lo and behold, there were some interesting variations of some of our tried-and-true songs that prompted gathering up the favorites for this first-ever “live” release.

Q. What tracks are your favorites? Any stories behind them?

A. Well, to make things interesting, we included a few tracks featuring our long-standing pals, Jeff Beck, and harmonica blues great James Harman. James blows some mean sounds on … “Waitin on the Bus” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago”.
Jeff Beck added some killer tonality to the performances we did together, “Rough Boy” and “Sixteen Tons.” Jeff said he had always liked “Rough Boy” and, now that the story is out, we all decided to deliver a whacked-out version of “Sixteen Tons,” based on a YouTube hoax — perpetrated by someone we think had too much time on their hands. We had joined Jeff at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden back in 2009. There was a DVD issued of the show. About three years later, someone took the visuals and created a new audio track of “Sixteen Tons” that sort of matched it. At first, Jeff and I weren’t certain we could assure it wasn’t us performing. We stumbled upon this rather near-believable creation and said, “Bloody hell — we can do this!”
So the faked version became our instant inspiration to do a real one. True story!

Q. When you were a kid, did you ever think you’d achieve the longevity, popularity and artistic respect you have?

A. When I was a kid, I would only think about the next record I was gonna get or the next guitar I had to scheme to get. Long-range thinking was more along the line of pondering what party to attend on whatever weekend might be coming up. So, I guess the answer is “no.”

Q. Who was/is the most influential person in your life?

A. I’m gonna suggest there are many. You can go down the long list of originators in the great American art form known as the blues and there they are… Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. (King), Muddy (Waters), Albert Collins. Man! The list goes on and on. …!
At the same time, my dad (Frederick “Freddie” Royal) gets in the mix. (He) was the consummate professional entertainer, an orchestra leader and the model who set me on the path to pursing making loud sound. That’s really what it comes down to. Of course, Jimi Hendrix remains an inspiration. Jimi did things with the electric guitar that its inventors could never have envisioned. Getting to spend time together still resonates through the memory banks. He showed me that innovation is its own reward and that’s something still remains tried-and- true.

Q. Have you guys ever talked about Frank growing a Beard, too?

A. Just so and that’s fine. His is a titular “Beard” so if someone should say, “Frank, where’s your beard?” he can just lay out his passport or his famous driver’s license.

Q. What’s the No. 1 car in your collection? Are there any you really want, but haven’t found? Ever bid at a Barrett-Jackson (or other) auction. If so, how high did you go for what vehicle?

A. No. 1 has got to the Eliminator, the little red ’33 Ford three window coupe. She really conquered the world. She’s a star of stage, screen and has been reproduced in tabletop form by Monogram and Revell and Hot Wheels. The never-ending lookout for that next car is just that…never-ending. Barrett-Jackson’s annual get-together is stunning. “Temptation City” as we’ve come to say.

Q. If you could have dinner with three other guitarists, who would they be? What’s on the (food) menu? BFG sauces?

A. Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters and Lightnin’ Hopkins. Seems like soul food would have to be the order of the day, no?

Q. Who’s the “toughest” Texan of them all?

A. That’s between Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy King and, maybe, Sam Houston.

Q. How many guitars do you own. Which one’s “best?”

A. We have, quite literally, lost count. but guessing it’s between 2,365 and 10,892. Our “best” is “Pearly Gates,” that original 1958 Les Paul Standard that sounds like no other. Got ‘er back in ’68 on a borrowed $250. Best return on investment ever!
Q. Can you describe what the “heart” of the blues is?
A. It’s a biorhythm. Completely organic and just presents itself to you. When it’s there, you got it. and it’ll always stay with you.

Q. Tired of being labeled “classic” rock? Or is the label correct in a formative/historic sense?

A. “Classic” includes “class.” So that’s kind of nice. We sincerely revolve through so many different labels and, of course, we still prefer the one that’s on a hot-sauce bottle.

Q. Who do you hear playing real rock-and-roll these days?

A. Quite a few rockin’ outfits out there nowadays. We’re likingDinosaur Jr., Isaac Rother and the Phantoms, Surprise Vacation , Jonny Lang. Yeah, they rockin’!

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Weekly series starts at Take 5 Jazz

A new season of weekly shows at Take 5 Jazz at the Brew has begun.
In addition to an Oct. 13 performance by singer Carmen Bradford during the Brubeck Jazz Festival, the guest list includes
Bennie Maupin, from Detroit, who plays saxophone, flute and bass. With the Joe Mazzaferro Group (Oct. 6).
Gilbert Castellanos, a trumpet player from Guadalajara, Mexico. With the Patrick Langham Quintet (Nov. 10).
Greg Tardy, a saxophonist who teaches at the University of Tennessee ¬ Brubeck Institute interim director Patrick Langham’s alma mater. With the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet (Nov. 17).
Keyboard player Simon Rowe, Langham’s predecessor, returns twice to the club he helped found (Sept. 8, Nov. 3).
The 2016-17 Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet includes Timothy Angulo (drums); Isaiah Collier (saxophone); Jamael Dean (piano); Zane DeBord (bass) and Brandon Woody (trumpet).
Take 5 is located in Stockton’s Valley Brewing, 157 W. Adams St. Tickets are $10; $5 for students. Information: (209) 464-2739.
The series opened Aug. 25 with a performance by Langham’s quintet.
The schedule
Thursday: Brian Kendrick Little Big Band
Sept. 8: Simon Rowe Latin Project
Sept. 15: Randy Sandoli Group
Sept. 22: Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet
Sept. 29: Patrick Langham Quintet
Oct. 6:Bennie Maupin ad the Joe Mazzaferro Group
Oct. 13: Carmen Bradford with the BIJQ & Voices
Oct. 20: Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet
Oct. 27: Brian Kendrick Little Big Band
Nov. 3: Simon Rowe Latin Project
Nov. 10: Gilbert Castellanos & Patrick Langham Quintet
Nov. 17: Greg Tardy & the BIJQ

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Former Olympian Boitano leads Arena figure-skating sho

Brian Boitano, who won an Olympic figure-skating gold medal in 1988, headlines a 10-skater “Holiday Movie Skating Spectacular” Nov. 9 at Stockton Arena.

Tickets – priced at $75, $50 and $35 – go on sale at noon Friday.

The 10 skaters perform to pre-recorded holiday season music. Romia Arena, who specializes in “popera,” sings the lyrics live.

A Sunnyvale native, Boitano, 52, also won the world championship in 1986 and 1988. Returning from retirement, he placed sixth during the 1994 Olympics. He was the U.S. champion from 1985 through 1988.

Arena, from Palermo, Sicily, is a pop-syle opera singer best-known for a series of CDs with a similar theme: “Where Did They Film That? Italy: the Music Journey,” which was released in June following “Where Did They Film That? Italy” book in May. This show is part of Arena’s “Where Did They Film That? the Holiday Music Journey” tour.

Arena, 36, also collaborated with Oscar award-winning composer Ennio Morricone on “Morricone Uncovered.” She wrote lyrics and performed on some of his film scores. She’s sold 4 million records during a 32-year career as a singer, songwriter, author, music producer and voice-over artist.

Arena is joined by Franc D’Ambrosio, the “world’s longest-running” lead character in “The Phantom of the Opera” productions. He’s performed his own Broadway and Hollywood stage shows in Lodi, Tracy and Modesto.

Kristi Yamaguchi and Michael Weiss are the hosts. Yamaguch, 45, a Hayward native, won the Olympic gold medal in 1992; two world championships (1991, 1992), and the U.S. championship in 1992.

Weiss, 40, from Washington, D.C., won three national championships (1999, 2000, 2003); two world bronze medalist (1999, 2000) and made the U.S. Olympic team twice.

Those who’ll skating are:

Olympic champion, two-time world champion and four-time U.S. champion Brian Boitano

World and U.S. champion Kimmie Meissner

Four-time U.S. medalist and orld bronze medalist Caryn Kadavy

U.S. champions Caydee Denney & John Coughlin

Eight-time British champion Steven Cousins

Two-time U.S. bronze medalists Kim Navarro & Brent Bommentre

U.S. National competitor Carly Donowick

U.S. National competitor Jonathon Hunt

U.S. National competitor Erin Reed

ProSkaters VSO champion Ashley Clark

Information: ticketmaster.com;

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Moving New Christy Minstrels show was Randy Sparks’ choice

Randy Sparks’ decision to move his 83rd birthday concert to Lodi’s Hutchins Street Square last Friday (July 29) was his alone.
None of the San Joaquin County Historical Society members were involved.
Sparks and his New Christy Minstrels had played at Micke Grove Regional Park for 10 years, donating all proceeds to the museum, where he and Lodi businessman Claude Brown had organized the event.
The July 29 concert was a near sellout at the 740-cpacity venue. Lodi resident Jennifer Lind, who also works and lives in Thousand Oaks, managed to make it back for the shw and sang two solos.

Here’s how Sparks described the concert in an email to his group members and others:

I cannot imagine a more magical night on stage. This was exactly what I envisioned an NCM event should be from the very beginning. Unfortunately, I had no purchasing power back then, and I was obliged to accept group participants for their talent and availability, not their value to the cause and family harmony. I’ve learned a lot in the past fifty-five years, and sometimes I feel really stupid for not understanding all that was going on around me much of the time, but I see clearly now, and the view from here is exhilarating.
Every member of the cast was the star of the show last night. When it came each person’s turn to perform, what we saw was the best effort ever, and if there were imperfections, nobody noticed or cared. Maybe the flaws were the best part of the program. I kept saying to myself, ‘We aren’t too slick, are we?’
Every act should have a Claude Brown sitting in the front row.He was personally responsible for every ticket sold, and he actually bought many of them for friends and business associates. We had a full house because of Claude Brown. Yes, Jennifer was a magnet for her fans, and Barry McGuire’s name on the posters certainly helped, but without Claude, we’d have been just another lukewarm nostalgia show. What we had was a glorious reconnection with friends, some of whom we’d never met before. There was a long line at the autograph table, and I’m not certain, of course, but I believe I was hit upon by at least three old women, one of whom was my wife. I had the feeling she was flirting with me. Does it get any better than that?
I wish to thank all of you, each of you, for the magic that you allowed me to preside over. I don’t wield the authority without recognizing how much of it you have graciously assigned to me as the cat-herder. Have we ever before had so many spontaneous standing ovations? I don’t think so. Okay, so the ‘hat-trick’ wasn’t quite as funny the second time around, or was it? I LOVE watching Dolan Ellis attempting to sing while laughing. When all of us are dust, the world shall surely miss some of the finest petty laughter, especially in Lodi.

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Entertaining emails a witty hit for them

Frankie & Annette, the Stockton singing-guitar playing duo of Kevin Hogan and Annette Taser, also like entertaining email messages when they perform. Today, they’re at Stockton’s Mile Wine Company at 7 p.m.

Here’s today’s engaging epistle:

“Well, you can stay home tonight and watch Don Trump accept the nomination of the Republican Party OR you can make it on out to Mile Wine 2113 Pacific Ave. and check out Frankie & Annette (with awesome guest percussionist Jordyn Boyd) from 7 – 9:30 tonight. Tasty, French bistro style snackage, excellent beer and wine selection and the ever engaging F&A.
“So what’s it gonna be? Fabulous pomp and ceremony, unlimited vitriolic bombast, one very dopey guy surrounded by extremely hot chicks or are you gonna stay home and watch the Trumpination? Your call.”

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  • About the Authors

    Tony Sauro

    Tony Sauro has been writing feature stories and reporting on entertainment events since 2008. Before that, he helped write, edit and design the editorial pages for five years. Tony edited and wrote for the TimeOut section during its first 10 years ... Full Profile
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