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Carol Perkins: Great bands at Specks, Richmond, KY

The college hangout near Eastern Kentucky University was a great place for students to go. Great bands played - among the best, Exile, which recently played the Plaza in Glasgow, KY. Carol wants to hear from others who remember Specks - contact her by email or call in on the radio show she co-hosts with Susan Chambers: Unscripted with Susan Chambers and Carol Perkins
The next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Prom. I feel it in the air

By Carol Perkins

A small circular decal on the left side of my back window sums up my musical life and definitely places a number on my age: "I May Be Old But I Have Seen All The Cool Bands." My good friend Judy, who has seen these bands with me, gave me that decal for my birthday last year and I sport it proudly.


Fortunately, I have lived during and after the great music of the last sixty decades. Although I can't go back beyond the mid fifties in my personal listening experience as far as radio and concerts, I lived the music of the 30's and 40's through my dad's singing around the house and specifically to me. "Give Me Five Minutes More" was one I particularly remember. Perhaps that song is my anthem because my life always seems to need five minutes more. This was actually written in the year I was born (1946) and recorded by Frank Sinatra. My dad was more of a big band musician and liked the songs from that era, so I knew most of them.

In the fifties, I was all about Elvis and the Platters and all the other greats, but in the sixties I moved to teen idols, many of whom are still performing. Noteworthy, of course, is Frankie Vali whose Jersey Boys is going strong on Broadway. I just finished reading My Way by Paul Anka, another sixties heartthrob, along with Frankie Avalon, Troy Donahue, and Bobby Darin. I may not know the words to any song written in the last twenty years, but I can sing along with these guys.

During the sixties, I also became acquainted with a local band (Kentucky boys) that played in a swinging joint in Richmond, Kentucky called Specks. For EKU students, Specks was the only place in town for young people to go to listen to live music and socialize. My new college friends and I would venture into the darkly lit room with smoke rising and music blaring, looking for others who wanted to dance and have a little weekend fun. The best band at Specks was Exile.

This past weekend, Exile played at the Plaza Theater, and as I listened to those familiar songs, hits from the last fifty years they have been together, I thought about those days when I was barely eighteen and listening to a group who was famous in Richmond but none of us knew would go on to be known worldwide. They were just a group of "older" men with a band. They were probably not more than in their early twenties.

Saturday night Exile was the first act, followed by our own Kentucky Headhunters. Both were recently inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. At the end of the Headhunters' set, Exile came back on the stage and the two groups played together. Then members of Black Stone Cherry (John Fred, the drummer, is Richard Young's son) did a number with the bands, too.

The guys in Exile were even better than I remembered. They made me think about my younger days. The Headhunters, whom I have known since they were born and knew them as students, are always great. Richard and Greg were so gracious to be the first guests on Susan and Carol-Unscripted on 99.1 the Hoss (my new show with friend Susan Chambers that is aired Wednesday from 5-7 and Sunday from 4-6) and we talked about memories of high school days and the bands from their youth.

I have definitely lived to see the cool bands and saw three of them at the Plaza last weekend. How "cool" is that?

(I would be interested to know of others who remember Specks. Email me at cperkins@scrtc.com) - CAROL PERKINS


This story was posted on 2013-05-12 11:09:24
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