CLEARWATER — Rock the Yacht, featuring Ambrosia, Stephen Bishop, Walter Egan, John Ford Coley, Looking Glass and Peter Beckett, will be presented Wednesday, July 10, 8 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater.
Tickets start at $33.75. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
This popular package tour brings some of the most memorable musical artists of the 1970s to the stage.
Ambrosia, this year’s headliner, is an American rock band formed in southern California in 1970. They enjoyed five Top 40 hit singles between 1975 and 1980. After a hiatus in the late 1980s, most of the original band members reunited and have been active with the group for the past three decades.
In 1975, Ambrosia released their self-titled debut album on 20th Century Fox Records. It featured the Top 20 single “Holdin' on to Yesterday.” The legendary Alan Parsons engineered the album, which would be nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Engineered Recording category. That same year, all four members of Ambrosia would play on the first album from the Alan Parsons Project. In 1976, the band would release “Somewhere I've Never Traveled,” which also received a Grammy nomination, setting the stage for the band's signing to Warner Bros. Records.
The year 1978 marked Ambrosia’s biggest pop breakthrough with their first gold single, “How Much I Feel,” off “Life Beyond L.A.” Two years later, they would have Top 20 single success with two singles, “Biggest Part of Me” and “You're the Only Woman (You & I),” featured on their “One Eighty” release. Today, the band consists of original members Joe Puerta, bassist and vocalist; Christopher North, keyboardist; and Burleigh Drummond, drummer. They continue to tour all over the world, performing both their legacy hit material and more recent songs.
At the age of 13, Bishop found himself a crossroads. A clarinetist with hopes of becoming a history teacher, he was forever changed after watching the Beatles one night on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He soon convinced his brother to buy him an electric guitar, wrote his first song called “Surf's Turf,” and formed a band called The Weeds that played original and Top 40 songs at local fraternity parties.
Years later, while performing in Los Angeles, Art Garfunkel heard some of Bishop’s songs and, ultimately, recorded two for his 1975 “Breakaway” album. Soon, Bishop was singing his songs in person for the likes of Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Bette Midler and Michelle Phillips.
Bishop signed a record deal with ABC Records and released his debut album, “Careless,” in 1976 that featured the hit songs “Save It for a Rainy Day” and “On and On.” The album went gold, as did his '78 follow-up, which was simply titled, “Bish.” He sang the theme “It Might Be You” for the movie “Tootsie,” in addition to writing or singing songs for 13 other films including “White Nights” and “Animal House.”
Egan is known for his 1978 gold-status hit single “Magnet and Steel” from his second album, “Not Shy,” produced by Lindsey Buckingham and Richard Dashut. The song reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. His other hit songs include “Hot Summer Nights” and “Tunnel O’ Love.”
Coley is known as one half of the musical duo England Dan and John Ford Coley. Among their best-known singles are “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” “We’ll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again” and “Love Is the Answer.”
Looking Glass is best known for their hit “Brandy (You're a Fine Girl),” a song featuring singer/songwriter Elliot Lurie on vocals and guitar. “Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)” was released in the summer of 1972. It quickly rose to the top of the charts, selling over a million copies and becoming one of the most played radio records of the year. Over time, the song has endured, consistently registering over 2.5 million Spotify streams per month and being recorded by such disparate artists as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kenny Chesney.
Beckett, the voice of Player, is best known for the band's international No. 1 hit “Baby Come Back.” Their biggest hit came about when Beckett had just split from someone he had been in a relationship with for a long time. Written with J.C. Crowley, the song reached the top of the charts in January 1978. Player was voted Best New Single Artist by Billboard magazine that year. The band also saw a Top 10 hit with “This Time I’m In It for Love” and a Top 40 hit with “Prisoner of Love.”
Since 2013, Beckett has toured extensively, performing the hits he helped make famous.