CLEARWATER — In celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ “White Album,” Flower Power Concerts Inc. will present “It Was Fifty Years Ago Today,” a new tour paying tribute to the band’s ninth studio album.
The tour — featuring Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz, Badfinger’s Joey Molland and Chicago’s Jason Scheff — will make a stop in the Tampa Bay area for one performance Tuesday, Sept. 24, 8 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets start at $43.75. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
The “White Album,” which was formally titled simply “The Beatles,” was released in November 1968. The double album boasted a plain white sleeve with no graphics other than the band’s name. Most of the album’s songs were written in March and April 1968 during a Transcendental Meditation course in Rishikesh, India. The music was recorded at EMI’s Abbey Road Studio in London.
Songs from the double album include “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Blackbird,” “Rocky Raccoon,” “Birthday” and “Helter Skelter.”
Performers on the “It Was Fifty Years Ago Today” tour will be performing their own greatest hits along with songs from the “White Album.”
Christopher Cross is an American singer-songwriter from San Antonio, Texas. Cross won five Grammy Awards for his eponymous debut album released in 1979. The singles “Sailing” (1980), and “Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)” peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. “Sailing” earned three Grammys in 1981, while “Arthur's Theme” won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1981 with co-composers Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Peter Allen.
Todd Rundgren, born and raised in Philadelphia, began playing guitar as a teenager, going on to found and front Nazz, the quintessential 1960s psychedelic group. In 1969, he left the band to pursue a solo career, recording his debut offering, “Runt.” But it was 1972's seminal “Something/Anything?,” on which he played all the instruments, sang all the vocal parts, and acted as his own producer, that catapulted Todd into the superstar limelight, prompting the press to dub him “Rock's New Wunderkind.” It was followed by such landmark LPs as “A Wizard, A True Star” and “The Hermit of Mink Hollow,” as well as such hit singles as “I Saw the Light,” “Hello It's Me,” “Can We Still Be Friends,” and “Bang the Drum.”
Micky Dolenz is an actor, singer, director, producer, writer, radio DJ, inventor, and all-around performer, a paragon of taste and accomplishment in the rough-and-tumble world of show business and entertainment. Dolenz is best known as a vocalist and drummer of the 1960s pop legends the Monkees. The Monkees not only achieved great success as a TV show, but also as viable recording artists, selling in excess of 65 million units, and achieving worldwide success. Their first four albums — “The Monkees” (1966); “More of the Monkees” (1967); “Headquarters” (1967); and “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, Ltd.” (1967) — all reached the No. 1 position on the charts and launched three No. 1 singles: “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I'm a Believer” — both with lead vocals by Dolenz — and “Daydream Believer.” The group's first five albums also went platinum.
Jason Scheff is the longtime tenor lead vocalist of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-inducted supergroup Chicago. Scheff joined the group in 1985, replacing the iconic vocalist/bass player Peter Cetera and going on to be one of the principal songwriters and main contributors throughout Chicago's career. Scheff's songwriting, vocals, and musicianship helped create the most successful recording era of Chicago, the 1980s and 1990s. Scheff is also the voice across four decades, performing all the classic Chicago hits in thousands of concerts and television appearances.
Joey Molland is an English composer and rock guitarist whose recording career spans five decades. He is best known as guitarist, singer and songwriter of classic rock legends Badfinger. Molland is the last surviving member from the band's classic line-up and is still playing concerts worldwide. He is currently recording a new solo album.