Richard Marx will be in town this weekend for a rare Friday night version of Saturday Night Pops. I missed the Marx revolution in the late ‘80's and ‘90's, but I am apparently just weird, I guess. One YouTube video has received 17 MILLION hits; odds are that several of those “hitters” will be in attendance. After watching a couple vids, it’s also clear that I am SO going to get some wardrobe ideas from this show. I have heard some of his songs, but I don’t think this is going to be like the Neil Sedaka concert we played here back in the 90's (today is Sedaka’s birthday).
Looking back, we can laugh about it now, but the KSO Pops series has seen some pretty scary times. In the 90's, it seemed that Knoxville had a Pops curse that rendered guest artists unable to perform their second night’s show. (Pops artists performed pairs of shows then, Friday and Saturday nights). Dionne Warwick was hospitalized after her Friday night show with pneumonia; Mr. Sedaka had a mild stroke after his. It was a stroke of luck that jazz singer Nancy D’Andrea, mother of KSO flutist Cynthia D’Andrea, was in the audience. She teamed up with our second bassoonist at the time, Mike Benjamin, who also happens to be one of Knoxville’s premiere jazz pianists, to save the night on both occasions. Trumpeter Doc Severinsen also had a last-minute cancellation, but we were left with enough time to find a suitable replacement. In the late 80's, singer Judy Collins became ill at the last minute and Helen Reddy was secured as a replacement. And then there was the year that most of the Clayton Holiday concerts had to be cancelled due to a flood at the Civic Auditorium. I’m probably missing a couple; it was a virtual epidemic for a while, but I think now we can safely assume that the Pops jinx has been retired. Nevertheless, I am going to keep my fingers slightly crossed through Friday.