Sunday, November 09, 2008

Bob McCord, Willie & The Walkers Open Consort Sportsplex 1967

You tube has got some interesting stuff on it - for instance one of my favorite groups when I was just getting out of Junior High was Willie and the Walkers..

Picture it - the year is 1967. I was given a free ticket by the Sedalia community association to attend a $100.00 a plate dinner (figureout what 100 bucks was worth in 1967!!) for the opening of the Consort Sportsplex.

The headlining entertainment was Willie and the Walkers - their big North American hit was Diamonds and Gold (one of my favs at the time) - they hailed from Edmonton... the show was great and was hosted by my all time favorite DJ Bob McCord from 630 CHED radio (he sang los Bravos' "Black is Black" - backed by W&theWs) since I'm playing DJ already anyway, this is the best version I could find - Los Bravos - Black is Black... Bob truly did it justice. Didn't know he was a singer until then.

Willie and The Walkers - Diamonds and Gold

Gotta find a way to capture that.... hmmm....

Here's "Alone in My Room" one of their other hits. With 630 CHED Radio and Wes Dakus - Edmonton was really a major generator of Canadian music talent back in the sixties... with CKXL and Calgary right behind.

The show ended way too soon and I was still wanting more. Debbie Kroeger later to be mother of Chad Kroeger of Nickleback was feeling the same way.

She was now a cousin by marriage - my Uncle - Claude Thornton and her Aunt - Helen Kroeger had just been married a couple of months before.

I cajoled Debbie into getting the keys for the dealership (her dad Henry Kroeger - later Alberta Transport Minister - owned the John Deere dealership in Consort) and together we talked Willie MacCaulder (now with the Powder Blues Band in Vancouver) into doing an impromptu concert at the shop... it went for about another three hours... it was pretty magical for a couple of 15 year olds - I personally believe that was the real origins of Nickleback.

To finish the name dropping and close the loop - KD Lang was growing up in Consort right about that time (she lived across the street from my grandfathers) and was a playmate of my sister. When they were both 15 or so, my sister Sharon beat out KD in the local Talent contest - so there!!

Now I really do have to get some sleep. Hope you enjoyed.

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