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Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Nite Retro

Gooooood evening, and welcome to another Friday Nite Retro! Tonight's featured band was formed in Woodstock, New York in February 1972 by guitarist/songwriter John Hall, vocalist/guitarist Larry Hoppen, drummer Wells Kelly, and Lance Hoppen on bass.
Orleans found its core audience touring the clubs and college circuit of the Northeast US; Rolling Stone magazine called them "the best unrecorded band in America". That changed when they were signed by Asylum Records, recording their first Top 40 hit with "Let There Be Music" in early 1975.

Let There Be Music

The follow up single, "Dance With Me", brought Orleans into the mainstream of American pop music. Unfortunately, it also cast the band in a more "soft-rock" light and landed them a tour with Melissa Manchester, when they really were more at home on tour with bands such as Little Feat.

Dance With Me

The smash hit "Still the One" cemented Orleans' relationship with the American public. While the single was climbing the charts to the peak position of #5, the band did a major cross-country tour with label-mate Jackson Browne. However, within a year internal stresses prompted guitarist/songwriter Hall to leave the band in search of a solo career, as "Still the One" played ceaselessly as the ABC TV network theme song. Since then it has been used for countless commercials and movie soundtracks.

Still the One

ABC "Still the One" Promo

The Hoppen brothers and Kelly reunited the band and, in 1979, produced the #11 hit "Love Takes Time", continuing to tour with the likes of Stephen Stills and Chicago. Collectively, the three Orleans' hits have been aired over 7 million times.

Love Takes Time

Now approaching their 35th anniversary, Orleans continues to play live and record. Their latest studio album, Dancin’ in the Moonlight, was released in late 2005. The current lineup includes Lance and Larry Hoppen, youngest brother Lane Hoppen on keyboards, Dennis "Fly" Amero (replacing John Hall) on guitar and, on drums, Charlie Morgan (best known for his 14-year stint with Elton John). During his 2006 bid for a US Congressional seat, Hall appeared with the group on rare occasions. On November 7, 2006 Hall was elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives from the state of New York.

Dancin' in the Moonlight

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Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Okay, John. Orleans made a heck of a lot of money from ABC for a few seasons. However, for a look a REALLY amazing musician, stop by my place tonight.

title="comment permalink">April 25, 2008 9:50 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

The Kim dude? Ayup, pretty amazing! Like the photo-shop below it too! ;)

title="comment permalink">April 25, 2008 10:29 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

Thanks for the retro, it brings back memories.

title="comment permalink">April 26, 2008 12:10 AM  
Blogger John Good said...

Larry - Thanks for the feedback. I sometimes wonder if anyone even views these!

title="comment permalink">April 27, 2008 12:15 AM  

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