White Sidewalls return to town

FAIRMONT – It’s been a while since the White Sidewalls played Fairmont, but the group will be back on Saturday at Fairmont Opera House.

“We used to pack the places, back in the ’70s and ’80s,” said Pat “Hound Dog” Brown. “Now we’re kind of doing it all over again, and we’re having a ball.”

The White Sidewalls are a Minnesota band that formed in 1972, but focus on music made from 1954-1964. They used to play at the VFW in Fairmont, and the former Mr. C’s Gay Paree Ballroom, south of town.

“We’ve just hung in there all these years and there’s been no lack of work. We’re just loving it and playing full time,” Brown said.

Today, the band’s focus remains the same: They only play songs from 1954-1964. Fifty-four is the year Bill Hailey hit the music scene, and the cut-off in 1964 is before the British Invasion, when The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, etc., really hit the United States.

“Music really changed and went in a different direction with the advent of The Beatles,” Brown said.

Though they’re still playing the sounds of that by-gone era, the White Sidewalls are changing things up a bit. On Saturday, they will present “Love Potion #10,” a quirky musical they created about a DJ, a 40th class reunion, a cat, a mystery woman, and of course, “Love Potion #10.”

“It’s a meld of comedy, intrigue, romance and the great songs of the Golden Age of Rock and Roll,” Brown said.

The cast is comprised of the White Sidewalls: Brown, Dave Swanson, Brad Nelson, Bill Spalding and Eric Swenson, who play themselves. It also stars Sharron Nelson, as the mysterious Lenora, and the DJ is Michael Patrick “Records Ryan,” who is a DJ in real life on WDGY oldies radio.

Admission is $20, with tickets available through Fairmont Opera House at www.fairmontoperahouse.com or by calling (507) 238-4900. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.