This week we will rise above the noise and confusion, just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion... And for those of you who are sitting there wondering just what the heck I'm writing about, carry on my wayward son (or daughter) and keep reading!
Do an Internet search for the word, "Kansas," and you'll find hits for the state of Kansas and Kansas City along with many sites about the rock band, Kansas. The band and its name have a history going back 40 years. A band formed with the name, Kansas, by Topekans, Dave Hope, Phil Ehart and Kerry Livgren in 1970 folded, reformed and merged with different names and members before a newly formed band was brought together in 1973 with the name, Kansas, affixed permanently. Kansas band members by then were Phil Ehart, Dave Hope, Kerry Livgren, Robbie Steinhardt, Steve Walsh and Rich Williams.
With the release of their first major album, "Kansas," in 1974 Kansas moved into the national music spotlight as a progressive rock band, offering music which combined rock interwoven with classic symphonic tones and complex arrangements. Years later Kansas is still entertaining crowds of new and old fans with its distinctive, musical style and rich, reflective lyrics.
Enthusiastic followers known as "wheatheads" travel great distances to attend Kansas concerts such as the sold out January, 2008, performance at the Topeka Performing Arts Center. The band rocked the house that night with an assist from the Topeka Symphony Orchestra. Reviewer Bill Blankenship from the Topeka Capital-Journal commented after the concert, "More often than not, Kansas performs opuses, not songs. They are rich and textured and far too long for radio. They have movements, tempo changes, counterpoint and other symphonic forms that go well beyond the verse-chorus 'Roll Over Beethoven' roots of rock."
So let's sit back, pop in a CD and listen to some great music while perusing information on a band that named itself after a state.
Kansas, the Official Website
Includes information on:
Some Current* & Former Band Members' Websites
Article contact: Bill Sowers
(My thanks to Cindy Roupe for suggesting this topic)