3rd annual Rock Reunion to benefit Relay For Life

Published 9:53 pm Friday, March 24, 2017

Combining music for a cause continues to drive the Blue Fox Band to help the area.
Comprised of members of the Elizabethton High School Class of 1970, the band is preparing for their third annual Rock Reunion concert to benefit Relay For Life on Saturday, April 1, at T.A. Dugger Junior High School from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free of charge, but donations are encouraged, which with go to the Relay For Life of Carter County to benefit the American Cancer Society.
The group is comprised of Berry “Corky” Jolly, Randy Campbell, Andy Houston, Lee Gouge, Tony Rominger, John Gardner, Jim Bass, and friends.
“This is our third Relay For Life event working with the American Cancer Society,” Bass said. “It was an idea that started back when I called John to see if we could pull the guys together again. At that time, we hadn’t played as a collective group in 35 years. We started to do that, and we’re able to get ahold of everyone and agreed to do.”
Once the band members came together, the American Cancer Society set the group up as a team, and the Blue Fox Band was able to raise $1,500 during their inaugural show.
Attendees can expect a diverse selection of music varying from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
“We usually have a couple of guests come up and play with us,” Gardner said. “We always have a great time.”
Looking back at their careers, a moment stuck out for Gardner discussing the band competing in a widescale battle of the bands’ concert in Ohio with a recording contract on the line. While the group finished second, the guys were able to have a fun time during the experience.
“As soon as they went on stage, I know they’d win. (The winning band) was all clean cut and matched, and we were very ugly and dirty,” Gardner said with a laugh.
“But the crowd loved us,” Bass added with a smile.
While the bulk of bandmates live in the region, others like Randy Campbell and Corky lived in Atlanta and Knoxville.
“We usually don’t have the time to practice, we just come together and play,” Bass said. “It’s always a fun time. With the experience, it comes natural but Corky with throwing some different songs out there depending on the flow of the concert.”
Along with their success as a band, various members were able to tour with other highly touted names. Gardner had the opportunity to tour with the Dixie Chicks and Kenny Rogers while Rominger was able to play alongside the recently departed Chuck Berry.
But while the songs bring joy, the band is looking forward to helping Relay For Life with their cause.
“Cancer has touched so many people,” Bass said. “My wife is going through breast cancer now. She’s been through her chemotherapy, her radiation treatment and she’s going to finish up with reconstructive surgery. My plight is to push awareness about the disease. You’ve got to think about not laying down, but moving forward and being determined to defeat this disease.”
Rominger added, “I’ve had it, Jim’s wife had it, Johnny had it, our guitar player and his wife had it. We know first hand what cancer causes. It hits us from a personal standpoint. I play three or four of these types of events with a gospel group out of Unicoi. This is a cause I believe very strongly in.”
Andy Houston added that his family had been affected, but research has shown progress is being accomplished.
“My mother died of cancer, and my father beat bladder cancer on numerous of occasions due to treatment,” Houston said. “Research has proved to be helpful, but I think it needs to be steered in a different direction. I believe we’re all for this.”
But for one night, the fears and concerns can go away while the public has the chance to join Blue Fox Band for some tunes in a fun atmosphere.
“We’re not going to change the world in one night, as much as we’d like to,” Gardner said. “This is a small way for us to give back to a cause that means a lot to us and we’re excited about this opportunity.”
For more information, visit the Relay For Life of Carter County, Tn Facebook page online.

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