Originally Published: August 4, 2013 6 a.m.
Fans of 1970s melodies will hearken back to that era listenening to the tunes of "You've Got a Friend - The Music of James Taylor, Carly Simon and Singer/Songwriters of the 20th Century" Wednesday at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center.
Stars of the Lonely Street Productions show, which starts at 7:30 p.m., are Tucsonans Mike Serres and Mindy Ronstadt, who both have roots that run deep in the world of music.
"There was always music in our house," Serres said of his childhood. He's played the guitar for 45 years and picked up the banjo, mandolin and ukulele and piano along the way.
He was "always playing with somebody" and has enjoyed a musical life since he was 12 years old. Over time, this singer/instrumentalist has found his niche with mid-20th-century music, entertaining audiences with his Desert Cadillacs and Five Way Street bands. The Cadillacs have opened for "some of the hottest acts in rock and roll," including the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, America, The Rascals, Lovin' Spoonful, The Drifters, Paul Revere and the Raiders and more. Serres and his Five Way Street band brought their "Crosby, Stills and Nash" repertoire to the Elks Opera House in June a year ago.
During Wednesday's concert, Serres said, "there will not be a song that people don't know and want to sing along to." He will be the James Taylor of the performance and will be covering a lot of different performers, including Harry Chapin, Gordon Lightfoot, Simon and Garfunkel, and Jim Croce.
Ronstadt, having grown up in a family of musicians - Linda Ronstadt is her aunt - learned to sing at an early age. "My dad taught me to harmonize," she said, recounting that her family would bring their instruments and voices to gatherings. "Holidays and parties were always musical," she said.
Ronstadt says the music she grew up with "is still my favorite... it always holds a special place for me."
She will entertain Wednesday's audience with songs of Carly Simon, Carole King and Janis Joplin.
"I felt bad for our music director trying to narrow down the songs," she laughed. "If we did everything we wanted to do, we'd be there for a week."
The songs for the performance are "all very recognizable and wel- known," Ronstadt said. "People will be happy to hear them."
Tickets for "You've Got a Friend" are $26 and are on sale at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center ticket office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and one hour before showtime. The ticket office number is 776-2000 or, to buy tickets online, visit www.ycpac.com.