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Mon, Oct. 14

Jackson: 1950s, 60s were the best easy-listening musical era

MacDougal Street West. (Courtesy)

MacDougal Street West. (Courtesy)

In my opinion, which admittedly is very humble, there will never be another easy-listening musical era comparable to the 1950s and ’60s. And a local group that is busily helping to revitalize the vibrant vibes of that Golden Age is MacDougal Street West – a crackerjack crew that brings to life the “Peter, Paul & Mary Experience.”

The most recent high point in their well-traveled series of gigs was right here in Prescott, where they wowed the crowd this past Friday in our iconic Elks Theatre, followed on Sunday by an appearance at Sun City West’s Crown of Life Lutheran Church. And other southern Arizona performances as they ratchet up to the Yuletide scene include Gilbert’s Higley Center for the Arts on Nov. 29, the Val Vista RV Resort in Casa Grande on Nov. 30, two shows on December 1 in the Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley – north of Tucson – and the West Park RV Resort in Wickenburg on Dec. 4. Then it’s off to Laughlin, Nev., where they’ve performed in the past, for a four-night series of shows in Don’s Celebrity Theatre at the Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino. That’ll do it for the calendar year, but they’ll be ushering in 2019 with a January 5 show in Sedona’s Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

As an added treat for the Casa Grande and Oro Valley performances, longtime folk performer Rick Dougherty – a former member of The Kingston Trio and The Limeliters – will be guesting with the MacDougal Street Westerners – a bit more icing on the cake for those events.

I’m not making this up, but MacDougal’s female vocalist – like Mary Travers of Peter, Paul & Mary fame that wowed audiences back in the 1960s, also sports the given name of Mary – she’s Mary Alberts – who bears a striking resemblance to the Mary Travers of that era.

Looking back at the formation of the group, our latter-day Mary noted that in June of 2015 “the finishing touch of Rick Shore to the Peter, Paul & Mary tribute band took place,” joining her, Ron Skelton and bass player Maxine Eldredge to form the foursome. “When Maxine retired from the band,” she added, “the perfect replacement came aboard in the form of Bill Rice. Our group quickly gained momentum, performing locally and throughout Arizona at RV resorts and theaters, and is now heading further away to California, Nevada and more locations throughout Arizona.”

Yes, the band members are in the midst of some beautifully busy times as they perform hither and yon, with appreciative audiences being the beneficiary of their talents. Here’s to easy listening!

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