Three Rivers Commercial News | Robert Tomlinson, Staff Writer
THREE RIVERS — The Riviera Theatre will be rocking and rolling, as Johnny Rogers brings his History of Rock n’ Roll show to Three Rivers on Saturday, July 20.
The show is a tribute to the legends of the rock and roll genre, including Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers, and Buddy Holly, who Rogers said was the main reason he went into music in the first place.
“There was a movie when I was a kid that played the song ‘Rave On’ by Buddy Holly,” Rogers said. “I never heard anything like it before, it just turned a switch on in my head. I liked his hiccup vocals and I never heard anything like that on a song before.”
Rogers said, up until that point, he wasn’t interested in music, event though his father, a country music radio personality, bought him a guitar when he was young.
“I didn’t want anything to do with music until I heard Buddy Holly, and then it was like, ‘Dad, I’m ready to learn,'” Rogers said. “He showed me some basic chords, and I taught myself the rest.”
Rogers first performed at a place called the Off Broadway Lounge with a performer named Jimmy Nichols, and his band, the Nashville Cats.
“He asked me if I can get up and play with them, and I got up and played ‘Peggy Sue’ and ‘That’ll be the day,’ and the show was born from there,” Rogers said.
Rogers has been doing his History of Rock n’ Roll show for 36 years now, and he said he enjoys doing it for the people, especially those who may have seen the original artists when they were performing.
“I love the music itself. In the show, I tell a little bit about the history behind the music, and I just love meeting the people that were actually at the shows. They’ve seen Buddy Holly, they’ve seen Johnny Cash,” Rogers said. “Many of them come up to me with tears in their eyes, and thank me for keeping that music alive. It’s a great honor to me.”
The Riviera Theatre has hosted Rogers’ shows in the past, and Rogers said he enjoys performing at the theatre, calling it “a great venue.”
“First off, I love the people there, and second, the sound and acoustics are great. It’s a theatre that was built for live music,” Rogers said. “I love playing the places like that, and they were original rock concerts venues before arenas. It’s small enough where you can connect with the audience.”
Rogers said audiences can expect a great time with some of the greatest hits of all-time and the most famous artists, including what he calls an “uncanny” portrayal of Holly, and pay tribute to rock and roll legends such as Cash, Berry, the Everly Brothers, and Presley.
Johnny Rogers’ History of Rock n’ Roll show is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at the Riviera Theatre. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show. Tickets can be purchased on the Riviera Theatre’s website.