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 Commander Cody touches down tonight

(by Sarah D'Esti Miller from Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin Sat. Feb.12, 2005)

Todd McCarthy has struck again.  When last we heard from the fledgling concert promoter, he brought Henry Rollins to the forum.  Now he is bringing the Legendary Commander Cody Band to Magic City Music Hall tonight.

"I've always been around the concert business.  It's always been about the live show." McCarthy said.  "I did well with the Rollins show, not as well as I would have liked, but then again, it's a growing process."

The primary reason for an appearance by the Commander (a.k.a. George Frayne) and his band is one heck of a party last year at the Turkey Trot Lodge in Candor.

"It was a weekend in August that was captured on film and audio, and the mixing was all done locally and put into a package.  And now it's out there on the Internet and selling globally, which is nice," McCarthy said.  The Magic City gig, with opening act Spook The Horse, is the release party for the combination DVD/CD, which will be available at the concert.  "We're even getting airplay from the audio portion on Sirius Satellite Radio on the Outlaw Country channel."

The Commander Cody Band started out in 1968 as Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, and they found their way to San Francisco by 1969.  Their repertoire included old-time rock 'n roll, country, boogie-woogie, Cajun and swing/jazz.

Eventually, they signed to Paramount Records, and the twangy Hot Rod Lincoln was a runaway hit in 1972.

"This is not your traditional classic rock type band. This is a band that has crossed genres." McCarthy said. "(Frayne) is a real character.  He gets out there, and he just lets it go.  George tells a lot of stories."

And they are mostly stories worth hearing, too.

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen played San Francisco's legendary Fillmore Auditorium on bills with the Grateful Dead, The Doors, The Jefferson Airplane, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, and The Eagles.  They also backed up legends Gene Vincent, Link Wray, and John Lennon.   You KNOW there are stories with tha bunch.  If anybody remembers.


Now under the abbreviated namd Commander Cody Band (long, strange trips not being what they used to be, there's less need for thr Lost Planet Airmen), the group hasa devoted following of all generations.  The Lineup will include Frayne (leader/keyboards/vocals), Steve Barbuto (drums/vocals), Rick Mullen (bass) and Mark Emerick on lead guitar and vocals with Tiny Olson on steel guitar.

"It's a real roadhouse rock and roll rockabilly-type show," McCarthy said.  "It's a party."

WHAT: The Commander Cody Band with special guest Spook The Horse

WHEN: 8 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) today.

WHERE: Magic City Music Hall, 375 Harry L Drive, Johnson City.