The Beatles are coming to Dickson! The WannaBeatles that is.
Dickson, TN – In the wake of the London Olympics and all things British, The Renaissance Center will celebrate one of Great Britain’s most beloved exports, The Beatles, as the 2012 calendar marks the 50 Year Anniversary of the Beatles!
Joining in on the fun are The WannaBeatles, one of the best Beatles tribute bands in the country, for a concert and Beatles-related activities scheduled for Saturday, August 25th, 7:00pm. Pre-concert activities include several musical acts in the center’s rotunda and a showing of Laser Beatles in the Cybersphere Digital Theatre.Led by Grammy Award-winning musician, composer and Producer Dennis Scott, who plays guitar, synthesizer and vocals, the WannaBeatles include three other very talented and award-winning musicians: Bryan Cumming on saxophone, flute, guitar and vocals; Nathan Burbank on keyboards, bass and vocals; and David Toledo on drums, percussions and vocals.
In addition to great music of all of the Beatles hits from every era, there will be Special Guests and entertainment as well as the premiere of the “Oh, Betty!” video, a song tribute to Betty White who beat the WannaBeatles in their quest for a Grammy Award.
The WannaBeatles performed in an Ed Sullivan Show-Beatles Anniversary Concert at The Renaissance Center last February, and, despite terrible winter weather, the show sold out and was a big hit with audiences of all ages.
Opening the August 25th show is Tom Shinness, a singer, multi-instrumentalist, session player and songwriter/composer. Tom has released six CDs of instrumental work and his newest CD is “Translucent Harp”, featuring the harpguitar, which has both guitar and harp/bass strings.
Members of the The Renaissance Center’s strings program will join instructor Mary Johnson in accompanying the WannaBeatles on the song “Eleanor Rigby”, which originally featured a double string quartet of four violins, two cellos and two violas arranged by record producer George Martin.
Two months later, on October 5th, their first single, Love Me Do, was released and Beatlemania soon swept the UK. Love Me Do made it to Number 17 on the UK record charts and their second single, Please, Please Me was released on January 11th, 1963 and hit Number 1 on February 22nd, 1963.
Although they broke up in 1970, the Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music and all four members continued on with successful musical careers.
John Lennon was murdered in 1980 and George Harrison died of cancer in 2001. Over the years there have been many rumors of a Beatles reunion, most recently reports that Ringo Starr would join Paul McCartney at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics in London.
During the August 25th concert at The Renaissance Center, The WannaBeatles expect to premiere their music video, “Oh Betty! (The Betty White Song)”, a song they wrote for Betty White, who beat The WannaBeatles in their quest for a Grammy Award for Spoken Word in 2012.
The 90-year old comedian won her first Grammy Award at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards for the audio book reading of her, “If You ask Me (And of course You Won’t)”, beating out The WannaBeatles with their nomination of “Fab Fan Memories”, a CD of personal stories about the Beatles. Other Spoken Word Grammy nominations included: Tina Fey (“Bossypants”), Val Kilmer (and cast “The Mark of Zorro”) and Dan Donohue (and various artists for “Hamlet”).
“So we wrote a song for Betty,” explained The WannaBeatles member Bryan Cumming. “And now we’re trying to get a song submitted for a Grammy that’s about Betty White, who beat us out for the Grammy when we were competing against her last year.”
The CD is hosted by Louise Harrison, George Harrison’s older sister, and includes guest appearances by many celebrities, including: Nancy Lee Andrews (international model and photographer who was engaged to Ringo Starr); Janis Ian; Phil Keaggy; Melissa Manchester; Ken Mansfield (former U.S. Manager of Apple Records and author of “The White Book: The Beatles, The Bands, The Biz”); Alan Menken; Wesley Orbison (son of Roy Orbison); Bruce Spizer (Beatles expert and author); and Billy Swan.
“The recording helps tell The Beatles’ story from the fans’ perspective,” said Louise, who appeared on several national TV programs to reflect on her brother’s life. “I hope all who listen will recognize the love and sincerity.”
“From the teenage fan who worked her way into a Beatle press conference, to the man who lost his job while trying to get a Beatles autograph, these are real never before told stories that unite us in a special Beatles Bond”, Scott adds.
The CD also includes songs by The Liverpool Legends of Branson, Mo, as well as original music by The WannaBeatles. “Fab Fan Memories: The Beatles Bond” will be available in The Renaissance Center’s Tennessee Artisan market and during the concert.
The Renaissance Center also plans to display Beatles memorabilia the week of the concert and allow fans and vendors to display and sell Beatles-related items. The concert and Beatles 50th Anniversary event is sponsored by “Mature Lifestyles” magazine, a free monthly publication distributed to over 500 locations in the Middle-Tennessee area.
The WannaBeatles performed in concert last year at The Renaissance Center in celebration of the anniversary of the Beatles first U.S. appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, February 9th, 1964. Despite being postponed twice for bad weather the concert was sold out and the Performance Hall was packed.
Everyone had a great time and the concert included several guest appearances including Cher look-a-like, Cindy Shelton, and the winners of the “Fifth Beatle” Competition, the Bennett family of Bellevue, Tennessee.
“I’m a HUGE Beatles fan! The WannaBeatles are like the Beatles reincarnated! When I heard ‘She Loves You,’ I closed my eyes, and when I opened them back up I honestly half expected to see John, Paul, George and Ringo! They have totally captured everything about the Fab Four. I’m thrilled that they’re coming back to The Renaissance Center!” – Kelli Workman, Director of Music, The Renaissance Center
The WannaBeatles is a high energy musical tribute band featuring four professional and award winning musicians with a passion for the songs of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. The group includes multi-talented musicians Dennis Scott, Bryan Cumming, Nathan Burbank and David Toledo. Ever since their first “all Beatles” gig together, it was love at the first note! Since then, the WannaBeatles have developed a following of regulars who look forward to the band’s own special version of the “British Invasion.”
Dennis Scott (guitar, synth, vocals) is a two-time Grammy and Emmy award winning composer/producer. His songs have been recorded by such artists as Ray Charles, Faith Hill, Alison Krauss, Sugarland, Crystal Gayle, Amy Grant, The Muppets, and many others. His music has been featured on shows such as Sesame Street, Guiding Light, Who’s the Boss, and Magic School Bus.
Dennis has also served as musical director for The National Child Safety Council and wrote and produced over one hundred songs for the BBC children’s TV series, Noddy, which aired on PBS . His composition “Songs” was featured on the Grammy award winning recording, “Elmopalooza”. His most recent Grammy was for “Songs From the Neighborhood – The Music of Mister Rogers” which won Best Musical Recording for Children. Website: www.dennisscott.net
Bryan Cumming (saxophone, guitar, flute, vocals) was raised in Georgia in a musical family, playing Dixieland jazz and singing harmony on Beatles songs with his brothers. He toured and recorded with Martin Mull, then moved to L.A. in 1976, where he joined Billy Vera and the Beaters, with whom he played the Tokyo Music Festival in 1981 and played on the number one single “At This Moment.”
While in L.A. he toured and recorded with such artists as David Soul, Maria Muldaur, Supertramp, The Pointer Sisters, Al Jarreau, The Ohio Players, and Anne Murray. He also started his production company, Studio 23, and sang with the L.A. Jazz Choir.
Moving to Nashville in 1988, toured and recorded with K.T. Oslin and Cleve Francis, hosted a live radio show (Live Lightning on WRLT), and wrote music for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival (2003) while producing various independent artists at his home studio. He has taught at Jam Camp (www.bgajam.com) for three summers, and has been playing and writing with The WannaBeatles since 2006. Website: www.bryancumming.com
Nathan Burbank (keyboards, vocals, bass) Though always a huge Beatles fan, Nathan came to the WannaBeatles via a long and winding road. With a Masters in pipe organ from Northwestern University, Nathan is the classical organist for the Temple Church, a large, dynamic, predominantly gospel-oriented congregation in Nashville.
As a songwriter, Nathan has had songs recorded by Hosanna Integrity and the Belmont Church of Nashville. He orchestrates, arranges, accompanies, and writes for the fine arts department of Christ Presbyterian Academy, where he has underscored productions of Shakespeare’s, “Twelfth Night,” and, “Much Ado about Nothing.” His work on Dickens play, ”A Christmas Carol”,was recently picked up by StudioTenn, a new professional theater company in Nashville, Tennessee.
From Bach’s, “Toccata and Fugue in d minor,” to the Beatles’, “Twist and Shout,” Nathan loves a wide range of musical genres.
David Toledo (drums, percussions, vocals) is a Cuban born musician with over 40 years of musical experience. David is a multi-instrumentalist with a Master’s Degree in Arranging from the prestigious University of Miami Jazz program. He has been professionally active since the age of 14 playing, recording, directing, teaching and writing.
A teacher to literally thousands of students, David has taught music in every level of academic endeavor including at the college level in which he has taught twice. His teaching skills are widely sought after in many different scenarios such as the BGA Music Camp in which he has taught for 5 years. The “Toledo Studio” is also heavily in demand and often full to capacity with students from all walks of life and ages.
The son of a Methodist pastor, he has been a music director in the church for over 20 years and continues with his current position at Gladeville United Methodist Church. David considers himself a life long student of music and most importantly, he loves the music of the Beatles. Website: www.davidtoledo.com.
About the Renaissance Center
The Renaissance Center includes several art galleries, the Gaslight Dinner Theatre, the Renaissance Players Community Theatre, the Tennessee Artisan Market and the CyberSphere Digital Theater. Support for the arts programs are from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Beatles Timeline, 1962
Ringo Starr makes his first appearance as the Beatles official drummer at Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight, Cheshire. They had a 2-hour rehearsal before taking the stage as the headline act for the Horticultural Society’s 17th Annual Dance.
The Beatles filmed a performance at The Cavern for Granada Television – the first filmed record of the Beatles.
John marries Cynthia Powell at Mount Pleasant Register Office. Beatles Manager Brian Epstein funded a wedding lunch at Reece’s Cafeteria, Liverpool. Cynthia later gave birth to son Julian Lennon on April 8th, 1963.
First rehearsal of six songs including: How Do You Do It?, Love me Do, and Please, Please Me. Dezo Hoffman takes first publicity shots of John, Paul, George and Ringo. Later, first recording of the songs at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios with George Martin as the Producer and Norman Smith as the Engineer.
Recording and mixing of first songs, including Love Me Do, Please, Please Me and P.S. I Love You continues. End of sessions for first singles.
The Beatles perform in Tower Ballroom, New Brighton – the first official gig of the Fab Four with Ringo..
UK single release of Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You.
First record signing event for Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You
Love Me Do enters favorite songs ranking in “Record Retailer”
Performance in Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, as main support act for Little Richard.
First TV Performance airs on TV Granada’s “People and Places”
Recording for BBC’s “Here We Go” includes Sheila, Love Me Do, A Taste of Honey and P.S. I Love You
First ever interview, for the radio of Cleaver and Clatterbridge Hospital. Paul comments “John Lennon is the leader of the group”.
BBC’s “Here We Go” airs. Love Me do enters UK ranking.
The Beatles and Manager Brian Epstein fly to Germany to start gig at the Star Club in Hamburg.
The Beatles go back into EMI’s Abbey Road Studios to record remake of Please, Please Me plus Ask Me Why and Tip of My Tongue. George Martin is Producer, Norman Smith is the Engineer.
BBC’s “The Talent Spot” broadcast features the Beatles (taped December 2nd)
Performance at the Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, as part of “The Davy Jones Show” with Davy Jones supported by the Beatles, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Remo Four, Earl Preston and the T.T.s.
Love Me Do hits Number 17 in Great Britain.
January 1st, 1963
Ireland Tour starts.
UK single release of Please, Please Me / Ask Me Why.
Vee Jay records gets U.S. contract to release Beatles records.
Please, Please Me hits Number 17 in the first week of the ranking: UK New Musical Express chart.
Please, Please Me hits Number 1 single, sharing the position with Frank Ifield’s The Wayward Wind.
First appearance on ABC’s “Thank Your Lucky Stars” (filmed February 17th)
U.S. single release of Please, Please Me / Ask Me Why. Please, Please Me did not chart well in the U.S. the first time around but Vee Jay Records re-leased it January 3rd, 1964 (this time with the B-side of From Me To You) where it reached Number 3 on the U.S. Hot 100.
The Beatles U.S. Album Early Releases:
Introducing the Beatles – July 1963 (Vee Jay Records)
I Saw Her Standing There, Misery, Anna (Go to Him), Chains, Boys, Love Me Do, P.S. I Love You, Baby It’s You, Do You Want to Know a Secret, A Taste of Honey, There’s A Place, Twist and Shout
Meet the Beatles – January, 1964 (Capitol Records/EMI)
I Want To Hold Your Hand, I Saw Her Standing There, This Boy, It Won’t Be Long, All I’ve Got To Do, All My Loving, Don’t Bother Me, Little Child, ‘Til There Was You, Hold Me Tight, I Wanna Be Your Man, Not A Second Time.