Make plans now to see two Southwest Wisconsin natives join forces onstage for an evening of good old-fashioned country music that will get your feet stomping.
Richland County Performing Arts Council (RCPAC) is excited to announce that they will host country music recording star and songwriter Bobby G. Rice in a ‘Coming Home Again’ concert on Saturday, April 23, at the RCPAC’s downtown City Auditorium, 182 N. Central Avenue, Richland Center.
Monty Berger and the Country Gold Band will open for Bobby G. Rice and will back him up when he performs.
In addition to Monty Berger, Country Gold Band members are Lefty Schrage, Frank Randle, Mike Kezer and Tim Bonenkamp. The Country Gold Band regularly performs throughout Southwest Wisconsin and is a local favorite. Monty, a longtime employee of Foremost Farms, recently retired but continues to spread the good old country music he has been known for his entire life.
Monty has long been friends with Bobby G. Rice, who was born and raised in the Boscobel area.
The Rice family was very musical and all six siblings were taught to play instruments as children. After first playing for local parties, the family progressed to running the local Circle D Ballroom. Rice, who plays guitar and banjo, made his first appearances there with the family at the age of five. From the mid-‘50s, for almost seven years, the family also presented their own show on WRCO of Richland Center, on which Bobby became the featured vocalist.
In 1962, after graduation and after the family group disbanded, Bobby pursued a musical career. He formed the Rock-A-Teens band, which played rock ‘n’ roll locally and on its own program on WISC-TV. After two years, Bobby was missing country music and began to sing as a duo with his sister Lorraine. They proved popular throughout the area, hosted their own television show and sang backing harmonies on others.
After Lorraine retired from music, Bobby formed his own band, began songwriting and played what he termed modern country, which included country arrangements of pop songs. He moved to Nashville in the late ‘60s and began recording for Royal American. Between 1970 and 1988, Rice released nine albums and charted 30 songs on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. His biggest hit, “You Lay So Easy On My Mind,” went all the way to number 1 in 1973.
Rice also scored hits on the country charts during the ‘70s with his versions of the pop tunes “Sugar Shack,” “Hey Baby,” “Lover Please,” “Mountain of Love” and “Suspicion.” Other songs Rice is well-known for include “Freda Comes, Freda Goes,” “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down” and “The Softest Touch in Town.”
The doors will open at 6 p.m., with the show starting at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available in advance at Gordy’s Supermarket in the Richland Square shopping center or at the Capital Wealth advisory Group, Suite 301 in the Richland County Performing Arts Center. You may also order tickets by calling 608-604-9462 or 608-604-7743 or online.
The concert is part of the ongoing restoration efforts of the local building, but also the cultural provision of top quality entertainment for Southwest Wisconsin and the greater Richland County area.