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Two events at Penn's Peak this weekend

  • Vanilla Fudge will be performing at 8 p.m. Friday at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe. Opening will be the Craig Thatcher Band.
    Vanilla Fudge will be performing at 8 p.m. Friday at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe. Opening will be the Craig Thatcher Band.
Published November 28. 2011 05:02PM

Two special events are scheduled this coming weekend at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.

On Friday night, Vanilla Fudge, one of the first American groups to infuse psychedelia into a heavy rock sound to create "psychedelic symphonic rock," will be in concert as part of it's "Farewell Tour."

The concert starts at 8 p.m. with tickets $22 in advance and $27 at the door.

Opening for Vanilla Fudge will be the Craig Thatcher Band.

On Saturday night, it's Elektrik Company's Boogie to the Disco Show - The Ultimate Disco Tribute.

This is the debut at Penn's Peak for this disco event. Tickets are $17 in advance and $22 at the door. Members of the show say the event is for all ages.

Originally, Vanilla Fudge was a blue-eyed soul cover band called The Pigeons, formed in New Jersey.

They built a following by gigging extensively up and down the East Coast, and earned extra money by providing freelance in-concert backing for hit-record girl groups.

In early 1966, the group recorded a set of eight demos that were released several years later as "While the World Was Eating Vanilla Fudge."

The East Coast, in particular, New York, and New Jersey, created a sound all its own. Inspired by groups such as The Rascals and The Vagrants( fronted by guitarist, Leslie West of "Mountain" fame), The Pigeons reworked many of their own existing arrangements of covers to reflect their unique interpretation of this "East Coast Sound."

In early 1967, The Pigeons manager, Phil Basile, convinced producer, George "Shadow" Morton (producer for The Shangri-Las and Janis Ian), to catch their live act. Impressed by their heavy-rocking, trippy and psychedelic version of The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On," Morton offered to record the song as a single.

This resulted in a deal with the Atlantic subsidiary Atco, which requested a name change. The band settled on Vanilla Fudge; they were a white group singing and playing with the soul of the brothers.

Vanilla Fudge, the album, was released on June 2, 1967 the day after The Beatles' released their Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Vanilla Fudge first album rose up the charts to No. 4 without the aid of a big hit single.

In 1968, Vanilla Fudge headlined the Fillmore West with Steve Miller. The group then performed "You Keep Me Hangin' On" on The Ed Sullivan Show, and released their second album, "The Beat Goes On."

Despite its avant-garde conceptualization and execution, the LP was a hit and climbed into the Top Twenty.

That summer, Atco reissued "You Keep Me Hangin' On," and the second time around it climbed into the Top Ten.

It was followed by Renaissance, one of Vanilla Fudge's best albums, which also hit the Top Twenty.

The band toured with Jimi Hendrix, played dates equal billed or headlined with groups such as Cream, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, among many others; late in the year, they toured with the fledgling Led Zeppelin as their opening act.

Exhausted by the constant touring, the Vanilla Fudge decided that their late 1969 European tour would be their last. Following the release of their final album, Rock & Roll, they played a few U.S. farewell dates and disbanded in early 1970.

Vanilla Fudge reunited in 1984 and recorded a new album, Mystery, which also had Jeff Beck as a guest artist. In the summer of 2006, the original Vanilla Fudge reunited to tour with The Doors of the 21st Century; it culminated in a VH-1 special, "Decades of Rock."

On October 15, 2006, Vanilla Fudge were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame by Felix Cavaliere for their contribution to music history. Other inductees were Billy Joel, Joan Jett, and Twisted Sister to name a few.

After forty-five years, Vanilla Fudge is still rocking the world in 2011 with concerts in the USA & Europe. They performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon NBC TV on March 28, 2011.

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