Who was that masked fan? This week we went seeking the identity of the mystery benefactor who bought tickets for the entire world at tonight’s Susannah McCorkle concert at the Festival at Sandpoint.
We failed, of course. The donor wants to remain anonymous. But we know he’s from Sandpoint, and we know he’s a huge fan of McCorkle, a jazz and pop singer.
Unfortunately, not many other people around here are. Yet.
Only about 200 tickets were sold for this show, or about 4 percent of capacity. It was an embarrassing situation until this donor came to the rescue.
According to festival director Connie Berghan, the benefactor said, “I can’t stand that. I want everybody to know what a fantastic singer she is.”
So he essentially bought up enough tickets so the concert could be thrown open for free. Berghan admits they have no idea how many people will attend, but she hopes it will be a lot.
So here’s your chance to experience the festival at no charge and to find out why McCorkle is so admired among aficionados. All you have to do is show up at 7:30. tonight at Memorial Field in Sandpoint. If you already have tickets, you can get your money back at the box office.
The Bottom 40
Now here’s a KZZU-FM special event I’m looking forward to with enthusiasm. The Breakfast Boys are taking votes all week long for the worst songs of all time. Then, on Friday morning from 6 to 10, they will count down the 40 worst.
We’ll no doubt be treated to “Achy Breaky Heart,” “I Will Always Love You,” “Muskrat Love,” “You Light Up My Life” and “(You’re) Having My Baby.” Those were the Top 5 in my own “Most Annoying Songs of All Time” reader’s poll last July.
However, I also trust that “Feelings” and “MacArthur Park” will make the list, too. No bad-song poll would be complete without them.
I knew the new ice-skating show at Silverwood Theme Park was a big deal. After all, Silverwood had to build a 40-by-60 foot professional rink, with seating for 700 people.
But I didn’t know that they had some nationally known skating names in the show, such as Jackie Petr, the Canadian national icedancing champion, and Joe Mero, international pairs-skating champion and U.S. World Team member.
Nor did I know the show would be accompanied by live music from an antique Wurlitzer pipe organ built in 1925 for the Academy Theatre in New York City.
This organ has 1,400 pipes and takes up practically the whole length of the arena.
The ice show runs twice daily Mondays through Fridays, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m,. and three times daily Saturdays and Sundays, 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The show is included in the Silverwood admission price. Silverwood opens every day at 11 a.m.
Julia Sweeney, the Spokane actress and comedian of “Saturday Night Live” fame, had her last radiation treatment for cervical cancer on July 10 in L.A., according to her mom, Jeri Sweeney of Spokane.
The prognosis looks excellent.
Julia has been keeping busy through the entire process, and she has several movie and TV projects in the works.
A story on Julia and her struggle with cancer (and her brother’s losing fight with cancer) is scheduled for this week’s People magazine, which hits newsstands Monday.
O’Grady signs on
Spokane’s Scott O’Grady just signed with the talent agency ICM, which will pursue a book deal and other ventures, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Getting shot down turned out to be a good career move.
Hit 94.5, not Hot
Remember two weeks ago when we reported that Randy Young and Nick Theisen got “fired” at KKCH-FM for insulting the general manager on the air? And do you remember when we said it all smelled like a dumb radio publicity stunt?
It was, and now we know exactly what the stunt was attempting to publicize: a format and call-letter change.
KKCH-FM has changed its call letters to KHTQ-FM, and it has also changed its moniker from Hot 94.5 to Hit Radio 94.5. And they have tweaked the format slightly, going from “hot adult contemporary” to “contemporary hit radio.”
This change basically amounts to putting a bit more “alternative” music into the mix. But only about 10 percent of the music will be different from before.
The station will now be going head-to-head with KZZU-FM, which is also a contemporary hit station. KHTQ-FM is a Coeur d’Alene station, but it easily covers the entire Spokane-Coeur d’Alene market with a 100,000 watt transmitter high above Post Falls.
And, gee, guess what? Young and Theisen are back on the morning drive show.
Big Pig Out news
We’re still a month away from the annual Pig Out in the Park Restaurant Fair, Aug. 31-Sept. 4, but it’s already time to start salivating.
This year there will be 40 restaurants in Riverfront Park, up from 36 last year and double what there were a few short years ago. Some of the new ones are Luna, the Marrakesh, Riverview Thai, Thudpuckers and Rodolfo’s.
Also, the configuration has been changed. The stage will now be on the west end of the park, near the runners’ sculptures, where the food booths used to be. The food booths have been moved east, where the stage and beer garden used to be. The booths will be more spread out, so it won’t be wall-to-wall people.
The major musical acts will be the Lloyd Jones Struggle, a blues band from Portland; Beatlemania, a Beatles tribute show; Lydia Pense & Cold Blood, a Bay area R&B; band; and Webb Wilder, a cult phenomenon from Nashville whose music might best be described as country, rock and weirdness.
‘Earth 2’ headquarters
Spokane is a major international center in the “Bring Back ‘Earth 2”’ movement.
Well, sort of. Donations from fans around the country recently poured into an account at the Shadle branch of U.S. Bank to pay for a full page ad on the back cover of Daily Variety.
The ad, which cost $3,500, contained a thank-you to the cast and crew, and the message “May the journey continue.”
Felicia Le Cou, 24, was the local connection. She is involved in the “Earth 2” fan club on the Internet, and she helped set up the ad account.
This sci-fi show was canceled by NBC this spring after one season.