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‘Shenandoah’ Playing In Sauk Rapids

SAUK RAPIDS – Country music group Shenandoah is stopping in Sauk Rapids tonight (Thursday). They’re performing at Rollie’s Rednecks and Longnecks.

Drummer Mike McGuire says the band started playing in nightclubs in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in 1984, and they got their recording contract in 1987. He says, “The first Top 5 record we had was a song called “Mama Knows”. Then we followed that up with “Church On Cumberland Road”, which went to #1, so we were off an running after that.”

McGuire says the success they had in their heyday was surreal. He says they weren’t looking for a recording contract, and had to be talked into making their first record. They’ve had 13 number one songs since then.

McGuire is one of two original band members still with the group.  He says they were enjoying a lot of success from the start, but then they got sued over their name. McGuire says, “The name Shenandoah kind of got hung on us. The people that ran the production company named us Shenandoah, and didn’t bother to run a trademark search on it. And to be honest, the name we wanted for ourselves was Diamond Rio, but they wouldn’t let us.”

McGuire says there were several bands with the name Shenandoah around the country that sued them over the name. It cost them $2 million and forced them into bankruptcy.

They recovered from that and went on to record several more hits, including “If Bubba Can Dance, I Can Too”, and “I Want To Be Loved Like That”.

Original lead singer Marty Raybon left the group in 1997, but you’ll still hear all their top hits, including “Two Dozen Roses”, and “Next To You, Next To Me”.

The band was in the news recently, just narrowly escaped a fiery crash in Beaumont, Texas this past weekend, “We had a bus accident coming back from Stafford, Texas this last weekend. We had a vehicle that was passing us. It was carrying a fuel tank at 3:00 a.m. A drunk driver ran into him right beside our bus, and we were engulfed in a fire ball the size of a house. And we were on a bridge on top of that”.

Two people in another vehicle were taken to a hospital. A suspected drunk driver in a pickup truck will face charges.

McGuire says they’re enjoying touring all over the country right now. He says they’re considering putting out a new album, which they haven’t done in a long time. But, he says “the music business is a young man’s game, they always want those young good looking cowboy types. We’re not that young and good looking anymore.”

Their show starts at 8:00 p.m. tonight.

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