CLEAR LAKE | Brenda Lee and Bobby Rydell will headline the 2018 Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake Jan. 31 to Feb. 3.
Wednesday, Jan. 31
Things will start rockin' Wednesday, Jan. 31, with the Winter Dance Party Family Sock Hop featuring Johnny Rogers' "History of Rock 'n' Roll Show."
Rogers' show includes portrayals of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly.
Thursday, Feb. 1
Thursday night’s lineup features Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon, whose hits include "Tallahassee Lassie," "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans," "Palisades Park" and "Action!" He became the most frequent guest star on "American Bandstand."
Also featured Thursday will be Jay Siegel's Tokens.
Siegel, who has produced numerous pop classics, is best known for his falsetto on the classic hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."
Other performers featured Thursday will be Austin Allsup, son of Surf Ballroom legend Tommy Allsup, and Rosie & The Rivets.
"We are so pleased to have Austin return to the Surf," event producer Shane Cooney said in a news release. "It is our hope that he can be a Winter Dance Party regular, much as his father was.
"His exceptional performance last year represented a continuation of the legacy of Tommy Allusp's music, and was delivered with amazing energy and authenticity," Cooney said.
Austin Allsup, who was recently a top-10 finalist on NBC's "The Voice," performed at the 2017 Winter Dance Party.
His father, Tommy, played guitar with Buddy Holly during the 1959 Winter Dance Party Tour and was a regular Surf Ballroom favorite until his death just before the 2017 event.
Rosie & The Rivets play some of the top dance music of the 1950s and '60s.
Friday, Feb. 2
Friday’s program features The Holly Rocka Rollaz, Bobby Cochran, Vito Picone’s The Elegants and The Tailfins.
The Holy Rocka Rollaz became Winter Dance Party favorites several years ago when they performed at a Winter Dance Party luncheon. The high-energy trio performs classics from the '50s and '60s, and has become a main-stage favorite at the annual event.
Bobby Cochran, who has performed with Steppenwolf, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Leon Russell, is the nephew of the late rock legend Eddie Cochran. They were both inducted into the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2017, the first time two family members have achieved that honor.
The Elegants were formed in 1956 by Vito Picone, who co-wrote their No. 1 single, "Little Star." The group, who toured with Buddy Holly, were No. 1 R&B and pop artists of the year in 1958.
They were asked to appear at this year's event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their single.
Saturday, Feb. 3
Saturday’s grand finale will feature two dynamic performers in rock 'n' roll history, Brenda Lee and Bobby Rydell.
They will be joined by: Albert Lee & Friends; Linda Gail Lewis, sister of legendary rocker Jerry Lee Lewis; and Danny B. Harvey & Annie Marie Lewis.
"Brenda Lee and Bobby Rydell will both be performing at the Surf Ballroom for the first time during a Winter Dance Party event,” Executive Director Laurie Lietz said. "We have tried for years to include them in our lineup and are thrilled to finally have them play on our stage."
Brenda Lee had 47 U.S. chart hits during the 1960s, surpassed only by Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Ray Charles. She is best known in the U.S. for her 1960 hit, "I'm Sorry," and holiday standard "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."
Rydell had 34 Top 40 hits, placing him in the top five artists of his era. He starred in the iconic 1963 movie, "Bye Bye Birdie."
Albert Lee, a U.K. native, was influenced by the recordings of Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Gene Vincent and the Everly Brothers. He worked with Eric Clapton for five years, toured with the Everly Brothers off and on for 20 years and won two Grammy awards.
Linda Gail Lewis, like her brother Jerry Lee Lewis, is a singer and pianist. She has recorded with her brother as well as Stephen Ackles, Van Morrison and her daughters in a group called the Lewis 3.
Annie Marie Lewis is Linda Gail’s daughter. She recently toured with Texas Rockabilly star Danny B. Harvey as a duo and guest singer in his band, The 69 Cats. Danny B. Harvey and Annie Marie Lewis performed during last year’s Winter Dance Party.
Harvey is best known as the guitarist for the super group HeadCat. He has produced, recorded and performed with Wanda Jackson, Nancy Sinatra, Johnny Ramone, Levi Dexter and The Swing Cats.