The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

October 5, 2013

DVD details rock history

Project to make public debut Oct. 13

DANVILLE — Writing about the history of rock and roll in this area wasn’t enough for Dennis Palmer — he wanted people to hear it, too.

So, the long-time musician abandoned his original idea of writing a book, and instead turned it into a DVD, complete with interviews and music.

The result is Disc 1 of “50 Years of Rock-n-Roll in the Heartland: The Pioneers, 1957-1963.”

Palmer decided on a DVD because, he said, “There would be a lot of value in being able to hear the recordings that were made back in those days. Many of the early rock ‘n rollers wrote and recorded songs that were very popular.”

Besides, Palmer realized he had the equipment in his home recording studio, Midnight Sounds, to make the recording. He also discovered that publishing and printing a book can be expensive.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” he said.

The DVD will be available for sale for the first time on Oct. 13 during the sixth Country Music Reunion in Belgium. The free event, featuring local musicians, will start at 1 p.m. at the Riggle Banquet Hall on Lyons Road.

The concert is put on by members of Music in the Heartland Society.

The DVD will be on sale for $10 during the country reunion; after that, the cost will be $15. Members of the Music in the Heartland Society pay $10 any time.

“I just wanted to get this history out for people to enjoy,” Palmer said. “It’s a rich history that we shouldn’t forget about.”

The DVD is about 75 minutes long, and is divided into chapters. It includes interviews with several musicians, including Arlie Neaville, Jim Foley, Herb Wiese, Punky Ice, Steve Danko, Ben Leonard, Arlie Miller and others, as well as rare recordings and rare photos.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “You’re not going to find that anyplace else.”

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