Midwest-based musicians to hold concert in A.L. in July, playing old favorite songs

Published 8:51 pm Friday, June 28, 2024

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By Ayanna Eckblad

This summer people looking to relive happy memories and hear some great music are in for a treat.

A special performance, titled “Denny and Swanee” will take place at 2 p.m. July 14 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. It is a collaboration between two musicians: Denny Charnecki of Denny and the DC Drifters and Swanee of The Whitesidewalls. They will each be bringing a few other musicians from their respective bands to join them.

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“We play kind of the same thing, but it’s two different acts,” Charnecki said. He said he is planning on bringing a few singers with him to perform in the show.

Both the DC Drifters and The Whitesidewalls have performed at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. They agreed they liked the atmosphere of the Surf and wanted to bring some of that feeling to the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. This led them to the idea of making a concert with space for people to dance.

“Usually you don’t go to a theater and dance,” Charnecki said. “I’m just looking forward to having a good time for all of us.”

Both bands perform classic rock ‘n’ roll music, specifically from the 1950s and ‘60s. Charnecki has worked with Chuck Berry, Fabian, Tommy Roe, the Coasters, Herman Hermits, the Shirelles and Chubby Checker as well as others. Some of the artists Swanee has worked with include Bobby V, Roy Orbison, Johnny Rivers, Del Shannon and Ricky Nelson.

“We worked with a lot of people who made this music, so I feel very honored about that,” Charnecki said. He also said their past experience makes it easy to draw connections to where the styles of music originated from like bluegrass and rhythm and blues.

Charnecki said the feeling of performing is priceless, and he is excited to see everyone who comes to the show. He hopes it will be a good distraction for people during their busy summers.

“When they like it, we love it,” he said. “Every time we redo it, it’s like a new day.”

Denny and the DC Drifters has been awarded with several recognitions including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 from the Midwest Country Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Hall of Fame.

In 2023 Charnecki was inducted into The Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Swanee has been inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame and the Midwest Music Hall of Fame, as well as other awards.