At 7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 26, legendary musician, playwright, composer and actor Jim Post will celebrate his birthday with a special concert in Rockford. Fiddle virtuoso Randy Sabien, Post’s long-time friend and former performance partner, will accompany him for this rare event.
Post’s public performance career began when he won an all-school talent contest in the first grade and received the opportunity to sing on the radio. His ability to maintain the same strong, clear tenor voice that established his reputation has kept him in the warmth of the spotlight for decades. His accomplishments include 21 albums, most of them of original folk texture. His only rock-and-roll album spawned the international hit “Reach out in the Darkness.” When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened in 1995, Post was rewarded for his year-and-a-half in rock-and-roll by being included in one of the Hall’s most popular exhibitions for an eight-year run.
In 1986, Post wrote his first play, Galena Rose: How Whiskey Won the West, which he performed more than 1,500 times, including a performance for the Smithsonian Institute. From family Christmas plays (The Heart of Christmas) to sequels (Mark Twain’s Adventures Out West); from concerts to Northlight Theatre to the world premiere of Mark Twain and the Laughing River, all the way to the English Speaking Theatre in Vienna, Austria, Post’s imagination has kept the theme of youth and laughter echoing through all of his performances.
Sabien discovered jazz violin at the University of Illinois, founded the string department at Berklee College of Music in Boston, then hit the road as a sideman with Jim Post. His first jazz album was released in 1983, and he has maintained a steady touring and teaching itinerary ever since. Sabien grew up in Rockford, and has kept close connections with his hometown, performing at such local venues as Charlotte’s Web, the Coronado Theatre with the Rockford Symphony, On the Waterfront, and J.R. Sullivan’s “Hometown Holiday.”
The Oct. 26 concert will be at the Spring Creek UCC auditorium, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford. Parking is accessible just north of Spring Creek Road, near the intersection of Spring Creek and Spring Brook roads. Doors open at 6 p.m. The auditorium holds 225 people, and seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no admission charge; listeners will have an opportunity to show their appreciation by making donations to the musicians and by purchasing their CDs. Refreshments, including Mama Mia’s pizza, will be available. For more information, visit www.springcreekucc.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (815) 979-1949.
From the Oct. 22-28, 2014, issue