Rockford’s Missing Links celebrate 50th anniversary with Nov. 1 gig

Staff Report

Renowned stateline-area band The Missing Links will mark their 50th anniversary with a gig and party at 9 p.m., Nov. 1, at Shooter’s East, 7171 CherryVale Blvd., Rockford. Past members have been invited to join the current lineup for the celebration.

Formed in 1964, the Missing Links have been a musical powerhouse for 50 years. The band originated as a four-piece group of teen-agers playing songs by the Temptations, the Four Tops and Marvin Gaye in such local clubs as the Cinnamon Cinder, The Rumpus Room, the Ice Chalet, and the 220 Club.

In 1968, the band recorded and released a 45 single of “Get Ready” backed with “Under My Thumb.” That record sold 15,000 copies, charted No. 1 on WROK 1440 Minipix sheet, and gained national airplay.

In their 50-year career, the band has played countless gigs in the stateline area and throughout the Midwest; been a mainstay at Illinois and Wisconsin’s biggest music festivals; and shared the stage with such national acts as Little Richard, the Four Tops, Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf, Eric Burden and the Spinners.

From the original four-piece group, to an 11-piece act with five horns and two drummers, to the current seven-piece lineup, the Missing Links are legendary for their top-notch musicianship and electrifying R&B and soul sound. The band has been honored with induction into the Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) Hall of Fame and received multiple “Best of Rockford” designations from the On the Waterfront festival.

According to founding member Dick Campbell, there was another band named Missing Links at that time — a nine-piece band based in Chicago. The Rockford Links sometimes got calls from agents and others who had mixed up the two. When the Chicago-based Missing Links played a Rockford gig, the local group went to see them and introduced themselves. They all had a good laugh about the mix-ups, and then one of the members of the other band said, “We won’t have to worry about that anymore, because we’re going to change our name to Chicago Transit Authority.” Today, that band is better known as the Grammy Award-winning group Chicago.

From the Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 2014, issue

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