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By Wally Stewart
After a five-month vacation, the LASC showcase came to The Rudyard Kipling for a Labor Day weekend performance on September 5. A somewhat small crowd was on hand when the first of our acts took the stage but grew in size as the evening progressed. Coop President Paul Moffett filled in as MC for Jean Metcalfe, who reportedly was "dancin' the night away" at the Everly Brothers Homecoming.
Joe Forgacs drove over from Frankfort for his first showcase appearance and, despite the distance, is a regular at Co-op meetings. Joe covered a variety of subjects, among them identity crises, politicians and late-night TV ads for 900 phone numbers. His "976-Chix" described the adventure of a man who called after seeing "Pretty Penny" on his screen and shared "personal intimacies" for fifty minutes. The next morning he woke to find his phone still off the hook and himself on it. The unfortunate soul then begged for mercy, saying "Pretty Penny, I don't know how to pay off things I ain't got eighteen hundred dollars and a penny for my thoughts." The room roared with laughter, making one wonder whether a "confessional" had been held, some similar stories might have come forth. Joe followed it by calling for Scott Eppert— Elvis's roommate — from Kalamazoo, Michigan, to join him. They finished with three more Forgacs originals, including "Yes Man," a tune about upcoming elections and politicians in general.
Rhonda Rainwater was next and, joined on guitar by Coop board member Tim Lynch, presented a set of very emotional songs. They started with her gorgeous "Shades of Blue," which drew some fine harmony from one of the voices at my table, Susie Wood. When pressed fora newsworthy comment about "Blue," Susie's stunning reply was "I like it." Rhonda also presented country and country gospel sounds, saying later, "l write from my heart." She recently performed on the Louisville public access cable TV program "Kentuckiana Music Makers" and used two of tonight's songs — "Just a Minute" and "I Love You Enough.' Several of Rhonda's relatives were in the audience and a very tender moment was felt when she dedicated "There's Gonna Be a Better Day" to sister Nita Rainwater. This was a tribute to their mother and the sisters' love for her and each other reached near tangibility during the singing. When the set concluded several eyes seemed to be a little misty.
After intermission Glenda McCoy stepped to the microphone and warmed the crowd with a few jokes before singing. She delivered a package of mostly country folk tunes while wearing jeans with Marilyn Monroe's face on them. 'Thinking About My Baby" and two others dealt with relationships, while "Old Age" and "Is There Any Room?" spoke about the two opposite ends of living. "Age" was inspired by McCoy's part-time nursing home work and compassionately showed the effects of aging on a person who has physically become a "victim of old age" but who emotionally is still very much alive. "Room" portrayed the circumstances involving a birth that affected history itself. Glenda described a stable boy as being a hero who found a place for Jesus to be born after Joseph and Mary were told no rooms were available in Bethlehem.
After receiving applause for her work and rejoining the audience, McCoy was followed by Barbara Allender, who was introduced by Prez Paul as winning the prize for coming the farthest to be on a showcase. Bridgeport, Illinois, is Barbara's home and she has obviously had a lot of stage experience, tonight playing guitar and displaying an eclectic mix of well-crafted songs. "The Train Came Through' was a gripping account of a 1989 tornado that destroyed most of Allendale, Illinois: "Never saw an engine, never saw a caboose, just heard a roaring sound, a nightmare come true, when the lights went out and the train came through. . . Now there's just memories to build onto."
The classy brunette sang of remembering Rosie, a woman who longed not for things money could buy, but for "The Good Life," and how she finally found it after her death. "Shoulders of the Road" painted a man driving lonely nights for a living and being held by those shoulders while longing to be held by the woman he had to leave at home.
Allender's performance closed the second round and she walked away to a lot of extremely deserved applause. She exhibited a wealth of talent and, hopefully, will soon return to the LASC stage.
After a break, each act played a short set to finish the evening.
The next showcase is planned for October 3 at 9:00 p.m. at The Rudyard Kipling.