Oscar & The Majestics were a hard-rocking, soul-influenced, garage-punk quartet of the 1960s from Gary who recorded most of their tunes at the legendary Chess Recording Studios in Chicago for the USA Records label.
The four original members return to the glory of their youth tonight on the gazebo stage at Highland’s Main Square Park with a 7 p.m. free public concert.
“Rock ‘n’ roll is something that just stays with you,” explained the band’s guitarist, vocalist and namesake Oscar Hamod. “You get older, you move on, you do other things, but the music is always there inside you. It never goes away. It certainly hasn’t for us.”
Performances such as this evening’s park show makes Hamod and his band mates – bassist Sam Hamod, rhythm guitarist Robert Wheeler and drummer Walt Jacim – reflect back on when they would sell out Gary’s Marquette Pavilion, share concert bills with artists like The Cyrkle, The Rivieras, The Dells and Chuck Berry, hear their songs on radio stations WJOB, WLTH WCFL and WLS.
“We did shows and worked with all the big DJs at the time,” said Hamod. “Clark Weber, Dick Biondi and Dex Card…they were always really nice to us. We did some of those famous Dex Card’s Wild Goose shows at the Sherwood Club and played all the big holiday dances at the Marquette Pavilion. The kids packed in to see us at those shows.”
The “kids” may have grown older right alongside the former Midwest teen idols, but these teenyboppers turned senior citizens have remained loyal fans and have continued to come out to see the band since they enjoyed a major rebirth in 2011 when the international label Sundazed Records re-issued the original singles as an Oscar & The Majestics anthology titled, “No Chance Baby.” The 14-song collection features the original 12 singles released between 1964 and 1968, plus two groovy fuzz-tone garage rock covers of “House Of The Rising Sun” and The Who’s “I Can’t Explain.”
“We still do a lot of our own music in our shows of course, but today we mix them in with covers from the ‘50s ‘60s, ‘70s and ’80s by some of our favorite artists,” said Hamod of the band’s current shows. “We do our own unique versions of songs made famous by other artists.” More: www.OscarAndTheMajestics.com and www.Sundazed.com.
• Soap, suds, and sounds of local music will be found at The Tilted Kilt (1605 Southlake Mall Dr.) in Merrillville as the popular eatery presents its annual “Tilted Kilt Car Wash and Parking Lot Party For the Animals” from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday to benefit The Humane Society of Northwest Indiana. Shelter animals up for adoption start off the day (11 a.m. to 2 p.m., bike contest (2-5 p.m., Goose Island 312 Bag Tournament, and live music (1-6 p.m.) by the bands RITO, The Rolling Jones and The Darren Enloe Band in the Three Floyds Beer Garden (with a 1 p.m. tapping of “Permanent Funeral” beer). National 2014 Tilted Kilt Calendar Girl Destinee (a native of Merrillville) will sign calendars and take photos to raise funds for the animals. Raffles and more. Info: www.humanesocietynorthwestindiana.org/events or Facebook.com/TiltedKiltMerrillville.
• On Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., music and food will take over the downtown square of Crown Point. The Fabulous Food & Arts Festival (formerly The Taste of Crown Point) will feature more than 50 crafters, 30 local restaurants, and 10 bands. Performance order for Friday: Capernaum, Bowmand & Rose, Next2sday, Nicole Jamrose, and The Muddsharks. Performance order for Saturday: Dirty Mac, John Fister, Little Johnny Band, ShaDynasty and Alien Syndicate. More: http://crossroadschamber.org
• The Tomfoolery Fun Club -- a comedy-based variety show for adults of all ages featuring various forms of comedy, including stand up, improv and sketch comedy, along with solo musicians and a traveling house band – hits two local stages this week. Tonight at Villa Del Sol (2225 West Lincoln Hwy.) in Merrillville and Friday at Langel’s Pizza (2833 Highway Ave.) in Highland. Both shows 8pm. More: www.tomfooleryfunclub.com.
• An interview with Northwest Indiana’s Planetary Blues Band will be featured fare Tuesday (6/24) at 8 p.m. on the web radio program, “America’s Blues Radio” hosted by Jimmy Warren. Listen live: www.americasbluesradio.com
• Vocalist Terri Nunn of alt-pop group BERLIN (best known for the #1 “You Take My Breath Away” single from the “Top Gun” film soundtrack) will be the musical guest Tuesday at 6 p.m. (6/24) on 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio’s “Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges” program to talk about the group’s seventh and latest album “Animal” and their U.S. Tour which brings them to Chicago’s City Winery on July 1. The program is streamed live at: www.lakeshorepublicmedia.org/radio.