Northwest Indiana's music community lost another beloved member of its ranks May 4, when veteran music maker Jack Adams Sr., 75, of Highland, passed away.
Adams was known as “Sidewalk" to his childhood friends from East Chicago and as "Big Jack" to those in the local music scene where he played drums for more than 30 years as a member of two popular dance hall bands, The Carpetbaggers and A Little Night Music. Adams’ love of music and his passion for playing was passed on to his son, Jack Adams Jr., formerly the lead vocalist and guitarist with the region rock groups Sgt. Roxx and Monkey Cocktail. The younger Adams presently sings and plays guitar with area rock band Boys Are Mean (B.A.M.).
While I am sure everyone that knew him will have a special memory, what I will most remember about Big Jack Adams was his big smile, good humor, and upbeat greetings. “Tommy Lounges! How’s things?”, he’d say in a way that conveyed he really wanted to know and honestly cared. Such a greeting was often followed by chats about music, about family and about why I should take up golfing. You see aside from being passionate about music, Adams was passionate about golf. He owned and operated The Golf Locker for many years in Highland’s Sir James Court, in the very same storefront once home to Highland Records where I had worked in the days of my youth.
Big Jack was a good man and many in the region whose hearts he touched, including me, will miss him. My deepest condolences to his wonderful wife Margie, his children Jack and Joanne, his grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and to the wealth of friends he leaves behind.
Hey St. Peter! Tune up Heaven's snare drum, because Big Jack has come home to play.
• “The 5th Annual Bar Bands Rock Fest” is being presented from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday at The Art Theater (230 Main Street) in downtown Hobart by the local music web collective (www.facebook.com/barbands) maintained by local singer Starr Lee Williams of the cover band Dreamz.
Several Northwest Indiana musical groups will perform to raise money to assist the Loyal Order of Moose lodges maintain their “Mooseheart City Charity,” a residential childcare facility located on a 1,000-acre campus 38 miles west of Chicago that is a home for children and teens in need. “Being a member of the Valparaiso Moose Lodge, I heard of the hardship Mooseheart City is having. My mom and dad took other children in and helped, now it’s my turn to step up,” explained Williams on why she chose to donate the money from Saturday’s event to Mooseheart City Charity.
The day begins at 9 a.m. with a Motorcycle run and bike blessing in Chicago with special guests, including TV personality Erik Estrada (“C.H.I.P.S.”). Information on the bike run available at: www.mooseriders.org. Things continue locally as riders from the area cruise to The Art Theater for a live music kick off. The requested donation is $12 per person/$17 per couple. Donation is half for riders in the Chicago Bike Blessing & Ride. Cash bar for 21 & Older. More: (219) 810-2987.
• Ralph Covert's 30-minute television pilot for PBS-TV "Ralph's World: Time Machine Guitar" gets its world premiere broadcast today on Chicago’s WTTW-TV/Channel 11. More: ralphsworld.com.
• International blues guitarist/vocalist Anthony Gomes will be the musical guest May 21 on 89.1 FM-The Lakeshore’s weekly celebrity music program, “Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges.” Gomes’ newest CD, “Before the Beginning,” is an unplugged collection of songs that will bring the artist to Chicago Street Theater in Valparaiso June 9. Listeners will have opportunities to call in to win tickets to that concert.. Stream the station live at: www.lakeshorepublicmedia.ord/radio.