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Sunday, February 4, 2007 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Mary Wilson Sings At Edgewater, Riverside Presents The Smothers Brothers Plus The Yo Yo Man, Old Ale Is On Tap At The Boiler Room, Bluegrass Music Invades Ramada Express, Bluegrass Festival A Town-wide Event, Rodeo Coming Up, More...


Jackie Brett
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The divine Mary Wilson, an original member of the famous Supremes, will take over Kokopelli's Showroom at the Edgewater, Feb. 9-11. Tickets are $30, call 1-800-677-4837.

This columnist had a chance to interview Wilson immediately following her 90-minute class in Bikram Yoga, which she's been doing since the 90s. While most folks will only get to experience Wilson when she is performing with her band that has been with her for years, they don't get to learn that there is so much more to this incredible humanitarian.

Wilson as a founding member of The Supremes, the most successful all-black, three-member ladies group ever, was not only privy to the privileged life of a mega-star during the 1960s, but she was a part of history when due to worldwide prejudice, she was relegated to drinking from a water fountain labeled "for colored people." "Then we had no rights," recalls Wilson, "The civil rights bill passed in 1964. Then we were citizens as well as divas."

Wilson says she has always maintained a home in Las Vegas and that her daughter, who now has three children, graduated from high school there. None of her children have followed in Wilson's show biz footsteps, but that's not a disappointment to her. In fact, it's probably a relief since Wilson is aware of how difficult the business can be.

The current hit movie "Dreamgirls," which is a loose translation of the famous trio's musical life story, has brought national attention again to Wilson, who has written two autobiographies about being a member of the group: "Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme" and "Supreme Faith: Someday We'll Be Together." Wilson kept a detailed diary, which enabled her to write the two books about her incredible experiences.

Wilson is not a person to look back in life. She endured incredible pain when she was in an auto accident that gravely injured her breaking most of her bones and body parts and killed her son. While many folks would totally give up, Wilson, who had a main home in New York City at the time, decided to nurture her growth and actually attended New York University for six years and earned and associate's degree. Part of her inspiration was the fact that her mother, who had migrated from the South, was illiterate. Wilson attended class as a normal person without make up, wigs or fake eyelashes and fit in beautifully especially considering the young people in class weren't even born with The Supremes were famous. For Wilson it was self discovery, "I didn't think I was book smart," Wilson said, but she found out that definitely wasn't the case. "I accomplished things that had nothing to do with my show business background."

Currently she is working on a CD album and also a book on her gown collection from her days with The Supremes.

After more than 45 years in the comedy business, the Smothers Brothers are still going strong. Their interesting blend of comedic and musical talents has made a sweeping impact on diverse generations of fans. The Smothers Brothers first performance was at The Purple Onion in San Francisco in 1959, and their first national television appearance was on the Jack Paar show on Jan. 28, 1961. From the 1960s through the 1980s, the brothers starred in their own prime time comedy series. Now the Smothers Brothers are headlining countless engagements coast to coast. They have also produced a hot-selling video, and 12 top-selling albums. They will headline at the Riverside, Feb. 13-18 and tickets are $32.

On their own, Dick enjoys cycling and practicing yoga and Tom plays golf and tends to his vineyard and award-winning winery, Remick Ridge.


Colorado Belle's veteran Brewmaster Marshall Redmond will present a new microbrew in early February. The beer, an English style Olde Ale, is 7.9 percent alcohol, full bodied, deep amber in color. Brewed from barley, Redmond describes the beer as "a complex, very malty microbrew."

In addition to the English style Olde Ale, four great beers are currently on tap in the Boiler Room: Golden Ale, delicately hopped, a very crisp ale; Amber Ale, a well balanced beer, modestly hopped, with malty and caramel characteristics; Pale Ale, the "hoppiest" beer, with smooth bitterness and a lingering hop flavor and aroma; and the Stout-made with darker malts, it's dry, with a roasted malt character and chocolate and coffee flavors.

Redmond suggests beer lovers try all five on a 25-oz. sampler plate-five 5-oz. samples of beer on tap, offered at $4.95 in the Boiler Room.

Each year, the Ramada Express hosts some of the best bluegrass musicians in the world in conjunction with the Colorado River Bluegrass Festival. This year four talented bands will take to the American Heroes Pavilion stage for one-night-only concerts.

The eclectic four-piece Colorado River Boys band and the six-piece acoustic country group Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show will perform on Friday, Feb. 9. Lost Highway and Lost & Found will entertain the crowd on Saturday, Feb. 10. Both shows are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $12.50.

Lost & Found perform more than 150 dates a year and have made an appearance on the illustrious Grand Ole Opry stage. With more than 20 years of professional experience, Lost & Found remain one of the top acts on the bluegrass circuit.

The 7th Annual Bullhead / Laughlin Colorado River Bluegrass Festival has lined up many bands to perform. Performances will take place each day until dusk from Feb. 9 through 11 at Davis Camp just north of the Laughlin Bridge on the Arizona side of the river. Bands schedule to perform include: Mountain Heart, Ronnie Reno & Reno Tradition, Karl Shiflett & Big Country, Kruger Brothers, Lost Highway, Lost & Found, Bost Family, Just For Fun, Colorado River Boys and Cliff Wagner and Old #7. The event will also feature craft, food and beverage booths. Cost is $15 for adults, $5 for ages 7 to 17, and free for children 6 and under. For ticket information, call 928-768-5819.

The Laughlin River Stampede PRCA Rodeo will take place March 29-April 1. Nearly a quarter of a million dollar purse will attract the top name PRCA rodeo cowboys and cowgirls to this major stop on their season-long tour. For tickets, call 1-800-308-2253.

Another event to follow will be the Laughlin Invitational Xtreme Bulls event April 14-15,

This is part of the PRCA Dodge Xtreme Bulls Tour featuring 40 of the top bull riders in the world. Competition will be for $50,000 in prize money.

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