Meet Our Holiday Revue Guest Stars: Marv & Rindy Ross!

We’re so excited to announce that for three performances of our upcoming program A Holiday Revue, our fabulous singer Susannah Mars will be joined by Marv and Rindy Ross of the Oregon Trail Band and 80’s pop band Quarterflash!  If you’re already a fan, you should know that this will be your ONLY opportunity to see Marv and Rindy in Portland this holiday season!  If you’re not, now is the time to get to know some incredible local musical talent.  They’ll be guest-starring with Susannah during the December 15th, 16th and 17th performances of A Holiday Revue at the Keller.  Tickets are onsale now!

About Marv & Rindy

Marv and Rindy are Oregon music icons.  They were the founders of Quarterflash, whose award-winning debut album on Geffen Records went platinum in 1982.  Before the Decemberists, before Everclear, Quarterflash was Portland’s big “Look, a Band From Here Became Famous!” group, and their song “Harden My Heart” was a huge hit.  (And actually, if you really want to impress an Oregon pop music nerd at a cocktail party, feel free to casually name-drop Seafood Mama, Marv and Rindy’s band before Quarterflash.  That’s real insider knowledge, there.  You’re welcome.)

Please, please watch this totally spectacular 80’s music video sensation, you will NOT regret it.

So, that one was their big chart-topper hit, but this one is actually my favorite Quarterflash song.

Marv wrote the songs, and played guitar, while Rindy was the lead singer and also played the saxophone.  They toured with Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, and The Beach Boys.  In 1991, right around the time that lesser pop musicians from their era were fading into obscurity or hitting the casino circuit, they decided to do something completely different and founded the Oregon Trail Band.  As part of a statewide celebration to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the opening of the Oregon Trail, Marv and Rindy gathered a group of talented musicians to create original music for the play “Voices From the Oregon Trail,” which combined traditional pioneer music from and about the Oregon Trail with letters and excerpts from diaries of families who traveled the trail throughout the 1800’s.  The show and its recording were huge hits, and the band went on to produce several more albums, from songs commemorating the immigrant experience to albums of traditional Christmas music; they just released their eleventh album last year.  You may also remember Marv’s work on The Ghosts of Celilo, a musical blending traditional Native American music with contemporary songs, which told the story of the destruction of Celilo Falls in the 1950’s during the construction of The Dalles Dam.  The musical was produced several years ago by Artists Repertory Theatre and again this year in an independently-produced short run at the Newmark Theatre.

About the Oregon Trail Band

The Trail Band is an eight-piece ensemble that creates an energetic blend of brass and string arrangements of traditional and original music featuring five great vocalists including Quarterflash’s Rindy Ross. Hundreds of public and private appearances across America and Japan, plus eleven successful albums have established as the premiere historic music ensemble from the Northwest. Cornet, tenor horn, tuba, fiddles, hammer dulcimer, guitars, penny whistle, mandolin, piano, saxophone, spoons, bones, drums, bass, and recorders combine with their rich vocal harmonies to create a diverse tapestry of sound. Formed by Marv Ross in 1991 at the request of the Oregon Trail Council to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the trail, the band initially performed music exclusively from and about the era of the Oregon Trail with costumes, diary readings, traditional folk tunes, marches, hoedowns, and Native American melodies. Titled Voices From The Oregon Trail, this performance has been the keystone of the band’s repertoire for over 10 years.  In 1998 The Trail Band was presented the Meritorious Achievement Award by the Oregon-California Trails Association. In 1999 producer Marv Ross was presented an Alumni Award of Excellence from Western Oregon University for The Trail Band’s contributions to history, education, and music.

Listen To Their Music Here!

O A’mhisg (The Christmas Drinking Song)

The Longest Night of the Year

Noel Lullaby

I Saw Three Ships

A Personal Note From OBT Blogger Claire Willett:

FULL DISCLOSURE: I feel I must tell you, in the interests of journalistic integrity, that I am a tiny bit obsessed with Marv and Rindy Ross.  I grew up on their music; my parents were HUGE fans.  The Quarterflash album Back Into Blue was our standard beach road trip soundtrack, and we were in the audience for the Oregon Trail Band’s very first live performance of Voices From the Oregon Trail at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Oregon City.   When the Trail Band’s CDs came out, they were on constant rotation in our household.  I was also the grantwriter at Artists Repertory Theatre who raised sponsorship funds for Marv’s musical The Ghosts of Celilo in 2007, and I had to work very hard not to squeak “ME AND MY DAD ARE YOUR BIGGEST FANS!” in staff meetings with him. Yes, readers – I, Claire Willett, am a devoted fan of Marv and Rindy Ross.  So, I MIGHT have jumped up and down a little bit when I found out they were signed up to perform in Holiday Revue, and I MIGHT be planning on coming to every single performance (and rehearsals, if I can sneak in).

I beg of you not to pass up the chance for this awesomeness.  You truly, truly do not want to miss this.  Buy your tickets right here right now, and you will not regret it.

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