SALEM - The New Breed, the regionally popular soul band from the late 1960s, is preparing for a summer dance/concert, now formally titled "The First Annual End-Of-the-World Bash."
The group will be back at the Salem Saxon Club on Saturday, July 28 with the same 12 participants who performed together two years ago including "The Breedettes" comprised of top local performers Cheryl Kekel, Polly Lease and Lori Juhn, according to organizer and arranger Gary Kekel.
Although there will be some Salem High School classes in attendance, the event is open to the public, Kekel said.
The New Breed will be center stage once more at the Salem Saxon Club on July 28. The popular band, a throwback to the late 1960s, hasn’t made a Salem appearance since 2010. Pictured in their signature, tailor-made gold suits in this 1968 promotional photo are, from left, Terry Smith, Phil Shasteen, Dave Kaminsky, Chuck Petrick, Rich Hahn, Gary Kekel, Brad Herron, Rich Juhn, and Dave Stevens. Petrick, Hahn and Stevens will not be participating in the July concert. (Submitted photo)
The Breed had a big following in the Lisbon, Columbiana, East Liverpool, Alliance, Youngstown, East Palestine and even in the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas, Kekel explained, adding, "And we'd like the public to know that it's a non-exclusive, all-inclusive event."
The music will start at 8:30 p.m. with the doors opening at 6 p.m.
The Saxon Club is located one mile south of the Salem bypass on state Route 9.
The event could also be known as "The Last Dance" Kekel said in a not-so-veiled reference to the laps running out on the "Breeds" long run of summertime bashes at the Saxon Club.
Kekel explained "We hope the name will be interpreted as a fun way to say that whether you're an optimist or a pessimist about the future (of the world or the band), there's still a good time to be had and good music to be enjoyed on this particular night, and with good people you grew up with."
He said a special appearance at this year's event will be made by Salem High Class of '66 alumnus Charles Alexander, who will be performing several songs with the band.
Alexander formed the band "The Swinging Pendulums" while in high school with vocalist and sax man Rich Juhn, who later became a founding member of The New Breed.
Alexander, a Clearwater, Fla. resident, still sings and plays keyboards with his own band.
Kekel said he hasn't seen Alexander for over 40 years said everyone in the band is excited to have him singing with the group.
"So many of us, including former classmates, remember how talented Chuck was both musically and athletically. It's going to be great having him back for this," Kekel said.
Besides active involvement in school music programs, Alexander played varsity basketball for Salem in the heyday of John Cabas' coaching.
Tickets are $12 in advance, available at BB Rooner's, Consumers Bank, and Kendricks Corner Carryout, and will be $15 at the door.
There will be a cash bar (no BYOB), although draft beer and soft drinks are included in the ticket price
The event will be professionally audio and video recorded. Copies are going to be available for sale by order form.