— A Monkee, a Puckett and a pair of Turtles are among the music industry icons who will take to the stage at the Keswick for a trip down memory lane for the ‘Happy Together Tour.’
Self-described as the Partridge Family and Redd Foxx on one album, Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, otherwise known as Flo & Eddie, two guys who made their mark as the Turtles, are an eclectic duo in the history of rock ’n’ roll.
Now part of the Happy Together Tour, they are celebrating the third consecutive year of ’60s-style music by bringing back some of the decade’s most popular artists. They, as well as Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, The Buckinghams, The Grass Roots, and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, will rock the stage at the Keswick Theater in Glenside on Tuesday, June 19.
“Over the years we’ve developed a tremendous fan base, and we’ve learned that by putting together all these other great acts, audiences will enjoy an evening of all kinds of hits and memories that are well worth the price of admission,” Volman said.
And the name of the tour seems especially apropos since Happy Together by The Turtles hit No. 1 on the charts in 1967, displacing the Beatles’ Penny Lane, and remains as a staple on classic rock radio to this day.
Volman and Kaylan began their friendship and musical partnership back in their high school choir in Westchester, Calif. They called their first band the Crossfires, but after they graduated from high school, and bands named the Animals and the Beatles were coming to the forefront, they decided to be more “with it,” and changed their band name to the Turtles.
But even that name didn’t last, and so, in the 1970s, following a dispute with their record company in which they were forbidden to use the name of the Turtles, they decided to call themselves Flo and Eddie after going off to work with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
“Eventually, we did gain the right to use our original name, but by that time audiences also knew us as Flo and Eddie, so we just combined the two,” Volman explained.
But, said Volman, what’s really in a name. After all, it’s the music that counts, isn’t it? And what music they’ve produced, from songs like It Ain’t Me Babe, Let Me Be, You Showed Me, Elenore and so many more.
Today, after more than 50 years together, they remain friends and working partners, even though they live on separate coasts. Both 65 years old, they maintain separate lives as well.
“I live in Nashville and he lives in Washington State,” Volman explained. “Howard is working on a project to be released at the end of the year. It’s a book of his memories to be called The Voice of the Turtle.
“And I am a full-time professor at Belmont University in Nashville and have been for the past eight years,” he continued. “So both of us are very busy, yet I think getting together on the road and singing all our favorite songs keeps us young.”
On stage at the Keswick, Volman conceded that audiences will certainly hear one of their favorites, Happy Together. Volman said, “We have to sing that song. That song is synonymous with us. It’s like asking Frank Sinatra not to sing My Way.”
Very few rock groups have remained as vital through the decades as Volman and Kaylan.
“We are fortunate to have had a huge catalog of hit songs that helped keep us on the charts,” Volman said. “We are certainly not one-hit wonders. But I do think that Happy Together is the most famous Turtle song ever recorded, and has been a hit around the world. It generated more life than any other song, and been used for commercials, movies, TV and so on. And so, you see, we’re still here.” ••
For show times and ticket information, call 215-572-7650.