Bits 'n' Pieces: Jimmie Rodgers coming to Camas

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photoDarrin Chhing Evergreen drum major

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photoSteve Kuske Evergreen High School director of bands

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Jimmie Rodgers sets shows, book-signing in Camas

Homegrown Camas singer Jimmie Rodgers returns to his roots for three concerts and a book-signing Sept. 1 and 2.

Rodgers grew up a working-class kid in Camas, the son of paper mill workers. After graduating from Camas High School in 1951, he joined the Air Force. It was while serving overseas during the Korean War that he began playing guitar and singing to his fellow troops in the barracks.

Back in the States after the war, Rodgers was transferred to Memphis, and he began singing in clubs. His new arrangement and recording of the song "Honeycomb" launched his musical career.

During the 1950s and '60s he was a well-known recording artist, amassing 23 gold records and 40 top 10 hits. He performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show," "American Bandstand" and many other variety shows of the era. He toured with Buddy Holly and the Crickets. It was a heady existence.

But it came to a screeching halt after a severe head injury in 1967. His memoir, "Dancing on the Moon," tells his story of a decades-long recovery and the subsequent finding of his faith.

Rodgers will perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 1, and 3 and 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at Journey Community Church, 304 N.E. Fourth Ave. in downtown Camas. Tickets are $20; online at ballardandcall.com/tickets, by phone at 360-817-2415 or in person at Ballard and Call Gallery, 408 N.E. Fourth Ave. He will autograph his memoir from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 1 at Ballard and Call Gallery. Learn more about Rodgers at http://jimmierodgershoneycomb.com.

—Susan Parrish

Evergreen marching band members 'Reel Dreamers'

Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Kops are key characters in the Evergreen High School marching band's new show, "Reel Dreamer." The community is invited to a free preview performance tonight at 7 at the high school.

For the past two weeks during marching band camp, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., the 170 musicians in the Evergreen High School marching band have been learning music composed by silent film star Charlie Chaplin and routines based on early silent films.

Director of Bands Steve Kuske has led the intense band camp at Evergreen for 14 summers.

Last week's scorching temperatures didn't slow down the practices. "We just had more water breaks," Kuske said.

About 75 percent of the musicians are returning band members. Drum major is Darrin Chhing.

"It's one of the better marching bands we've had," Kuske said.

"There's a great vibe," he added. "This show is a great example of what students can achieve when they put their hearts into it."

Evergreen's marching band has won the Northwest championship four times, most recently four years ago.

The "Reel Dreamer" free preview performance by the Evergreen High School marching band is at 7 tonight, Evergreen High School, 14300 N.E. 18th St. Learn more about the band at http://ehsboosters.com.

— Susan Parrish

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.