‘Blast’ alumni prepare for reunion show

Published 4:43 pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chilton County High School’s “Blast from the Past” is back with a summer reunion show, including “Blast” alumni performing routines from their first appearances in the show.

Performances will take place in the Chilton County High School auditorium on Friday, July 25, and Saturday, July 26, at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $7 and are available in the CCHS office each day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each weekday, as well as in the CCHS auditorium at practice each night.

Tickets may be purchased at the door before performances as long as they are available.

For more information, call the CCHS office at (205)280-2710.

Rick and Sheri McKee have once again joined efforts to organize the event, the first reunion show since 2007.

Rick McKee said the show will be similar to the annual “Blast” put on by high school students, and will even include many students in the production.

“We have cast members ranging from 15 years old to 39 years old,” McKee said. “The biggest difference is that we will be reproducing many songs that we’ve performed in previous shows. We have some cast members joining us that performed in the 1994 show, so that will be a neat thing to see.”

McKee said “Blast” originated when he and his wife, Sheri, were placed in charge of the Chilton County High School beauty pageant, and found themselves searching for talent to perform during the pageant’s intermissions.

During their search, they realized the students of CCHS had many talents, such as singing and dancing.

Since the initial “Blast” in 1993, the show hasn’t skipped a year.

John Gray and Trent Hughes perform "Soul Man" in the 1995 'Blast from the Past', and will reproduce the performance in the reunion show.

John Gray and Trent Hughes perform “Soul Man” in the 1995 ‘Blast from the Past’. The pair will replicate the performance in the reunion shows on July 25-26.

The McKees took a short break from coordinating the event after retiring, only to return as the producers of the February 2014 performances.

“It’s nice to have a broad range of ages because then, you also have a variety of deeper and higher-pitched voices,” McKee said. “The vocals will be really great.”

Proceeds from ticket sales will help the CCHS Student Government Association fund projects such as a Christmas party for underprivileged children, Special Olympics and upgrades for the school itself.

The show will include music from the ‘50s to ‘90s, and the cast has already put many hours into practice.

“It’s a little more difficult to get the group of alumni together for every practice, but we’ve been practicing almost every night to get ready,” McKee said. “Many of the older cast members are excited to relive their younger days with this performance.”

Songs in the reunion program include the following hits:

•“Light my Fire” by The Doors

•“Soul Man” by The Blues Brothers

•“Cover of the Rolling Stone” by Dr.Hook and the Medicine Show

•“Anticipation” by Carly Simon

•“The Streak” by Ray Stevens

•“Mr. Custer” by Larry Verne

•“Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler

•“Hazy Shade of Winter” by The Bangles

•“Fever” by Chuck Brown and Eva Cassidy

•“Let ‘er Rip” by The Dixie Chicks

•“Tossin’ and Turnin’” by Bobby Lewis

•”The Prayer” by Josh Groban and Charlotte Church

•“I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” by Billy Williams

•“Young Blood” by The Coasters

•“Lady Marmalade” by Patti Labelle

•“Got to be Real” by Cheryl Lynn

•“Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin

•“I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues” by Elton John

•“Black Velvet” by Alannah Miles

•“Hold On” by Wilson Phillips

•“A Lover’s Question” by Clyde McPhatter

•“I’m a Woman” by Smokey Joe’s Café

•”Step by Step” by New Kids on the Block

•“Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn