Exile set to headline Foothills music lineup with free Friday night concert

Posted September 26, 2018 at 12:16 pm


The Foothills Festival is around three weeks away and spectators will have plenty of music to enjoy during the third weekend of October.

This year, a special tribute to Jerry Perdue has been planned by long time friend and musical director on the Foothills Festival Committee Randy Speck.

On Friday night, at 7 p.m. Exile will take the stage and perform as the main musical event of the night.

“It actually started with Jerry Perdue. For years he always wanted Exile. He and I were close buddies for many, many years,” Speck said. “I tried to get them last year before he passed away, but I felt like we couldn’t get the money in time, so I passed on it. Then Jerry died and now I’ve been more determined to get them here.”

Speck said having Exile play at the Foothills is a tribute to Jerry’s memory.

“It’s for the public, but it’s also for him,” Speck said. “I’m calling it ‘A concert for Jerry.’”

Speck said, and anyone who knew Perdue would attest, that he had a very great love for music and the Foothills Festival.

“He did do a lot,” Speck said. “He was a promoter more than anything. I wanted to pay tribute to my buddy and so I booked them.”

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Exile, the following is a biography written by Speck.

During 2018, the group Exile has been celebrating its 55th anniversary as a band with its “No Limit Tour.”

Since forming as The Exiles in Richmond, Kentucky in 1963, Exile has sold more than eight million records, earned three Gold records, several multi-platinum singles and 13 award nominations from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.

All totaled, Exile has notched 11 number one hits and a host of Top 10 hits. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the group’s pop hit “Kiss You All Over,” which spent four weeks atop the Billboard pop chart in 1978.

Its album, “Mixed Emotions,” exploded around the world on the strength of the iconic single, selling five million copies.

It is a classic story of how three  minutes and thirty seconds can change  several lives virtually overnight.

One week Exile was playing at a club in Lexington and the next week they were in L.A. taping “The Midnight  Special.”

Frat gigs and bar band gigs got canceled in favor of major tours with Fleetwood Mac, Boston, Heart, Aerosmith and others. Everything they had hoped, dreamed and worked for the past decade was coming true. The Exiles first big time exposure came during 1965-1966 when they toured with the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars.

Keyboard player Marlon Hargis came aboard in 1973 and he recruited bass player/singer/songwriter Sonny LeMaire, who joined in 1977.

Even though Exile was still riding high on the success of “Kiss You All Over,” in 1979 lead singer Jimmy Stokely decided he’d had enough.

In the very same day, he was replaced by Les Taylor. Drummer Steve Goetzman also came on board. And then all of a sudden, Exile found its songs were becoming hits for everyone else but them.

Country group Alabama scored major hits with two of Exile’s songs, “Take  Me Down” and  “The Closer You Get.” The group was certain its song, “Heart and Soul,” would be the hit they were looking for, and it was … for Huey Lewis and The News. Feeling dejected, Exile returned to Kentucky and then completely revamped its sound, especially when lead singer Jimmy Stokley departed in 1980.

The group changed direction, re-inventing itself as a country outfit, and boy did it pay off.

The  first  single, “The High Cost of Leaving” clawed its way to number 14, but in 1983, a second single, “Woke  Up  In  Love,” landed at number one. That song literally “woke up” a career-in-waiting.

What followed next were nine consecutive number one hits: “I Don’t Want To Be A Memory,” “Give Me One More Chance,”, “She’s A Miracle,” “Crazy For Your Love,” “Hang On To Your Heart,” “I Could Get Used To You,” “It’ll Be Me,” “She’s Too Good To Be True” and “I Can’t Get Close Enough.”

The Foothills Festival is proud to present Exile’s “55th Anniversary No Limits Tour” on Friday night, October 19th at 7 p.m. on the stage beside the food court.

Kevin Dalton & The Tuesday Blooms will start the show at 6 p.m. Bring a lawn chair.

Because Jerry was friends with several of Exile’s band members, he had tried for years to book the group, but settled for them one at a time.

He helped bring in as solo acts, Les Taylor in 1992 and J.P. Pennington (with Troy Gentry) in 1995.

“I know this is something in my heart that he always wanted done,” Speck said. “I want the public to enjoy it too, but it’s a lasting tribute to Jerry.”

Regional favorite Exile, celebrating 55 years, will perform a free Friday night concert at the 2018 Foothills Festival – “A Concert For Jerry.”