published Friday, January 7th, 2011

Huey Lewis and the News to play opening night of Riverbend 2011

Riverbend 2011 will open with old-school rock as Huey Lewis and the News and Starship, starring Mickey Thomas, have been booked to perform on opening night, according to executive director Chip Baker.

Lewis will headline June 10 on the main Coca-Cola Stage, and Starship will perform earlier in the evening on the Bud Light Stage.

"These are two good classic rock bands," said talent and production coordinator Joe "Dixie" Fuller. "Huey is traveling with the Tower of Power horns, so it is going to be a fast-moving, rocking show."

Huey Lewis and the News officially formed in 1979. The act had a minor hit in 1980 with "Do You Believe in Love?" but took flight in 1984 with the release of "Sport." That album sold a million copies and charted at No. 1. It contained the hits "The Heart of Rock & Roll" and "The Power of Love."

The group's next album, "Fore," also reached No. 1 and contained the chart-topping hits "Stuck With You," "Hip To Be Square" and "Jacob's Ladder."

If You Go

  • What: Riverbend Festival 2011.

  • When: June 10-18.

  • Admission: General admission pins go on sale for $30 on May 1 at area Kangaroo Express convenience stores.

  • More information:

Starship, starring Mickey Thomas, is an incarnation of the original Jefferson Airplane. Thomas was asked to join the band, which renamed itself Jefferson Starship, in 1979 after Marty Balin and Grace Slick left, according to an online biography. Slick rejoined in 1981 and stayed until 1988. When original member Paul Kantner left in 1984, Thomas became the leader of the group, which was renamed Starship. In 1990, it became Starship, starring Mickey Thomas.

The band's first hit with Thomas as lead vocalist was "Jane." Other hits included "We Built This City," "Sara" and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us."

Previously announced Riverbend acts are Casting Crowns, Miranda Lambert and The Beach Boys.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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