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Rich Willams Kansas
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This photo was taken in Topeka, KS at Washburn University Feb. 6 -7, 2009 during rehearsal and and their subsequent live to DVD performance celebrating their 35th anniversary titled "There's No Place Like Home".
Kansas is an American progressive rock band that became popular in the 1970s initially on album-oriented rock charts, and later with hit singles such as "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind". They currently tour in North America and Europe.
Dave Hope (bass), Phil Ehart (drums, percussion), and Kerry Livgren (guitars, keyboards, synthesizers) formed a progressive rock group in 1970 in their hometown of Topeka, Kansas, along with vocalists Lynn Meredith and Joel Warne, and keyboardist Don Montre, keyboardist Dan Wright, and saxophonist Larry Baker
Their self-titled debut album was released in March 1974, nearly a year after it was recorded in New York. It defined the band's signature sound, a mix of American-style boogie rock and complex, symphonic arrangements with changing time signatures. Steinhardt's violin was a distinctive element of the group's sound, being defined more by heartland rock than the jazz and classic influences which most progressive rock violinists followed. The band slowly developed a cult following, due to promotion by Kirshner and extensive touring for the debut album and its two follow-ups, Song for America and Masque.
The band in 1976
Kansas released its fourth album, Leftoverture, in November 1976, which produced a hit single, "Carry On Wayward Son", in 1977. The follow-up, Point of Know Return, released in October 1977, featured the title track and "Dust in the Wind," both hit singles.
Leftoverture was a major breakthrough for the band, hitting number 5 on Billboard's pop album chart. Point of Know Return peaked even higher, at number 4. Leftoverture and Point each sold over four million copies in the U.S. Both "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind" were certified gold singles, selling over one million units each. "Dust in the Wind" was certified gold as a digital download by the RIAA in 2005, almost 30 years after selling one million copies as a single. Leftoverture was eventually certified five times platinum by the RIAA in 2001.
During this period, Kansas became a major headlining act and sold out the largest venues available to rock bands at the time, including New York's Madison Square Garden. The band documented this era in 1978 with Two for the Show, a double live album of recordings from various performances from its 1977 and 1978 tours. The band gained a solid reputation for faithful live reproduction of their studio recordings. In 1978 the band was named UNICEF Deputy Ambassadors of Goodwill.
The follow-up studio album to Point of Know Return was Monolith (1979), which, like the live album, was self-produced. The album generated a Top 40 single in "People of the South Wind", whose title refers to the meaning of the 'Kanza' (Kaw) native American people, after whom the state and the band are named. The album failed to garner the sales and radio airplay of its two predecessors. Nevertheless, the album eventually went platinum. Kerry Livgren's platinum award for the album is on display at the Kansas History Museum.
December 27th, 2012
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