Who: Fran McKendree
Where: Grace Episcopal Church, Berryville, VA
Fran McKenndree began his professional career playing at coffee houses in and around Syracuse University. Moving to the Glens Falls area of NY he formed “McKendree Spring,” a four-piece folk-rock ensemble that the legendary promoter/manager Bill Graham dubbed “one of the best unknown bands in the world.” The band recorded seven albums and toured with some of the most exciting artists of the 70’s, beginning early in their career with several weeks at NY’s famous ‘Bitter End.’ where they shared the bill with an amazing array of talent – from the Everly Brothers to James Taylor.
McKendree Spring developed a loyal following, spending the next several years touring the US, the UK and Canada, sharing the stage with everyone from the Average White Band to Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. The band played many memorable venues as well, including Carnegie Hall, the Fillmore East, and with the late Billy Preston, the first ever rock concert at Radio City Music Hall. With the [tiny, but hey, nice to be included!] McKendree Spring exhibit in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio is an attribution that says: “Experimental and innovative, McKendree Spring mixed blues, folk and country with a progressive musical vision.” The group eventually disbanded in 1975, and each of the members went on to pursue varied careers.