The Cascades: 10-year resurrection

Danee Samonte - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - “The Cascades all died in a fiery plane crash in the late ’60s.” This has been implanted in my mind for decades until that fateful day in 2004 when I found out from MD par excellence Chuck Crews that the news wasn’t true. The Cascades never died in a plane crash. Although much retired, they were alive and well living in Southern California.

 I got really excited and got from Chuck all the contact details of the Cascades. Chuck told me that I need to contact only one person — John Claude Gummoe — because he was the leader, songwriter and the singer of all the Cascades hits. It took me a year to convince and get him out of concert retirement. In April of 2005, together with some of his former bandmates he handpicked to join him for the Manila concerts sold out the Araneta Coliseum not only once but twice.

This year is the 10th anniversary of his so-called “resurrection.” There had been some changes though like dropping the bandmates he brought in 2005 and replaced with able Pinoy musicians but the voice that recorded all 12 songs in the Rhythm of the Rain album that came out in November 1962 remains pristine and original if not better.

As of last count by BMI, Rhythm of the Rain which John wrote on a rainy night aboard the ship USS Jason in San Diego has exceeded over 10 million performances and recordings in the US alone and has been certified the ninth most performed song of all time.

When I first talked to John in 2004, he wasn’t interested to come out of retirement as he was already doing well with his real estate business and yearly song royalties that was in the six-figure range in US dollars but because I was persistent, John agreed and the rest is history. For the past 10 years, John has performed in over a hundred concerts around the world including cities in the Philippines like Cebu, Davao, Baguio, Clark, Bacolod, Tacloban, Olongapo, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Tagaytay, Roxas, Ormoc, Iligan, Butuan, Legaspi, La Union, Tagum and elsewhere in Japan, Malaysia not to mention cities in his home base the US like McAllen (Texas), Atlantic City, New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, etc.

Believe it or not, John is now 76 years old but performs, moves and even dances like a 50-year-old. Included in the set list are Cascades’ immortal hits like Let It Be Me, Dreamin’, My First Day Alone, Lucky Guy, Was I Dreamin’, There’s a Reason, Angel On My Shoulder, Shy Girl, Punch and Judy, I Wanna Be Your Lover, Rhythm of the Rain, First Love Never Dies and The Last Leaf.

For the 10th resurrection anniversary, John will be joined by debonair and suave ex-Lettermen Mark Preston who will perform the songs he has been performing with the Lettermen for over a decade and Pinoy singing champions Mark Mabasa, JV Decena, Lucky Robles and Lilibeth Garcia. There will only be two shows this tour; one is set tomorrow, Sept. 10 at the Isla Ballroom EDSA Shangri-La Hotel which includes a plated dinner and on the following day, Sept. 11 at the Newport Theater of Resorts World.

Tickets are available at Ticketworld outlets, Ticketnet outlets, box-office at Resorts World and the concierge at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. The Cascades (with special guest Mark Preston) is presented by Grand Leisure Corp., EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Resorts World and Steve O’ Neal Productions in collaboration with Park & Ride, Fadcon, Manila Multimodal Terminal, Duty Free Philippines, HDI, Telenovela channel, IBC 13, Hard Rock Café, Aristocrat Restaurant, Rice in a Box, Chicharific, UBX, Waffle Time, Davies Paints, SeaOil, Retro, Wish FM and the official concert station RJ100.3 FM.

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