by: Publicity photo - The Little River Band will perform in Madras May 17 at the 15th annual Collage of Culture.

   It's a return to rock and roll for the 2008 Collage of Culture.
   The "Little River Band," which has sold over 25 million albums worldwide, will headline the 15th annual collage, set for May 16 and 17 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
   "I think they'll be awesome," said Holli Van Wert, executive director of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. "They'll bring a completely different crowd because it's a different genre of music."
   Formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1975, the band is considered the first Australia band to achieve sustained commercial success in the United States.
   With a string of hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s, "Reminiscing," "Lady," "Lonesome Loser," "Cool Change," "The Night Owls," and "Take It Easy On Me," in 1982, the Little River Band became the first band to have six consecutive top 10 singles.
   At 28 years, lead singer and bassist Wayne Nelson has been with the band the longest. He is the voice behind "Night Owls" and "Take It Easy On Me."
   "There is a new fusion of spontaneity, rock and roll, and blues, anchored by American bass player Wayne Nelson, who began his LRB career in 1980," according to the group's Web site.
   The Collage of Culture, presented by Yarrow, is considered Jefferson County's signature event. The two-day festival celebrates the county's diverse cultures.
   Securing the popular band was a joint effort between the chamber and Romeo Entertainment, the chamber's booking agency, Van Wert said.
   "They send us a list of bands that will be (in the area)," she explained, noting that the event committee looks over the names and selects a few. "We have a wish list, and we send it to them."
   Festivities, which begin on Friday, May 16, at 6 p.m. with a sponsor party, continue early Saturday, with the annual hot air balloon launch at 5:30 a.m.
   In addition to hot air balloon rides, Saturday will feature dance performances, regional foods, music acts, children's activities, the Teen Center, fine arts and crafts and the headline performance by "Little River Band," at 7 p.m.
   For more information, contact the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, at 475-2350, or visit online.
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