Thomas McClary's THE COMMODORES EXPERIENCE Brings Motown To Orem

Thomas McClary's THE COMMODORES EXPERIENCE Brings Motown To Orem The founder of the original Commodores is back and he's returning with his Signature Sound intact with a new high energy show called Thomas McClary's The Commodores Experience.

Audiences at SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre will experience a concert on Monday, July 23 designed to replicate the magic of a group that stood at the top of the record charts for more than a decade and inspired a writing team that compared Thomas McClary and Lionel Richie to the Beatles' John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. at the outdoor amphitheater, located at 699 South State, Orem, in the middle of SCERA Park. General admission tickets are available at $20 for adults and $15 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older. There are specific areas for chairs and blankets, and a limited quantity of rental chairs are available for $1.00. Reserved areas with a free chairs may also be available. Tickets are available through www.scera.org, by calling (801) 225-ARTS, or in person at the main office at SCERA Center for the Arts (745 S. State St.), open 10am-6pm weekdays and Saturdays from 12noon-6pm.

McClary's entry into the realm of four-time Grammy-awarding winning songwriter began humbly enough in a college registration line at Tuskegee University in 1967 when McClary, who planned to major in business administration, met fellow student Lionel Richie. Richie was whistling the song "Listen Here" by Eddie Harris, and McClary asked Richie if he was a musician. Among McClary's goals was putting together a band, and the two decided to work together. They recruited other musicians and called themselves The Mystics. After they merged with another Tuskegee group called The Jays, they rebranded themselves as The Commodores and became a celebrated funk and soul group nationally and internationally.

They snagged a good gig as the opening act for The Jackson 5 and toured with them in 1972 and 1973. The Commodore's big break followed the Jackson 5 experience.

The Commodores became identified as an authentic and groundbreaking band that was "real, raw, and unbelievable." McClary's funky rock-flavored, smooth guitar licks were complemented by Richie, who went on to become a superstar musician in the music world. Together they collaborated on more than two-thirds of the songs recorded by The Commodores.

The Motown group is credited with seven songs that hit the top of the charts, many others that became top ten Billboard hits, and 50 albums that sold more than 120 million copies. Their live show is filled with the harmonies and slick dance moves which define Motown.

McClary often told his band, "Remember, we are the Black Beatles"-although their sound was distinctly their own. Their first album, "Machine Gun," became the first gold album in the history of Motown Records.

McClary's guitar licks on The Commodores smash "Easy Like Sunday Morning" have been hailed as one of the best solo guitar performances of all time. Whether it's "Sail On," "Three Times A Lady," "Just To Be Close," "Brickhouse," "Lady You Bring Me Up," "High On Sunshine," "Sweet Love," "This Is Your Life," and "Still," or Lionel Richie staples "All Night Long" and "Dancing On The Ceillng," The Commodores Experience sound was easily recognized as a Commodores sound.

The founder collaborated with Lionel Richie and Diana Rosson of the "Endless Love" soundtrack and worked with some of the biggest groups of the 1970s and '80s: Whitney Houston, Melissa Manchester, The Temptations, The Four Tops, and others.

In addition to touring with The Jackson 5, The Commodores also traveled with The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Guns & Roses, The Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder and Tina Turner.

"Thomas McClary performs with all the skill and energy as he did when he was turning out hit after hit," says Adam J. Robertson, SCERA's President and CEO. "He does it all as a talented singer, musician, writer, producer and performer. We're really looking forward to giving the crowd a night of contagious Motown madness."

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