More than four decades in the music business and Rich Clare Pentagon is still going strong, entertaining audiences with their energetic musical performances since 1971.
With a catalogue of songs ranging from the 1950s to today - Beatles, Beach Boys, Motown, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Barenaked Ladies - Rich Clare Pentagon has something for everyone to dance or sing along to.
The band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Benjie's Benjamin Ballroom, 350 Hughes St., to honor KISS-FM's 25th anniversary. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Rich Clare Pentagon will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Benjie’s Benjamin Ballroom, 350 Hughes St., to honor KISS-FM’s 25th anniversary. Doors open at 6 p.m.
The show will be the third and final party in which "Pentagon" has played to commemorate the radio station's milestone.
Gary Chrisman, host of the Chrisman Morning Show on KISS-FM, contacted Rich Clare to have the band play their anniversary parties.
"I looked them up and 'Googled' them, and there they were," Chrisman said. "Let's bring back a throw-back from the past from my early radio days. I contacted Rich Clare and they were on board."
The band is based out the Harrisburg area, but their first road gig was at the former Jack's Susquehanna Hotel in DuBoistown, where a following for the band began almost immediately, Clare said. From there, the band began playing at the original Sheraton Hotel in Williamsport when Bourbon Street opened in 1975, where Clare said he met Chrisman.
After hearing them play again live after more than 20 years, Chrisman said, "They were as good, if not better, than they ever were."
"I love the connection coming back to Williamsport," Clare said. "We haven't been up there since the mid '80s. Gary called me and wanted us to help commemorate 25 years for the radio station and I was excited to come back to town."
Clare, the band's frontman, said he was told by his family that he began singing soon after he began talking. He also has not been without a band since he was 14 years old.
Clare said he grew up listening to Jackie Wilson, James Brown and Elvis Presley, but the main aspect of music that he always has been drawn to is vocal harmonies.
"That's why this band has six singers and all are capable of singing lead," Clare said about his draw to great vocals.
"Beach Boys, Four Season, Beatles, Eagles - anyone with great vocals, we're going to try to do it."
Clare said, over the years the band has probably had about 45 different members - two of which always remained the same - himself and Jim Colestock.
Rich Clare Pentagon's current lineup is Clare, vocals and trombone; Colestock, vocals, trumpet and percussion; Gary Weber, vocals and keyboards; Mike Boarman, vocals and bass; Al Cook, vocals and lead guitar; and Gary Greyhosky, vocals and drums.
"So many bands get locked into an era and we don't do that," Clare said. "There's great music in every era and I want to cover that for our younger fans and make our older fans realize there is really good stuff out there."
Clare, who was a member of a number of bands before the formation of "Pentagon" in 1971, said about 10 years ago, he discovered that a couple of songs that he co-wrote and performed with the "Soulville Allstars" had charted and become cult hits in England and Europe. He said the songs are on several compilations and said it's a great feeling to learn that people have been listening to him singing for the past 40 years.
He said he and his band mates love what they do and mutual respect for one another has been a main part of their continued success.
"I've got just an amazing and talented bunch of guys that you could imagine," he said. "We really have fun and everyone respects each other and how good they are. There are no egos. We are beyond that ... It's been quite the run and we'll keep doing it as long as we can."
Tickets for the Saturday show are $15 and are on sale now at AAA Travel, 1 E. Sixth Ave., South Williamsport, and at KISS-FM, 1559 W. Fourth St.
For more information about Rich Clare Pentagon, visit richclarepen tagonbandfanclub.com.