By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
The original lead singer and drummer for the Motown group Rare Earth, Peter Rivera, will join Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, who had several hits in the 1980s, on the NIBROC Festival stage Saturday, Aug. 11 in Downtown Corbin.
Word of the Saturday acts came Monday from Bruce Carpenter, NIBROC’s longtime director of entertainment, and executive director of the Corbin Economic Development Agency.
From 1969 to 1975, there was no mistaking the powerful, soulful voice of Rivera as the Detroit native used his vocal talents and rich Motown influences to bring such 70s hits from Rare Earth as “Get Ready,” “I Just Want To Celebrate,” “Big Brother,” “(I Know) I’m Losing You” and “Born To Wander.”
A musical performer on stage for over four decades, Rivera’s voice remains memorable in recent years. That’s thanks to three of Rare Earth’s five Top 10 singles being heard in national advertising campaigns for Gatorade, AT&T, Ford and the 2008 NBA Playoffs. In addition, major motion pictures such as “Tropic Thunder,” “3 Kings,” and “Knight’s Tale,” have used the same songs.
Thomas hit pay dirt in 1976 with the monster hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” as lead vocalist with the Elvin Bishop band. Three years later, he joined Jefferson Starship as lead vocalist after Grace Slick and Marty Balin left the band. They renamed themselves Starship in 1984 and scored a string of hits with memorable, powerful songs such as “We Built This City,” “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” “Jane,” “No Way Out” and “Sara.”
Also memorable is the fact that the videos for “Sara” and “We Built This City” have become classics of their own on both VH1 and MTV, and that every Starship album since 1979 went gold, platinum or multi-platinum. Songs from Thomas’ time with Elvin Bishop and Starship, along with his two solo albums, will be featured during their part of the Saturday concert.
The 60th Annual NIBROC Festival will be held Aug. 9-11 on Corbin’s Main Street.