Local band members to reunite after 45 years for Mother’s Day Weekend performance in Waukon to benefit the efforts of the Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation

Blast from the past looks to benefit VMH Health Care Foundation ... Forty-five years later, original members of three local bands, Rising Sun, Horizon and Jackson Junction, will be reuniting Mother’s Day Weekend, Friday evening, May 12, for one night in downtown Waukon, with proceeds from that event benefiting the Veterans Memorial Hospital Health Care Foundation. Eleven of the 12 original members of those bands will be returning and forming the group, “Bandmates, Brothers and Friends,” or “BBF.” Some of the band members in the current day photo above include, left to right, Gary Hesla, Jim Withers, Bill Withers, Joel Anderson and Bob Bechtel. Members pictured in the image below in this original 1990s-era poster of the band Jackson Junction include, front to back, Jim Withers, Bill Withers, Keel Clemmens, the late Pat Dougherty, and Gary Hesla. Submitted photos.
Submitted photo.
Submitted photo.

Original members of three local bands will be reuniting Friday evening of Mother’s Day Weekend, May 12, for one night in downtown Waukon, with proceeds from the event benefiting the Veterans Memorial Hospital Health Care Foundation. This benefit event features a reunion of 11 mostly local musicians, two of whom played together 45 years ago in a number of area bands including Rising Sun, Horizon and Jackson Junction.

Many of the returning musicians are from Waukon including brothers Bill Withers, Jim Withers and John Withers, along with Gary Hesla, Bob Bechtel, Dave Dougherty, Brad Prestemon, Todd Pickett and Joel Anderson. They will be joined by Keel Clemmens and Jamey Lideen, longtime band members over the years. Of the original 12 musicians, the late Pat Dougherty will also be remembered during the event, with his brother, Dave, joining the band at times throughout the evening.

This reunited band is now known as “Bandmates, Brothers and Friends” or “BBF”. The event will take place at Goodfella’s in downtown Waukon from 6-10 p.m. Friday, May 12.  Attendees will hear songs from the 1950s through the 1990s, both country and rock, from classic bands and individual artists, including Elvis, the Beatles and Alabama, to name a few.

“These three bands have played hundreds of venues over four decades across the tri-state area; however, our base was always northeast Iowa. This will be the first time we have all been together at one event,” states Bill Withers, event coordinator. “We wanted to return to our roots, donating our time and event proceeds.  We chose the Veterans Memorial Hospital Health Care Foundation as our beneficiary as part of their recent conversion to county ownership. We hope everyone will save the date and look forward to an amazing night of memories and great music.”

Free-will donations to benefit the Health Care Foundation will be accepted at the door and online. More details will soon follow as they become available.