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Yes, Rodney Justo, lead singer for The Candymen and Beaverteeth, is back on the scene,
fronting The Atlanta Rhythm Section one more time for a series of live concerts throughout the USA.
My friend, Bruce Wilbanks (from Alabama), who had attended several Candymen shows in the past, eventually managed to get in touch with Rodney for the first time in his life some time ago - which led to his being personally invited to one of the ARS dates in Biloxi, Mississippi (yes, the same town where the Fine, Gulf Coast & South labels were located & which was partially devastated by a recent hurricane).

Bruce wrote : 'The regular lead singer had to have open heart surgery and they called Rodney. He's going to tour with them until the regular singer is well. He said that he flew to Connecticut and sang a concert with them without having even one practice. He said that it went pretty well. He asked me to come to one of his other concerts and meet him face to face. So I went to Biloxi, April 18th, 2008, where they were to open for The Guess Who and called Rodney's cellphone. [] He was staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, just next door to the hotel where my wife and I were staying. He invited me over and we spent 2 1/2 hours in the Hard Rock Cafe, talking about the Candymen, rock'n'roll, our families and kids. It was an awesome experience ! Rodney has met many of rock'n'roll's greatest entertainers - the Beatles, the Mamas & the Papas, Jimi Hendrix, etc. He has some of the most interesting stories you can imagine. I went there as a Candymen fan and felt like I left as a friend of Rodney's. He's one of the warmest, genuine people I've ever met. He far exceeded my greatest expectations. He gave me VIP tickets for the concert and introduced me to Dean Daughtry backstage after the concert. Dean was just as nice as Rodney. I told him that I wasn't happy when he became the keyboardist for the Candymen because I liked Bobby Peterson so much. He said that he worked awfully hard to get that job with the Candymen. He said that he learned to play every song key by key exactly like Bobby played them. I told him that it didn't take me long to see that he was a better keyboardist than Bobby'.

Needless to say, all the photos which appear in the scrolling filmstrip above are courtesy of Bruce Wilbanks.

It was April 2008. Rodney is now back permanently as the lead singer of The Atlanta Rhythm Section. They seem to be getting busier and busier, playing all over the country. Rodney is also playing with his band Coo Coo Ca Choo. They are sounding more and more like the Candymen of old with their 4 and 5 part harmonies. They are playing exclusively music from the 1960's. There are videos of them on YouTube.
Bruce Wilbanks kindly provided me with another batch of pics I'm all too happy to share with you...............

Copyright Paul Vidal * Privas, France * April 2014

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