Entertainment

Trooper coming to Penticton Peachfest for a good time

Millions of records, a couple dozen hits, a Juno Award for Band of the Year and ongoing sold-out shows across Canada.

Trooper, the most popular band in Penticton Peach Festival history, is returning for an encore performance on Aug. 7 on the main stage presented by Peters Bros. Construction. In their only previous appearance at Peachfest in 2011, Trooper attracted a record crowd to Okanagan Lake Park, estimated at 7,000 people.

Peach Festival entertainment director Bill Kolter said he gets asked more often about Trooper’s return than any act in the 20-plus years he has been involved with the festival.

“You know you always have a good time when you go to see Trooper,” said Kolter.

Trooper began touring the U.S. backing up Bachmann Turner Overdrive, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, ZZ TOP, AC/DC, The Doobie Brothers and many more in 1975. They produced hits Baby Woncha Please Come Home and Good Ol’ General Hand Grenade which in Canada charted in the top 10 and they received a nomination for Best New Group at the Juno Awards. But, it was their third album Knock ‘Em Dead Kid which included hits We’re Here For A Good Time and Pretty Lady that was certified Platinum in 1978.

This album also earned them a Juno Award nomination. Trooper continued their success with the following album Thick as Thieves, which contained the hits Raise A Little Hell (their first hit in the U.S.) and others.

Trooper became the first Canadian band to ever sell 450,000 copies with their greatest hits album Hot Shots released in 1979. The song The Boys in the Bright White Sportscar was included on this, although it had not previously been released as a single.

While they didn’t receive as much commercial success with following outings, the fans’ love for the band still burned.

In 1988 MCA Records released Hot Shots on CD and sales rose to over six times platinum. Their hits began, once again, receiving regular airplay with the advent of classic rock radio format. It also was a revival of sorts for the band who released The Last Of the Gypsies in 1989.  It sold well over gold status and re-established them as one of Canada’s most successful and best loved rock bands. Trooper’s tenth studio album Ten, included the song American Dream, which went Top 10.

In 2000, Trooper celebrated their 25th anniversary with a reunion concert at Vancouver’s legendary Commodore Ballroom. Tommy Stewart, Doni Underhill, Frank Ludwig and Harry Kalensky re-united with McGuire and Smith for a sold out and memorable Vancouver performance. In 2012 Trooper songwriters Ra McGuire and Brian Smith were awarded SOCAN’s prestigious National Achievement Award to acknowledge their significant and lasting contribution to Canada’s songwriting legacy. Two For the Show, Round, Round We Go, Santa Maria, Janine are just a few of the Trooper hits.

Trooper continues to consistently sell out shows across the country — often performing for three generations of fans — demonstrating that the band and its music remain borderless, timeless and ageless.

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