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Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, Ohio Express to Perform Tonight at Heart of Ohio Festival

By Timothy Perry

June 26, 2015 10:13 AM


Today marks the third day of the Centerburg Heart of Ohio Festival. The night's theme will be music from the "bubble gum" era. 

"Bubble Gum Music" was the genre of much of the late 1960's and early 70's music. A sharp contrast to the other popular genre of that time," psychedelic music" was a walk on the wild side while the bubble gum was more sweet, cutesy and directed at the "teenyboppers" or younger teens.

The festival midway will open at 5 PM, followed by the Ohio Express at 6 PM. Around 7:45 an autographed guitar will be auctioned, the at 8 PM, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods will take the stage.

One of the premiere groups of bubble gum was the Ohio Express, hailing from Mansfield, Ohio. Hit songs such as Beg, Borrow and Steal, Down at Lulu's, Chewy Chewy, and their biggest hit Yummy Yummy topped the charts. The original group was well known in the area as Sir Timothy and the Royals but after Beg, Borrow and Steal the name was changed.

Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods had been performing for nearly a decade when they hit Teen-Idol pay dirt. Touring in the mid 60's as an opening act for supergroups like The Rascals, Paul Revere and The Raiders, Box-Tops, Grassroots and Herman's Hermits gave the group enough exposure to garner them a strong following on the live circuit. An opening stint for The Osmond Brothers and appearances on Dick Clark's American Bandstand and "Action '73" TV shows poised Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods into the right realm for the stardom they would soon achieve.

The first single, "Special Someone," hit the charts in 1972 then the next single "Deeper and Deeper' came in 1973. "Billy, Don't Be A Hero" was all that was necessary to shoot Bo and The Heywoods up to the #1 spot for two weeks, sell more than three million copies and earn The Heywoods a gold record. Four more Top 40 singles followed on the heels of "Billy, Don't Be A Hero." The Top 15 follow up hit, "Who Do You Think You Are," was an utterly irresistible pop song from the pens of Jigsaws Clive Scoff and Des Dyer. The acts next Top 40 hit, "The Heartbreak Kid," was written by Michael Price and Dan Walsh, who had written hits for The Grassroots. The next single "House on Telegraph Hill" dealt with the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The band's last chart showing was the ballad, "Our Last Song Together'wriften by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield.

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