Last year, the America's Grape Country Wine Festival committee decided to add something new to the growing event; a headline concert featuring Atlantic recording artist Uncle Kracker.
The possibility of bringing big name acts to the grandstands of the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds became a reality as the concert proved to be a huge success for both festival promoters and attendees alike.
The committee has announced that this year's headline concert performing artist is the internationally acclaimed rock band, The Guess Who.
The Guess Who will perform Aug. 12 at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds.
The 2012 AGC Wine Festival is scheduled for Aug. 11 and 12 at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk.
The event will be held rain or shine on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.
The headline concert will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday in the grandstands.
Live music, educational seminars, cooking demonstrations and crafters and artisan food producers will be featured all weekend at the festival in addition to wine tasting from dozens of wineries from throughout New York State.
The Guess Who have been through a 40-year journey of the music business, overcoming their trials and tribulations to achieve a kind of success that not many artists know. The rock band originally found success in their native Canada performing under the name Chad Allan and the Expressions. They scored their first No. 1 hit single in 1965 with the song "Shakin All Over." In an attempt to keep some sort of mystery as to who the popular single could be attributed to, the band's record label released the single with the question, "Guess Who?" When the record started playing in the United States, an American record label credited the single to "The Guess Who." While the single was eventually revealed as being a work of Chad Allan and the Expressions, the gimmick name of The Guess Who stuck and forced the band to change their title.
The band did not find international success until 1969 when the single "These Eyes" was released. The song became the group's first Top 10 hit in the United States and sold over 10 million copies. The band was awarded a gold disc by the Recording Industry Association of America.
In 1970, the band started to move to an edgier hard rock sound which proved successful with the release of their hit single, "American Woman." This song together with the track's B-side single, "No Sugar Tonight" would be The Guess Who's only number one hit in the United States. However, the single put the band on the map, earning them the honor of becoming the first Canadian group to have a number 1 hit on the Hot 100.
It is expected that over the course of four decades a band will go through many changes. Music styles evolve, original band members leave and new ones replace them. The Guess Who experienced these hardships and more and has remained successful. The band now consists of five members in Jim Kale, Laurie MacKenzie, Gary Peterson, Leonard Shaw and Derek Sharp. The band is still playing sold out shows to millions of fans coast to coast and will continue to expand on its legacy in the future.
"Last year, we were so anxious when it came to putting on a large scale concert for the first time. This year, we couldn't wait to start looking at bands!" said Jason Merritt, General Manager for the AGC Wine Festival. "When we found out The Guess Who were available we knew we had to get them. It is going to be an honor to work with such an iconic group. Last year we had smooth country soul to listen to. This year? We're ready to rock."
Hometown celebrity Sean Patrick McGraw will be opening for The Guess Who. The local country singer has found success in the national spotlight touring with artists including Toby Keith, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert. Through all the tour dates and traveling, McGraw still stays close to his roots and performs throughout the Chautauqua County area whenever he can.
The fifth annual AGC Wine Festival would not be possible without our dedicated and generous sponsors. This year's sponsors include ADK Merchant Services, Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, Culligan Water of Fredonia, Holland MotorSports Complex, Otherwisz Creative Services, Media 1 Group of Jamestown, Merritt Estate Winery, North American Breweries, Wegmans and Yancey's Fancy.
For more information on the AGC Wine Festival, visit www.agcwinefestival.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.