Local band members reunite after 45 years

Members pictured here in this original 1990s-era poster of Jackson Junction include (front to back) Jim Withers, Bill Withers, Keel Clemmens, the late Pat Dougherty and Gary Hesla.

Original members of three local bands will be reuniting on Friday evening of Mother’s Day Weekend, May 12, for one night in downtown Waukon. 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.  

The event will take place at Goodfella’s in downtown Waukon Friday, May 12, from 6 to 10 p.m. Attendees will hear songs from the 50s through the 90s, both country and rock, from classic bands and individual artists like Elvis, the Beatles and Alabama, to name a few.

Many of the returning musicians are from Waukon, including brothers Bill Withers, Jim Withers, 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.” 

“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.” 

Donations will support Veterans Memorial Hospital’s conversion to a county owned hospital. Free-will donations will be accepted at the door and on-line.  

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