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Hi-D-Ho Folks,

A big thanks to you all for making this year's WDP tour -- the best attended ever! Sold-out shows ocurred in Springfield IL, Green BayWI, Fargo ND, St. Cloud MN, Ft. Dodge IA, and Williamsburg VA. Over 900 people turned up also for our first ever performance in Kalamazoo, MI and heavy turnout also in Manitowoc WI, Peoria IL, and Chicago at the historic Willowbrook Ballroom.

A very special thanks to Mother Nature as well, as this tour at one point could almost have been dubbed "The Summer Dance Party." Imagine 64 degrees in Davenport, IA on January 27th! Incredible.

Highlights of the tour included Mr. Bobby Vee as our special guest at the Paramount Theatre in St. Cloud, MN. Needless to say the audience was thrilled at the surprise appearance. Bobby was also joined onstage by his son Robby on guitar and other son Tommy on bass, who was already on tour with us this year along with the rest of the WDP band. A rocking version of "Love's Made a Fool of You" was performed by Bobby and also a mellow "It Doesn't Matter Anymore." Thank you Bobby!

Another fun moment occurred at our show at the State Theatre in Kalamazoo, MI when Jay Richardson's wee lad of a son Thomas (Bopper Jr. the II) came out onstage during the initial phone ringing of Chantilly Lace and proclaimed to Jay and the audience, "It's Mommy and you're busted!!" Jay also got a standing ovation from the crowd for his heartfelt rendition of "Someone Watching Over You."

Had the biggest pancakes ever known to man one morning at Skip's Place on Holmgren Way in Green Bay, WI, with Mark Steuer and Tony Szikil watching in amazement. If you're ever in the area I highly recommend. Bring a wheelchair for afterwards, as you won't be able to move!

The Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay once again won the highly coveted "Loudest WDP Audience Award." Thanks to our man Mark "The Stoy" Steuer and Janet Gollnick for making our Packerland visit a fun one yet again.

Ray Anthony was a new member of the tour this year. His tribute to Ritchie Valens brought the audiences to a new level of frenzy as his great guitar playing, singing and costumes were impossible to resist. Also, this year we used Bobby Vee's tech crew, Dean Boraas on sound and "Flash" Olsen on lights and they were quite the pro's. Thanks guys!

Well, that's about it for now. Thanks again to everyone for your support. Thanks to special guests Tommy Vee and Sherry Holly. Special thanks to longtime helpers Quincy Stringham, Marcia Lodl, the official WDP princesses, Mike Burke at Big Oldies 93.3, Jenny Richardson at GRPR, The Kessler's at Recycled Records, Titletown Brewery, Nathaniel Bachelder at Gales Creek Insurance, all the venues' and ballrooms' staff and, of course, anyone else I've probably forgotten.

Click here to see the collage that Ray made of the tour.

Your Buddy,

John

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