The 2017 NIBROC Festival will open to the chart-topping sounds of legendary band Exile, and organizers say more announcements about musical entertainment for the festival can be expected in the near future.
Born in Richmond, KY in 1967, Exile has an impressive string of country and pop/rock hits — 17 top 20 hits on the country music charts (11 No. ones) and 15 songs that hit the pop/rock singles charts. The band’s most well known hit, “Kiss You All Over,” released in 1978, was a No. 1 single and sold over five million copies.
The band has released 17 albums, the first a self-titled effort in 1973. Exile’s most recent releases include a Christmas album from 2015 and a live performance from Franklin Theatre issued in 2014. Members J.P. Pennington and Les Taylor have also released solo albums.
“Exile features almost the entire original lineup of musicians and they never fail to deliver when it comes to their live performances,” said Bruce Carpenter, Executive Director of the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. The chamber plans the NIBROC Festival.
“I think this will be a great way to kick off our festival this year. We are proud to have Exile coming to perform at NIBROC.”
Exile got its “big break” in 1967 when they served as the opening and backing band for the popular “Dick Clark Caravan of Stars” show. The “American Idol” of its time, the exposure and experience they gained doing the 15 minute opening slot backing the likes of Freddy Cannon, Bryan Hyland and B. J. Thomas was wrapped in the package of great advice, dispensed by Clark himself. After several shows Clark recognized the potential and boiled it down to the primary essence.
Band member J.P. Pennington said it seems like yesterday Clark delivered his cogent career advice.
“We had just finished a blazing show and were beside ourselves. We thought we’d done about as good a job could be done when Dick came over and gathered us around him. He looked us all right in the eye and said, ‘boys, you aren’t out here to entertain yourselves; it’s about the people who bought the tickets. Never forget your audience.’”
It’s the band’s mantra to this day.
After living together in New York for a time, the band got a crucial bit of fortune — signing a record deal with Columbia Records.
Originally known as The Exiles, the band later changed its name to just “Exile.” The group showed a penchant for successful songwriting, penning hits for not only themselves, but others.
After several albums, Exile took a country bent in the 1980s that led to an opening of floodgates of sorts for hit singles, including: “I Don’t Want To Be A Memory”, “Give Me One More Chance”, “She’s A Miracle”, “Crazy For Your Love”, “Hang On To Your Heart”, “I Could Get Used To You”, “It’ll Be Me”, “She’s Too Good To be True” and “I Can’t Get Close Enough.”
“They’ve got broad appeal and very festival friendly music. Exile is perfect for NIBROC,” Carpenter said.
Exile — made up of members J.P. Pennington, Steve Goetzman, Sonny Lemaire, Marlon Hargis and Les Taylor — will perform on the main stage at NIBROC on Thursday, Aug. 10. Carpenter said there would be an opening act.