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The Rhythm Rockets: News & Notes


Many thanks to all the friends, family, musicians and fans that helped to make the Ed Yokley Tribute/VVA #317 Benefit a huge smash. Pictures from the event are posted in our Photo Gallery.

We raised $2,250.00 in all for the Vietnam Veterans Association Heart of America Chapter #317. Ann Yokley presented the check to Randy on Thursday, August 30th. The money will go to helping so many of those heroes that defend our country and keep us safe.

Over 40 musicians participated in the All-Star Jam Session hosted by The Rhythm Rockets at BB's Lawnside BBQ.The gig lasted until 6:00 PM and would have gone on all night if we let it. It was indeed a gathering for the ages and provided those lucky enough to attend some of the most spirited blues Kansas City has ever heard.

NEARLY SOLD OUT!!! - August 8, 2012

Looks like we're going to have a full house Sunday for the Ed Yokley Memorial/VVA Benefit. We're nearly sold out of our initial run of 300 tickets.

Anyone looking for tickets will have to contact BB's. We suggest you do it today before we're completely sold out.

Putting the finishing touches on the song list and player roster. We'll have everything posted by Friday.

There are a few people that will be unable to attend the event and they will be missed; Joe Miquelon, Carl Bender, Tom Bark, Brian Turner, Norman Bryant, Doug Auwater, Ken Lovern and David Hinton. You will be there in spirit! Sorry if we missed anyone.

Look forward to seeing you all Sunday afternoon!


ALL STAR LINE UP - August 3, 2012

More Great News!

We've heard from many of the area's talented musicians about the Ed Yokley Tribute scheduled for Sunday, August 12th from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM at BB's Lawnside BBQ and have commitments from an all star list of performers:

  • Rick Bacus
  • Tom Thomas
  • Joe Wittfeld
  • Big John Amaro
  • Johnny Isom
  • David Nutt
  • Larry Van Loon
  • Mike O'Neil
  • John Hobbs
  • Robbie Martin
  • John Anderson
  • Joan Anderson
  • Jamie Anderson
  • Keith Mallory
  • John Dillon Zimmermann
  • David Williams
  • Madeline Radcliff
  • Ted Ward
  • Allen Fishell
  • Art Hettinger
  • Rich Ruth
  • Brian Little
  • Kristen May
  • Blake Hughes
  • Rick Yord
  • John Paul Drum
  • Bill Dye
  • Brad Speaks
  • Mike Herrera
  • Cliff Eveland
  • Scott Yates
  • Terry Swope
  • Ronni Ward
  • Cinder Payne Jackson
  • Ray Santos

Still waiting to hear from several other important musicians but there will be more to come. Check back for new additions.

Just starting to group those new songs for the music page. We'll do our best to add a few each day from the recently discovered treasure trove of live recordings, many featuring Ed Yokley.


We've had an overwhelming response from musicians and blues fans alike regarding the tribute to Ed Yokley.

Over 35 musicians have signed up and we've sold over 120 tickets as of today. Still waiting to hear from a few key players but it looks like we've got one hell of a line-up. A gig for the ages.

We'll be making a live recording of the event with plans to produce a CD that will be available post production.

T-shirts are at the printer and we've ordered two styles of commemorative guitar picks with Ed's picture and thumb print, all available for sale with proceeds going to the VVA #317. Two giant gig posters with signatures of each participating musician will be up for raffle to the highest bidder as our "Grand Prize".

If you haven't signed up to play, please do so before Friday. We'll have the final song list and player roster posted on line next week.

We've got a pre-gig rehearsal scheduled this Saturday afternoon from 1 to 5 at Mission House Of Music. Any participating musicians that want to get some practice in with the band, contact John at

Thank you all so much for your interest, help and enthusiasm. It will be a great time for a worthy cause.

PRESS RELEASE - July 22, 2012

All-Star Jam Session

Set your alarms for 1:00 PM on Sunday, August 12th for an all-star tribute to a legendary guitarist, singer and blues music pioneer; Ed Yokley.

As a founding member of Colt 45 & The Kansas City Blues Band, Ed Yokley was instrumental in developing the live blues music scene in Kansas City. Beginning in the 70’s; Ed, Larry, Mike and a host of other KC area musicians helped to make Westport the place to be between the Crescent and Windy cities for live rhythm & blues.

Ed & the boys established the “Blue Monday” jam sessions that ran for nearly 25 years at clubs like Blayney’s, The Hurricane and a few other long lost venues. His playing inspired a host of imitators to grab a guitar and try their hand at the blues. Ed’s style and tone were unique, and expressed his vast and varied life experiences. Simply put; no one played guitar like Ed Yokley.

Come and help family, friends and host of great musicians celebrate Ed’s life and his contributions to the live music scene on Sunday, August 12th at BB’s Lawnside BBQ from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The event is an all-star tribute in honor of those old “Blue Monday” jam sessions. Expatriated KCBB members from around the country and many of the area’s finest musicians are slated to play.

Ed was a decorated Vietnam Veteran and this year’s event will benefit the Vietnam Veterans Association Heart of America Chapter 317. Tickets are $5.00 in advance and $7.00 day of show. Prizes and other goodies will be raffled off with all proceeds going to the VVA #317.

More details can be found at

Thanks to the sponsors; BB’s Lawnside BBQ, Ink Magazine, Credentialing Experts, Mission House of Music & Realm Construction.

Tickets are available at BB's Lawnside BBQ, VVA #317, our sponsors or via e-mail at







BB’s Lawnside BBQ, Ink Magazine, Credentialing Experts, Mission House of Music & Realm Construction are proud to announce an All-Star Tribute to a Kansas City Rhythm & Blues Legend; Ed Yokley.

Join a collection of Kansas City’s best blues musicians for an all-star jam session to honor Ed and his legacy at BB’s Lawnside BBQ on Sunday, August 12th from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM to benefit the Vietnam Veterans Association Heart of America Chapter 317.

Tickets are $5.00 in advance and $7.00 day of show. Family, friends and musicians from all around the country are helping to pay tribute to an extraordinary guitarist, singer, harp player and blues music pioneer, and to support a worthy cause; the Vietnam Veterans of America Heart of America Chapter 317.

More details on the event can be found at or by calling BB’s Lawnside BBQ at (816) 822-7427.


Exciting News.................

BB's Lawnside BBQ is hosting a Tribute/Memorial show for Ed Yokley. It's scheduled for Sunday, August 12th from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Friends, family and a host of musicians will be celebrating Ed and his contributions to the Kansas City music scene. There will be an ongoing jam session featuring some of KC's finest.

The Rhythm Rockets will be the "house" band; playing the first set featuring many of the songs that Ed loved to perform. Sets two and three will showcase so many of the area's talented musicians that Ed influenced and inspiried.

Special thanks to Lindsay Shannon for his generosity in hosting the event.

It is a benefit for the Heart of America Chapter of the Vietnam Veteran's Association. Details are still being worked out with a few sponsors and there will be more information as it becomes available.

We unearthed a treasure trove of live recordings by The Rhythm Rockets featuring Ed on some scintillating guitar. Take a look at the music page on the web site. There's a bunch, so be patient. Plan on putting up a few each day.

SAD NEWS - January 21, 2012

Sad News for the Kansas City Music Scene

Ed Yokley, legendary guitar player; passed away Thursday, January 19th. We're adding a page dedicated to Ed on our web site. Comments from friends, fellow musicians and admirers as well as pictures and music featuring Ed will be shared with you. We'll also post a copy of his obituary and the eulogy delivered by John Dillon Zimmermann at his service.

We're in talks with Lindsay Shannon from BB's Lawnside BBQ about memorial show to celebrate Ed's life and his contributions to the KC music scene. Plans are to round everyone up sometime this spring to include players from the local scene as well as the expatriated KCBB alums from down Nashville way. Check back for details.

Thank you to all the visitors looking to share in Ed's memory. If you have something you'd like to see posted on this site, please contact us at We'll get it up there for everyone to share.

New Look, New Additions - September 26, 2009

We've updated the web site to bring you a new look and lots of new additions.

New pictures are up from this year's gigs at Zona Rosa and The Plaza.  We're editing some of the video and will have some of that and a few new cuts on the site soon for your enjoyment.

Please let us know what you think and what you'd like to see.  And don't forget to sign the guestbook while you're here.

The Rhythm Rockets To Play Coleman Hawkins Blues Festival - July 31, 2008

The Rhythm Rockets are honored to play the Coleman Hawkins Blues Festival in St. Joseph again this year. We'll be playing from 6:00 PM to 7:45 PM on Saturday, September 6th. There's a lot of great bands playing the three day festival. Check out the schedule at The festival will be held at Coleman Hawkins park on 7th & Felix streets. It's a great set up to see some Red Hot Rhythm & Blues from The Rhythm Rockets!


Check out the calendar for new dates added for the spring and summer. More to come!

Back On Stage - March 21, 2008

The Rhythm Rockets are working with Zona Rosa, The Plaza and Legends on some dates for the upcoming warm weather seasons. We're looking forward to a busy spring and summer with a lot of outdoor shows around the area. Please check our Calendar in the next few weeks for our schedule.

On Hiatus - October 17, 2007

We're taking a little break this October. Look for live performance dates this November.

Great Time at the Plaza Art Fair - September 26, 2007

Thanks to all our friends and family that came out to see The Rhythm Rockets at the Plaza Art Fair. Itr was Jaime's baptism as lead guitar and he did a fantastic job. We're excited to have him as a member of our band and look forward to working with him until he gets on MTV! And special thanks go out to Pat and Kate Riha for honoring us with a high profile gig. There must have been thousands of revelers enjoying our own special brand of Red Hot Rhythm & Blues. Lots of them signed up for our newsletter and updates. We hope to see all of you at our next gig. Please leave a comment in our Guestbook while you're here.

September Is Festival Month - September 2, 2007

Everyone's favorite Red Hot Rhythm & Blues band; The Rhythm Rockets, are playing 3 outdoor music festivals in September. Saturday, September 8th is the Coleman Hawkins Jazz & Blues Festival in St.Joseph; Friday, September 14th we're at the Mission Arts & Eats Festival and on Saturday, September 22nd we're honored to headline the Plaza Art Fair on the main stage. Please check out our calendar for more details.

The Rhythm Rockets to Headline Plaza Art Fair - August 17, 2007

The Rhythm Rockets, purveyors of Red Hot Rhythm & Blues, have been picked to headline the main stage on Saturday night at The Plaza Art Fair. The band will perform from 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM on Saturday, September 22nd. The main stage will be at the foot of Wornall, on the bridge just south of JC Nichols Parkway. Joan Anderson has also joined the band on keyboards and vocals. She brings a lot to the band with her luscious vocals along with classing up the boys considerably while keeping Jamie in line. We're fortunate to have her.

Jamie Anderson To Join The Rhythm Rockets - July 12, 2007

Jamie Anderson; wunderkind and son of our infamous bassist and vocalist John Anderson is joining The Rhythm Rockets to replace the soon-to-be-departed Rick Bacus on guitar. Rick is leaving to follow other musical pursuits and to focus on his project with Kelly Schell. We will miss Rick and appreciate all the great times we had playing with him. Good luck Rick and get ready Jamie. The ride has just begun!

Legends at Village West Concert - March 26, 2007

The Rhythm Rockets have been invited to play in the Legends at Village West Summer Music Concert Series. Join us outdoors Saturday, July 14th from 5 PM to 8 PM in the central courtyard.

No Go at The Longbranch - March 22, 2007

The Rhythm Rockets won't be playing at The Longbranch this year as they've opted to use another band. Thank you to all that wrote or called in to The Longbranch.

Plaza Live Dates - March 20, 2007

The Rhythm Rockets are back in the saddle again at The Plaza this year for the Plaza Live Music Series. Look for us on the schedule for several dates.

St. Patty's Day Bash - March 7, 2007

The Rhythm Rockets will be closing out the St. Patrick's Day Bash at O'Dowd's in Zona Rosa from 10 PM to 2 AM. Appearing that day are: Bob Reeder, Flannigan's Right Hook, The Kellihans

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