Music in the Park
The Doctors Band has rocked
the region for 33 years
The popular group will play at ‘Music in the Park’ in July
Music in the Park
• July 13: The Doctors Band
• Aug. 10: The Rumors
• Sept. 14: J.D. Shelburne (Opening act: The Ziesemers)
• Information: (812) 493-4984
(July 2018) – People go to a doctor’s office when they need to feel better. Since 1985, a Madison, Ind. area group of local doctors have been bringing the good feeling out of the office and to the people.
Oral surgeon Dr. David Butler has been with the Doctor’s Band since it started in 1985.
“We are like the Rolling Stones,” he said. “We never stop. We keep saying we will do another CD, but we are too disorganized to get it done.”
Originally, the band consisted of all doctors.
“When I came back to Madison in ’85, Dr. Rick Nallinger, Dr. Alcorn and Dr. Ken Harding were talking about starting a band,” said Dr. Butler. “We all decided to pull it together. Mark Johnson and Tom Kennedy came on board and completed the horn section, so we were off and running.”
By the end of the first year, some of the band members moved away.
“Some of the originals retired and new members found their way into the band,” Butler continued.
Joe Perkinson was one of the new members.
“I was a professional musician,” said Perkinson, a Milton, Ky. resident. “The previous drummer recommended me, and I have been with them since 1995. It is a good friendship – like a girl’s bunco party.”
Photo by John Sheckler
The Doctors Band includes (front row from left) Dave Butler, Mark Johnson, Joe Perkinson, (back row from left) George Alcorn, Tom Kennedy, Rick Bennett, Jenny Rowlett, Ken Harding and Chris Watson.
Fun seems to be the driving force with the band.
The Main Street Program is constantly working to improve the quality of life for area residents,” Perry added. “We also bolster economic development for downtown Madison. We do this by hosting community events, seeking out grant funding for needed projects (such as the Mulberry Street project), offering workshops for downtown business owners, working to recruit new businesses, and much more.”
“We go to rehearsal and have a good time,” Perkinson continued. “It is not a job, just something we enjoy doing.”
The horn section stayed basically the same, but a big change came in 2017 when registered nurse Jenny Rowlett joined to sing and play keyboard.
“She added a lot to the band and expanded our capability,” said Butler. “It allowed us to do some female vocal songs. There were some nice things to do that we haven’t done for a while.”
“I like everything about the band,” said Rowlee. “Their music and professionalism is very good, and I like the stuff I get to sing. It challenges me.”
When Rowlee is singing, there may be songs from Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight or Tina Turner.
The band is scheduled to play the Madison (Ind.) Main Street Program’s “Music in the Park” Series ay 7 p.m. Friday, July 13. An opening act yet to be announced will play at 6 p.m.
It is a free, family-friendly concert around the beautiful Broadway Fountain. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and dancing shoes and be prepared to dance the night away. There will be three locally owned food and beverage vendors available. Chubby and Fatts, Frazer Dogs and Kona Ice will begin serving at 5 p.m.
“Music in the Park has been ongoing for more than 20 years and is still a community favorite event,’ said Main Street Executive Director Victoria Perry. “We typically see between 600 to 1,000 people per concert. You will see both community members and visitors and people from all walks of life. It truly is fun for everyone.”
“It is the greatest stress reliever of all time,” said Butler. “The band has a great time. We have fun and it keeps us sane.”
Later this year, the Main Street Program will be playing host to two more Music in the Park events, several Fourth Friday events, a Summer Sidewalk Sale, the third annual Farm to Table Dinner, a Downtown Open House and Small Business Saturday.
“On average, we host 20 or more downtown events each year,” Perry continued. “In August, we will have The Rumors playing, and September will be J.D. Shelburne. We are excited to have some fantastic bands playing for us.”
The secret to success for the Doctor’s Band may be the variety of music they play. “We play pretty good dance stuff,” said Butler. “We also have classic soul, and rock.”
Some of the band members also play in a local Dixieland band, so the horn section is always working hard.
“There is a lot of stuff we want to do,” said Butler.
Not that many local venues can use a band that big. They have played at the Electric Lady and the Broadway Tap Room. Broadway fountain performances may be the perfect fit for the band.
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