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O. C. LIVE

Rawls, Wynette, Setzer Among Acts Coming to Smaller Stage

July 11, 1996|MIKE BOEHM | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Even the venue is an oldie this year at the Orange County Fair. After using the now-closed Pacific Amphitheatre in 1994-95 and playing single performances, fair headliners will be back at the smaller Arlington Theater, doing two shows a night.

The bookings aren't quite state of the art, either, but there's nothing new in that for the conservatively booked fair, which generally follows the gospel according to Chubby Checker: "Let's twist again, like we did last summer."

Fans of rootsy rock 'n' roll, country and R&B get the best break. The Brian Setzer Orchestra (July 23) places the former Stray Cats singer-guitarist in a swinging big-band setting, and Billy Vera and the Beaters (Saturday) lay on rhythm and blues with a sure sense of its history.

Lou Rawls (July 25) and jazz singer Diane Schuur (July 19) give the fair two respected song stylists, and the trade that brought country heroine Tammy Wynette (July 18) onto the schedule in place of Starship was one of the best O.C. has had since the Angels got Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi.

Kool & the Gang (July 24), with lead singer James Taylor (no, not that James Taylor) back in the fold, is a good bet for a funky party; the sinuous, slinky synth sound Kool inaugurated with its mid-'70s hit, "Summer Madness," has become a staple of contemporary rap production.

The Temptations (Wednesday) have a classic Motown catalog and stage professionalism that makes them a reliable bet. Beatlemaniacs can check out the Rembrandts (July 22), doing occasionally interesting original knockoffs of the Fabs' thing, unless, of course, they would rather soak up Rain (Sunday), a Beatles tribute band that offers note-for-note knockoffs of the Fabs' thing.

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Orange County Fair Concert Schedule

The complete schedule is as follows, with admission to all shows included in the regular fair gate price. Performances are at 7 and 9 p.m. on each date listed. An interpreter is provided for the hearing impaired.

Friday--Little Texas

Saturday--Billy Vera and the Beaters

Sunday--Rain

Monday--Blessid Union of Souls

Tuesday--Eddie Money

Wednesday--The Temptations

July 18--Tammy Wynette

July 19--Diane Schuur

July 20--Disco Nite featuring the Trammps, Vicki Sue Robinson, Deney Terrio and Rose Royce

July 21--Crystal Gayle

July 22--The Rembrandts

July 23--The Brian Setzer Orchestra

July 24--Kool and the Gang

July 25--Lou Rawls

July 26--Emilio

July 27--Ty Herndon

July 28--Paul Rodriguez

Los Angeles Times

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