Boone Boys

By Kathryn Menue


On Sunday, Aug. 14, The Boone Boys will celebrate their 35 year reunion by performing at the place that launched their music career: the Boone County Fair.

In 1981, The Boone Boys formed to compete in the talent competition at the fair. With their debut at the fair, they won the talent competition and were able to compete at the state level.

From there, the Boone Boys, still teenagers in high school, launched a career in the local music business performing at weddings and other public events.

“We were playing in a working band,” founding member Randy Brown said.

Brown said that the band even became so popular throughout the region that The Boone Boys missed a lot of extracurricular activities in high school since they worked the wedding circuit most Saturday nights.

By the end, Brown figured The Boone Boys probably covered over 500 weddings or about 50 to 75 weddings a year, since the DJ fad hadn’t caught on yet.

He said that he even missed the Homecoming dance where he was elected Homecoming King because he had to cover a wedding.

“Yeah, we played for a lot of $1 dances,” Brown joked.

The Boone Boys popularity stemmed from their oldies musical style. While other teenagers listened to the start of punk rock music like Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, and Ozzy Osbourne, The Boone Boys specialized in harmony music from the 1950s through the 1970s, with an emphasis on the 70s music of the Eagles.

“Part of what made us so unique was you had these young 20-year-old guys playing our parent’s music,” Brown said. “That’s something that set The Boone Boys apart: the harmonies.”

The love for harmonizing music stemmed from Brown’s mother who was in a band as a teenager as well. She came from a family of 10 siblings who all played instruments and banded together to form a country group.

When Brown and his brother Jeff became old enough, his mother “expected” them to learn an instrument.

Randy learned how to play the guitar and Jeff learned how to play the accordion. However, the accordion didn’t stick for him because it wasn’t the “cool” instrument to play. So, he later switched to the bass guitar.

“For the first few years, she [Browns’ mom] just taught us what she knew at home,” Randy Brown said.

When they became teenagers, the Brown boys decided to start a band together. Randy knew of a classmate Dan Anderson who played the drums and recruited him to join the band. When they went over to his home to practice, they learned that Anderson’s brother Ron played the keyboard, and they were set.

The four musicians: Randy Brown as lead singer and guitarist, Jeff Brown as lead bass guitarist, Dan Anderson on drums, and Ron Anderson on the keyboard, comprised the foundation of The Boone Boys.

“Two sets of brothers was a unique band,” Randy Brown said.

In 1989, the band expanded to include lead guitarist Dan Ege.

Along with weddings, the band continued to play the fair every year for 25 years. After 25 years, The Boone Boys decided to retire.

“We’re all at the age where our kids are taking up a lot of our time and attention and our grandkids too for some of us,” Brown said.

Even though The Boone Boys retired, the members didn’t give up their love of music. All of the members have played on and off with various bands.

In 2011, they decided to reform to celebrate their 30 year reunion at the Boone County Fair.

Now, in 2016, The Boone Boys are back to celebrate their 35 year reunion at the fair. They will perform at the fair on Sunday, Aug. 14 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Entertainment Pavilion.

However, Brown said that does not mean they are looking to “kick-off a new band.” They are just celebrating The Boone Boys history together by playing the music they love at the place where they started performing.

“We just do a couple of shows a year for the fun of it,” Brown said.

The 2016 Boone County Fair will be extra special since they are updating their old act a bit to include their friend Kyler Hartje and Jeff Brown’s son Justin Brown on the guitar and keyboard.

Plus, The Boone Boys will offer their old CDs from the 90s for sale to audience members. They also will release their new CD, with the working title: “Retrospective.” The new CD is comprised of their “unreleased collection and new material.”

The Boone Boys have a lot to look forward to at the fair, including interacting with their fan base after a five-year gap of fair performances.

“It’s a once in a five year opportunity for us to reconnect with folks,” Brown said.

The Boone Boys hope for a good turnout since they have received great feedback from all of their Facebook followers who are looking forward to their show.

Brown said that’s the reason why the Boone County Fair is so special, because it is the event that helped build their fan base.

“When we look at all of the shows we’ve done over the last 35 years, we felt the most appreciated at the fair,” Brown said. “It’s a more personal connection. It’s one of those venues where sure there’s a fair going on around you, but in that place, it’s almost like [a] one on one [connection with the crowd].”


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