Tickets are now on sale for The Lennon Family Benefit Concert, Friday and Saturday, July 21 and 22, at the historic Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2949315. This year’s popular, almost-annual reunion concert of the singing Lennon Family will feature the iconic Lennon Sisters, VENICE the band, The Lennon Brothers and Gail Lennon, plus second and third generation singing cousins whose family roots are intertwined inseparably with the growth of the Venice/Santa Monica areas.
The Lennon Family Concert will continue their signature multi-generational style of mixing good-natured stories with humor and incomparable family harmonies. Its inclusive nature serves as the very casual yet sincere invitation for generations of friends, former classmates, neighbors and colleagues to reconnect, reminisce and reunite through the power of music and harmony and laughter.
The Lennon Family Benefit Concert will honor the arrival of Herbert Lennon and his beautiful wife Barbara (a former prima ballerina from Germany) to the area in 1917. He was recruited by Thomas H. Ince Studio (MGM) to head their PR department. This year’s memorial tributes will be dedicated to Uncle Jimmy Lennon’s induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, in recognition of his pioneering career as the sports announcer at the Olympic Auditorium which lead to the first televised boxing matches and cameos in several movies. Also being honored is their beloved Aunt Jeanette Lennon who most recently passed away. Beginning with their eight children, from their single union, Bert and Barbara (Betty) Lennon’s family has grown to over 270 descendants (as of this writing) most of whom still reside in the Venice/Santa Monica community.
Musical tributes are also a signature feature of the Lennon family concerts: 2015 celebrated the unprecedented musical group feat of The Lennon Sisters ‘ 60th year in show business. This year highlights the release of “Out of the Blue”, the new album by European sensation and home grown talent, VENICE the band, whose very name honors the family’s hometown loyalty.
The extensive Lennon legacy throughout the Venice and Santa Monica communities exemplifies good citizenship, social consciousness and civic pride through their ongoing community support with innumerable contributions in the areas music, sports, real estate, philanthropy and more.
“Just about everyone who lives in this area knows at least one Lennon family member, recounts Virgie Lennon, who produces the event along with a varying cast of cousins. “If you grew up here, you probably went to school with us, dated us, married us, competed against us in sports or bought a house from us.”
“We may perform in Branson now, but Venice and Santa Monica will always be our home,” mused Kathy Lennon, one of the original Lennon Sisters, whose rise to becoming dubbed “America’s Sweethearts”, singing for seven U.S. Presidents, starring in their own TV Variety Show and on stages in Las Vegas and Branson, is well-known to local residents, launching out of their Venice home and onto The Lawrence Welk Show, in-between doing family chores and attending Saint Mark’s grammar school in Venice and Saint Monica’s HS in Santa Monica.
The Lennon Sisters
Arguably America’s First Cover Act, The Lennon Sisters’ ever-evolving body of work continues to pay homage to the vocalists they admire, following the precedent of The Lennon Brothers, a singing harmony act of their father, Bill, and uncles Ted, Bob and Pat. Bill, who soloed at The Hollywood Bowl, was a popular Venice milkman and the golf pro at Marina del Rey, who’s efforts with brother Ted launched sports programs for children in the area. Brothers Tom and Bob worked and retired from McDonnell Douglas while Jack worked for the U.S. State Department under President John Kennedy. Pat Lennon was a well known Venice realtor, and Ted retired after 34 years as Executive VP of Lawrence Welk’s many developments and investments.
Members of VENICE the band, including sons of both Uncles Bill and Ted, has broadened the family tradition as cover artists with their incredulous ability to mimic sound-alikes of the original artists, augmented by VENICE’s talent for their original songs.
The Lennon Brothers and Gail Lennon
The Lennon Brothers and Gail Lennon, re-capture the good ‘ol days of their uncles, The Original Lennon Brothers, with an upbeat, nostalgic repertoire of hits from a bygone era, ranging from topical to heartfelt to silly.
The Next Generations of Lennon Musical Talent
Besides the memorial and musical tributes, The Lennon Legacy Concert will demonstrate a one-of-a kind tribute to the power of family: it will feature many of the cousins, grandchildren and great grandchildren, grooming the next generations of Lennon musical talent, who promise to be refreshingly inspired, encouraged and honored to sing with their seasoned elders.
While Venice and Santa Monica have been embracing the changes of a technologically driven society, this unique show is a reminder of the charm and down-to-earth qualities that are also the heritage of Venice and Santa Monica.