When the July 4th Celebration team went looking for a big-name entertainer to headline the event's free public concert, The Grass Roots name popped into mind.
"You may not know who they are but I'll bet if you search through those albums you bought in the '60s and '70s, you'll come across The Grass Roots because they had a ton of hits," said Nancy Cross of Brainerd Community Action, who heads up the Celebration's planning team.
The original version of The Grass Roots emerged on the music recording scene in the early 1960s, eventually recording 14 Top 40 hits, including seven gold singles and one platinum single, with various renditions of the group.
The latest version came together around one of the original members, lead singer Rob Grill, in recent years, and the group continues to perform about 100 dates a year.
The Grass Roots will perform at 8 p.m. July 4 at Don Adamson Field.
The folk-rock group is best-known for a series of major hits -- "Let's Live for Today," "Midnight Confessions," "Temptation Eyes" and others -- which kept The Grass Roots' music on the Billboard charts for 307 straight weeks, according to the group's promotional material.
With more than 20 million record sales worldwide, The Grass Roots is one of most popular folk-rock bands of all time, ranking 10th all-time with the number of hits on Billboard's Top 100, according to the material.
"In a celebration like ours, you've got to have music that is upbeat and spans time," Cross said. "The Grass Roots came up in our search ... because their music is familiar to all ages."
It's been a long time since The Grass Roots charted a new song, but the band has continued to perform on the oldie's music circuit.
Over the years, it has appeared regularly on national television programs, including "The Today Show," "Dick Clark's American Bandstand," and MTV.
In 1982, The Grass Roots set a live concert attendance record when 600,000 people showed up for the group's performance in Washington, D.C., the promotional material says.
The Celebration officially opens June 30 with a picnic at Camp Confidence for the developmentally disabled and their caregivers.
It concludes July 4 with a razzle-dazzle fireworks display at nightfall.
In between the family oriented Celebration will offer antique car shows, live music entertainment, the traditional Arts in the Park and a 120-piece parade.
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