It was 51 years ago – 1969 to be precise – that Bob Hupp and his band, The Smoke Ring, performed on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand
Hupp, self-proclaimed as “Nebraska’s most dangerous one-man band” is back in South Texas for a fourth season, still rockin’ and rollin’ like no other.
Hupp, who mainly plays keyboard, but will also program his electronic drums, is a musical encyclopedia, performing songs from the heyday of rock including top songs from artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Ricky Nelson and, just, oh so more.
“I’ll also do some country like Hank Sr. or Hank Jr.,” Hupp said. “I really like the old rock and country and really like to do parties – I’ll really get after it at parties and shows. I’ll throw in some music history and throw out a gazillion little one liners, a little comedy.”
Hupp will perform mainly at South Padre Island. His musical career, which spans more than five decades includes personal appearances with a slew of national recording artists including the Everly Brothers, Tom T. Hall, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chubby Checker, Tiny Tim, Chicago, the Beach Boys, Ted Nugent and more. In 1993, Hupp was inducted into the Nebraska Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and in 2007 was inducted into the Iowa Hall of Fame.
“I’m just an old rock and roller,” he said. “Back in my younger days we made records that got on the charts, even the top five. Rock and roll seems to be trending a little more down here. They still like the old stuff but then it bleeds into the new rock and sometimes the snowbirds request the darndest things – like David Allen Coe or something that comes off the fence a little bit, but I can do about anything from that timeframe forward. I enjoy it.”
Hupp and his wife Pat have been coming to the Valley for the past four years. You can find him at Margarita’s Beach Bar on the Island on Wednesdays (2 p.m. to 5 p.m.) and Fridays (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) or at the Don Wes Flea Market and other events “up and down the Valley,” he said.
Being a musical historian, Hupp has an intriguing look into the history of the top musicians and the greatest songs of all time.
“For sure, you’d have to go back to an Elvis song – maybe Hound Dog or Teddy Bear,” Hupp said when asked what he considered the top rock songs of all time. “Then you have to get to an Eagles song, they just had great stuff like Hotel California. But then there are great dongs from Conway Twitty and Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline or Roy Orbison and Pretty Woman – if you can reproduce his stuff, you’re good. His voice was so high.”
Hupp said the best concert and performer he’s ever seen is without a doubt Garth Brooks, but Roy Clark comes close.
“Garth Brooks is such a showman. He is sincere,” Hupp said. “I played a lot of music with celebrities and some you can read like a book.
This guy is the real deal. My wife and I had the opportunity to get to know him and Tricia Yearwood and they are some of the ones who are so legit that they would come over to you have a sit down to talk.
“Roy Clark was like that too. He would take the time to talk, no matter what he was doing. Those guys are just the best. They are just so sincere in what they do.”
For questions regarding Hupp’s schedule or to book him for a party or show, call (402) 640-7925.
“I would love to play some happy hours or parties,” Hupp said. “I’m ready to run.”
Hupp is at Don Wes Flea Market today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on February 16 at the same time. He will also be performing at Long Board Bar & Grill from 2 to 6 p.m. on February 3, 9, 17 and 23.