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Richard Marx fundraiser expected to bring $30,000 for JPAC

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
September 18, 2011

The crowd yelled and hooted as Richard Marx stood alone strumming his guitar on center stage under a single spotlight during his opening number Saturday night at the Janesville Performing Arts Center.


Flashes from cameras along with 450 fans filled the 630-seat house as Marx performed an acoustic version of “Endless” summer nights during the seventh anniversary celebration.


The annual fundraiser will boost JPAC’s operating fund by an estimated $30,000, said Betsy Riemer, board president.


Before the concert, about 40 people attended a personal meet-and-greet session with Marx in JPAC’s auditorium.


April Fowler, 30, Madison, was one of them.


“I want to meet him,’’ said Fowler, who has seen Marx perform three other times.


“I was 8 when he hit it big. I love him and have followed him since then,” she said.


Fowler said the appeal of Marx’s is his music and songwriting abilities.


“He’s a great songwriter and his song lyrics can reach so many. He’s so gracious and can connect with fans,’’ she said.


When Fowler got to meet Marx, shake his hand and have her picture taken with him, she told him: “By the way my mother could care less who you are.’’


He said: “Sometimes you get lucky.’


Afterward, Fowler said the experience was cool.


“Now I can check this off my list of people to meet,’’ she said.


For more than two decades, Marx has made his mark on the music industry.


His debut single “Don’t Mean Nothing” and self-titled debut album kicked off his career as a solo artist in 1987 and went on to sell 3 million copies. His 1989 follow-up CD “Repeat Offender,” was even more successful, selling more than 7 million copies worldwide.


From 1987 to 1990, Marx became the first male solo artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the top five on Billboard’s singles chart, including the No. 1 hits “Hold On to the Nights,” “Satisfied,” and “Right Here Waiting.”


In addition to his solo career, Marx has written music for Josh Groban, Keith Urban, ’N Sync and Kenny Rogers.


Marx ended his opening song by shouting “Thank you so much Janesville!’’ which fired up the audience.


The crowd clapped along to the beat of the music when he performed his second number of the night, “Take This Heart,” which was the third single from his 1991 album Rush Street. It hit No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, while reaching number four on the Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S.


Marx will woo more fans today during his sold-out Family Day Show at JPAC.


“It’s very exciting,’’ Riemer said.



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