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Smothers Brothers, Darlene Love, Garrison Keillor highlight busy June at Bankhead Theater

Also: Art space to be renamed UNCLE Credit Union Art Gallery after $100,000 deal

The Bankhead Theater in downtown Livermore is ushering in the end of spring and beginning of summer with a slate of standout performers -- many well-known nationwide -- for the rest of June.

And tickets remain available for all shows on the docket, except for the sold-out run by The Smothers Brothers set for Monday and Tuesday. 

The schedule begins this Friday (June 10) with Garrison Keillor, of "A Prairie Home Companion" fame, joined by special guests Robin and Linda Williams at 8 p.m. Keillor's sonnets, limericks and humorous stories will intersperse among Keillor and the Williamses singing their favorite songs.

That is followed the next night (June 11) with "Winter Dance Party," a tribute show to all three musical stars immortalized on that fateful "day the music died" in 1959 -- Buddy Holly (performed here by John Mueller), the Big Bopper (Linwood Sasser) and Ritchie Valens (Ray Anthony). The show aims to re-create the final tour of the three musicians before they were killed together in a plane crash.

Next up are back-to-back appearances by the famed comedy duo and former TV stars The Smothers Brothers, whose shows on Monday and Tuesday are currently sold out. 

As next weekend dawns, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy -- who were at the forefront of the swing revival in the 1990s -- are playing the Bankhead next Friday night (June 17). 

To commemorate Juneteenth, the U.S. holiday recognizing the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African-Americans in 1865, the Bankhead will host two free community events – "Juneteenth: Steps of Faith" featuring Livermore motivational speaker, radio personality and comedian Faith Alpher on June 18, and in partnership with Tri-Valley for Black Lives a "Juneteenth Celebration" in the Bankhead Plaza on June 19. 

Budding singer-songwriter and Pleasanton native Lauryn Marie, whose music blends folk, indie rock and bedroom pop, will be on the Bankhead stage June 24 at 5:30 p.m.

On June 25, the Bankhead will welcome a Grammy winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Darlene Love performing her chart-topping hits -- and more. 

And bringing the hits of another famed singer-songwriter, whose songs are part of the "tapestry" of America's music history, to Livermore on June 26 will be the tribute group, "The Music of Carole King."

For ticket information and the full Bankhead schedule, visit LivermoreArts.org. 

In other recent news, Livermore Valley Arts officials announced earlier this week that the Bankhead's art gallery space will be getting a new title starting July 1 under a $100,000 naming rights deal with UNCLE Credit Union. 

With the charitable contribution, the gallery will bear the financial firm's name through June 30, 2027 -- the UNCLE Credit Union Art Gallery. 

In addition to all gallery spaces at the downtown Livermore venue, the new name will cover the the downstairs lobby, the ramps leading to the theater and the founders room at the Bankhead Theater

"Supporting Livermore arts and cultural programing helps us to continue to build up our surrounding communities, and this investment in the UNCLE Credit Union Art Gallery is but another step in championing our local community," UNCLE Credit Union President & CEO Harold Roundtree said in a statement. 

"Deepening our partnerships with Livermore Valley Arts in this way ensures the current and future enrichment of our city and surrounding areas, from everything from stimulating business and economic growth, to giving our next generations programming and opportunities to learn and grow," he said. 

Livermore Valley Arts Board Chair Denise Watkins added, "After the challenging last two years, Livermore Valley Arts is back on the right track for the highest quality arts here in the Tri-Valley, and this deepened partnership and investment from UNCLE Credit Union will only further ensure the highest quality exhibitions and artists coming through our community."