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Woman’s band takes listeners Back in Time

PAULETTE BALLARD
Guest Columnist

Last Friday evening I was invited to Hardees to hear a friend of mine play in a band I had never heard before. Linda Gladden plays the drums with this group and I had heard she was quite talented. I was not disappointed after listening to them play.
Linda has been playing drums since she was 13 years old. Her husband, Joe, bought her a set of drums before they married and she still uses them. She began playing the drums with her dad, her brother, two cousins and Trudy and Lamar Meeks. The band was called The Starlighters. The Starlighters played for many years and at one time appeared on the Arthur Smith Show in the early 1960s. They also played at Chimney Rock, Myrtle Beach, a rest home in Cherryville, a rest home in Boger City and at all the Republican conventions held in and around the area. Linda played with this band until her father passed away 25 years ago.
The band she plays in now, Back in Time, has been together for approximately five years. Linda, Ronnie Avery, Pat Keener, Sonny Wise and James Gantt make up the band. Each member of the band takes part, singing and playing different songs and they are very entertaining.
They play music from a combination of genres. They began their set by singing and playing “Bad Moon on the Rise,” “Golden Rings,” “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,” “The Tennessee Waltz” and several other songs that mostly older people knew the words to. As they played, quite a few couples began dancing. It was so refreshing to watch these golden ages having such a wonderful time.
I had been told Linda could make her drums come alive when she played “Wipeout.” I was sitting in front of the band and after they had been playing for about 45 minutes I asked them to play “Wipeout.” I was blown away at the talent Linda has with her drums. There was not an empty seat in Hardee’s that night, and after the band finished this song, the entire crowd clapped, whistled and shouted enthusiastically. The look on Linda’s face was one of a shy person who did not want recognition — she just enjoys being part of this band.
If you have the opportunity to hear Back in Time play don’t hesitate to go.
Paulette Ballard collects interesting, funny and unusual stories from people in and around Lincoln County. If you have a story you would like to submit for her column, e-mail it to pballardnc1029@yahoo.com. In the subject line type “For your column.” Include your name and phone number for her to contact you.

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