Culver City Observer -

The Lennon Family Legacy Concert

To Celebrate 100 Years Of The Arrival Of Lennons In Venice/Santa Monica Communities

 

Charity Donations Include:

My Stuff Bags Foundation (mystuffbags.org); The Harvest Home (theharvesthome.org); and Santa Monica Bay Woman's Club (smbwc.org)

Tickets are now on sale for The Lennon Family Legacy Concert, Friday and Saturday, July 21 and 22 at the historic Santa Monica Bay Woman's Club, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2949315.

This year's popular, almost-annual reunion concert of the singing Lennon Family will feature the iconic Lennon Sisters, VENICE the band, (who's very name honors the family's hometown legacy) The Lennon Brothers and Gail Lennon, Tom Lennon, The Chills, plus second and third generation singing cousins.

The reunion will honor the arrival of Herbert Lennon and his wife Barbara (a former prima ballerina from Germany) to the area in 1917, recruited by Thomas H. Ince Studio (MGM) to head their public relations department. Beginning with their eight children, from their single union, Bert and Barbara (Betty) Lennon's family has grown to more than 270 descendants (as of this writing), most of whom still reside in the Venice/Santa Monica community.

This year's memorial tributes will be dedicated to Uncle Jimmy Lennon's induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, in recognition of his pioneering career as the sports announcer at the Olympic Auditorium which led to the first televised boxing matches and several movie cameos.

The extensive Lennon legacy throughout the Venice and Santa Monica communities exemplifies good citizenship, social consciousness and civic pride through their ongoing community support with innumerable contributions in the areas of music, sports, real estate, philanthropy and more.

"Just about everyone who lives in this area knows at least one Lennon family member', recounts Kevin Lennon, "If you grew up here you probably went to school with us, dated us, married us, competed against us in sports or bought a house from us."

"We may perform in Branson now, but Venice and Santa Monica will always be our home," mused Kathy Lennon, one of the original Lennon Sisters, whose rise to becoming dubbed "America's Sweethearts", singing for seven U.S. Presidents, starring in their own TV Variety Show and on stages in Las Vegas and Branson. The Lennon Sisters are well known to local residents, launching out of their Venice home and onto The Lawrence Welk Show, in-between doing family chores, attending Saint Mark's grammar school in Venice, and Saint Monica's High School in Santa Monica.

Members of VENICE the band, including sons of both Uncles Bill and Ted, has broadened the family tradition performing as singer/songwriters, as well as cover artists with their incredulous ability to mimic sound-alikes of the original artists. Their new album, Into the Morning Blue, will be released this Summer.

The Lennon Brothers and Gail Lennon, re-capture the good 'ol days of their uncles, covering The Original Lennon Brothers, with an upbeat, nostalgic repertoire of hits from a bygone era, ranging from topical to heartfelt to silly.

Tom Lennon and the Ojai contingent are always an audience favorite; "California Country-Folk-Americana with hooky melodies, warm vocals and great lyrics."

Due to hardships of the 40's and 50's Bert and Betty Lennon rotated through several large, now well-known Venice properties with their eight children (all now deceased), who served in the military and launched careers building the local area:

Bill Lennon, who soloed at The Hollywood Bowl, was a popular Venice milkman and the golf pro at Edgemar (now Marina del Rey) whose efforts with brother Ted launched sports programs for children in the area; brothers Tom and Bob retired from McDonnell Douglas; Jack worked under President John Kennedy for the U.S. State Department; Pat Lennon was a well known Venice realtor; Ted retired after 34 years as executive vice president of Lawrence Welk's diverse developments and investments.

While Venice and Santa Monica have been embracing the changes of a technologically driven society, this unique show is a reminder of the charm and down-to-earth qualities that are also the heritage of Venice and Santa Monica.

 

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