Band members came and went, the music remained rock solid.

Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock.com
Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock.com

Friday, March 27  

“Carry On Wayward Son,” “Dust in the Wind,” “Point of Know Return,” Journey From Mariabronn” and “Can I Tell You” are just some of Kansas’ records that defined rock in the ‘70s, a sound that would echo through the years in the band’s legendary albums and during its astounding performances. Contributing largely to the classic rock that we know and love today, Kansas celebrated its 40th year of rocking, talent and stardom in 2014. Playing out of a garage in Topeka, Kansas, to on stages around the world, Kansas morphed band mates and band names throughout its career. Early on, the band’s name went from The Reasons Why to Saratoga to Kansas before merging with White Clover members Dave Hope and Phil Ehart. This switching around of talents continued through the years. Kansas’ 1974 self-titled debut album boasted the sounds of Phil Ehart, Dave Hope, Kerry Livgren, Robby Steinhardt, Steve Walsh and Rich Willams. The same roster would carry on to create Song for America (1974), Masque (1975), Leftoverture (1976), Point of Know Return (1977), Two for the Show (1978) and the list goes on, until the 1982 Vinyl Confessions when Walsh left and John Elefante was added on keyboards and vocals. Robby Steinhardt’s sound would be missing from the 1983 Drastic Measures and on the 1986 Power album, Livgren and Hope would leave, and Walsh would return with the sounds of Billy Greer and Steve Morse, adding to Kansas’ shifting but always focused sound. Freaks of Nature in 1995 no longer included Morse, and David Ragsdale and Greg Robert were welcomed. In 2000, the original line-up reunited, along with Billy Greer, in Somewhere to Elsewhere. Phil Ehart and Rich Williams would be the only two artists to secure their talents on all of Kansas’ albums. Today, the touring band includes guitarist Billy Greer, violinist Dave Ragsdale, guitarist Richard Williams, lead vocalist Ronnie Platt and keyboardist David Manion. Continually electrifying eardrums as Kansas, they will be at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort on Friday, March 27. For more information, visit www.grandresortok.com.