Rio Nido Roadhouse hosts two-day nostalgia music festival
Time travel isn’t as difficult as science fiction writers make it sound. To revisit the 1940s and ’50s, all you need to do is drive along the Russian River until you reach Rio Nido.
The town can trace its history back to the early 20th century, but the Rio Nido Roadhouse has chosen to celebrate slightly more recent musical history this weekend in a two-day celebration named for the town’s historic motto, “Memories That Linger.”
The nightspot’s music director, Bill McCubbin, 75, grew up visiting Rio Nido with his family on summer vacations and later performed at the roadhouse. Now he books the bands.
For this weekend, he has lined up a night of rock ‘n’ roll and doo-wop music tonight, followed by big band music Saturday, featuring some original members of San Francisco’s Dick Crest Orchestra, once a regular summer attraction in Rio Nido and throughout the Russian River area.
“Both nights should be great,” said Raena Jones, manager of the Rio Nido Roadhouse. “There’ll be lots of memorabilia and photos. I think people are really excited about it.”
Crest, a teacher and band director at the College of San Mateo, died 10 years ago, but musicians from his orchestra will recreate his sound.
The big band night also will feature musical arrangements by Bob Wallace, who wrote music for many of the local big bands that played the Russian River area.
The weekend promises to be nostalgic for those who have been coming to Rio Nido for generations.