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Earth, Wind & Fire Appreciates Its Longevity

Of the Oakland Press

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After nearly 40 years of performing in a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career, frontman Philip Bailey calls Earth, Wind & Fire’s body of work “the treasure chest of songs.” And he says that helps the R&B group appreciate its longevity that much more.

“We realize it’s such a rarity for a band to do the kind of business we’re able to do, internationally, after being around so long,” says Bailey, 57, who’s soaring falsetto is the hallmark of many EWF hits. “When you see the houses and people still singing your songs, you just go, ‘Wow, thank God.’ It’s not to be taken for granted.”

EWF isn’t just resting on the old hits, however. The group is planning a new package for 2009 that will feature a full album of new songs as well as a live CD and concert DVD — and will probably be distributed exclusively through a large retail chain such as Wal-Mart or Target.

“Our management has done this twice with (the Eagles and Journey, both via Wal-Mart) and they’ve expressed interest in doing this with Earth, Wind & Fire,” Bailey says. “That’s the new thing today.

“The good thing is we have a history and a catalog and everything, so you don’t have to ‘break’ us. We’re still viable. Now they’re able to make really good deals and make more money for (the acts), so it’s a pretty good day for us old guys.”

Earth, Wind & Fire performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (July 27) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $42.50 pavilion, $15 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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