Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Kansas carries on tour to Northampton

This Saturday night, 70s progressive rock band Kansas will perform at the Calvin Theater in Northampton. The band is known for its unique album covers and diverse prog rock sound, but its relevance today relies solely on three hit songs.

“Carry On Wayward Son,” off Kansas’s forth album “Leftoverture,” recently regained popularity after being featured in interactive music video games Guitar Hero and Rock Band, in addition to being on the “Happy Gilmore” and “Anchorman” soundtracks. “Leftoverture” was released in 1976, but in 1977, the band released their most famous and successful album, “Point of Know Return.”


Both “Dust in the Wind” and the title-track, “Point of Know Return,” dove right into the Billboard Top 40 lists, and both still find air time on the radio today. In the 2003 movie “Old School,” Comedian actor Will Ferrell sang “Dust in the Wind” to a fallen fraternity brother Joseph “Blue” Palasky. The down-to-earth song was recently featured in a Subaru commercial as well.

While most certainly the least known song of the three, “Point of Know Return” was used in a State Farm Insurance commercial and was referred to as a “guilty pleasure.” Nevertheless, just like fellow prog rockers Yes and Styx, Kansas has retained enough of a fan base to tour frequently today.

While still led by original lead singer and keyboardist, Steve Walsh, the band has changed quite a bit over the years. Drummer Phil Ehart and lead guitarist Richard Williams remain of the founding members, as the author of their two biggest songs, Kerry Livgren, and bassist Dave Hope have moved on. Today, the remaining spots in the band are comprised of Dave Ragsdale on violin and guitar and bassist Billy Greer.

Kansas, which was originally named White Clover when it was founded in 1970 according to, is the second band celebrating 40 years since its founding to visit the Calvin in a month’s time; America played on Oct. 15. There are still plenty of tickets available to see the Topeka-based classic rockers. Prices range from $35-$45.

Justin Gagnon can be reached at [email protected].
Correction made on Nov. 6, 2010 at 7:28 p.m.

View Comments (3)
More to Discover

Comments (3)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • C

    Coleridge HastingsNov 8, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Hey Bill Lee…

    Don’t pretend to be just a casual Kansas fan laying some knowledge on the writer. Casual Kansas fans don’t exist. Go away. No one cares.

  • M

    MarcelNov 7, 2010 at 5:46 am

    See Kansas! You won’t regret it.

  • B

    Bill LeeNov 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Rich Williams is an original member, and the earlier band was called White Clover, not Clover. As I said in my email to you, your age is showing and so is your ignorance of this legendary Kansas band. Did you even consult the band’s website?