Popular musical duo returns to Ironton

Published 10:26 am Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IRONTON — Coming back to their roots and their hometown, the fashionable musical duo of Christian & James will be returning to Ironton for a four-night stand Memorial Day week.

Founded in the 1990’s, the duo toured for several years before going their separate ways in 2000. However, following an eight-year hiatus, Wally Christian and James Waldo found their musical calling again and reunited in November.

“Things are going very well for us,” said Christian, who sings and plays guitar. “We’re proud of being from Ironton. This is our home.”

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The schedule for the upcoming week of shows is: Monday, May 25, Fuzzy Duck Bar & Grill; Tuesday, May 26, Frog Town; Wednesday, May 27, The End Zone and Thursday, May 28, Fuzzy Duck Bar & Grill.

All shows are from 5 to 8 p.m. and have free admission.

In the 1970s, while recording for United Artists and MCA Records, fellow Ironton resident Bobby Bare took Christian under his wing when the latter returned from Vietnam in 1969.

Spending years on the road as a touring musician, Christian worked with big country names like George Jones, Merle Haggard and Lloyd Price. Tired of touring, Christian returned to Ironton and teamed up with Waldo who at the time was a bar owner and practicing attorney. Together they recorded the album “Just Passin’ Thru.”

Keyboardist and vocalist Waldo is a veteran of numerous blues bands. Collectively, the two men have played music for eight decades. Their songbook includes material popularized by Jimmy Buffett, George Jones, James Taylor, Nat King Cole, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Louis Armstrong and about a dozen of Bare’s songs including “Detroit City” and “500 Miles Away From Home.”

The duo hosted a major show in 1994 for Ironton’s local musicians and spends much of their current time playing bars, nightclubs and restaurants in their adopted home of Florida.