By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Flash back to music memories with Back in Time
Rock n roll band to play Aug. 8 at Smithgall Arts Center in downtown Gainesville
Back in Time will blast listeners into the past with its rock ’n’ roll sounds at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, at The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center in downtown Gainesville. Band members include Jonathan Jackson, Bob Cowles, Tom Wallace, Michael Crook, Rory Crook, Mercer Crook, Glenn Brown, John Harriman and Chuck McKissik.

Back in Time

When: 8 p.m. Aug. 8

Where: Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center, 331 Spring St., Gainesville

Cost: $20 adults, $18 students and seniors

More info: or 770-534-2787

Sometimes one song is all it takes to bring back a flood of good memories of times gone by.

Now, Gainesville residents can relive those memories with a little help from the Back in Time band.

The band will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, on the lawn of the Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center at 331 Spring St. in downtown Gainesville. Gates open at 6 p.m. for participants wanting to indulge in a picnic meal. Food will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for students and seniors and $200 for a table of eight. Attendees also are invited to bring lawn chairs to sit back and listen to the music.

Formed in 2009, the band brings rock ’n’ roll back to life with a four-piece horn section and a passion for music.

“This is the music I grew up with in high school and college,” band manager Mercer Crook said. “It’s music you can dance to.”

Crook, who plays the keyboard and percussion and contributes to some of the vocals, has had a love of playing music all his life.

“I paid my way through college playing this music,” he said. “I have a passion for all music.”

Though the band has only been around for six years, it was a dream for much longer for Crook. The former East Hall High School band director put his personal passion on hold while he pursued his career of teaching young band students.

“It was on the back burner for 35 years,” Crook said. “It was always an itch I needed to scratch.”

Soon, the time came for him to make the dream a reality.

All it took was a few calls to friends and family members and a little persuasion to find the perfect mix of musical talent. Thus, the nine-member band was born.

The band is composed of a group of close-knit friends and family, including Crook’s friends from his college days and his two sons, Michael and Rory.

“It’s quite a relationship,” Crook said.

Members include Jonathan Jackson, lead vocals and guitar; Bob Cowles, saxophone and vocals; Tom Wallace, trumpet and vocals; Michael Crook, trumpet, percussion and vocals; Rory Crook, trombone, percussion and vocals; Glenn Brown, lead guitar and vocals; John Harriman, bass and vocals; and finally Chuck McKissik, who plays percussion.

Most of the musical bases are covered when it comes to band members who range from arrangers and conductors to freelance musicians and even former University of Georgia Redcoat band members.

Because of the talent within the group, they are able to arrange pieces identical to original songs.

The band enjoys playing all of the rock classics and beach tunes, such as “Beach Fever,” J.J. Jackson’s “But It’s Alright” and even newer pieces from artists like Michael Buble.

One of the band’s favorites is a Chicago Medley, which Crook says allows the band to really highlight its four-piece horn section.

All in all, Crook said he is happy to be part of the band and return to where it all started in Northeast Georgia.

“I’m excited to get to play in front of my hometown,” he said. “We have a good following there. I’m blessed to be able to do this and to enjoy it as much as I do.”

For more information, call The Arts Center at 770-534-2787 or visit