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Breathless

Friday, July 30, at the Jackson-Belden Food Festival, Kent State Stark Track, N. Canton.

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Back in 1978, Breathless had all the makings of a successful rock band. It was the first group that guitarist-songwriter-vocalist Jonah Koslen formed after leaving Cleveland's beloved Michael Stanley Band, thus giving it an immediate and enthusiastic fan base. So it wasn't surprising that the group's self-titled debut got heavy airplay on WMMS, arguably the biggest and most influential radio station in the country at the time. As a result, songs such as "Takin' It Back," "Glued to the Radio," "Walk Right In," and "Wild Weekend" became fast favorites, and the band often opened for such national acts as Eddie Money, Kenny Loggins, and Kiss.

But as with many other promising bands, Koslen's initial vision changed a few times, both in members and musical direction. By 1981, the group, after two releases on EMI-America Records, was indeed Breathless and ultimately called it quits.

Koslen resuscitated Breathless for a 1998 reunion. Since then, the band lives on, if only for a few gigs a year. Today's Breathless includes Rodney Psyka (percussion-vocals), Alan Greene (lead guitar), Tommy Dobeck (drums), Bill March (bass-vocals), and Rik Williger (keyboards-harmonica-vocals).

"We always get a good response and have fun doing it," Koslen says. "It's great to perform for lots of people. A good time had by all."

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