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Rich Engler will enhance dance at Stockdale

| Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, 5:57 p.m.
Rich Engler (right) welcomes former Beatles and Wings legend Paul McCartney to Pittsburgh.
Rich Engler (right) welcomes former Beatles and Wings legend Paul McCartney to Pittsburgh.

Rich Engler, longtime concert promoter and the first inductee in the Pittsburgh Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will be a special guest at the All Oldies, Only Oldies dance April 5 at the Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department's community social center.

Engler will present a pre-dance program at 7:30 p.m. and will then be available for autographs and pictures. Copies of his autobiography, “Behind The Stage Door: A Promoter's Life Behind The Scenes,” (published by Music Works, $24.95) will be on sale (cash or credit card), with portions of the proceeds going to the Cancer Caring Center, which provides free services to cancer patients.

Memorabilia from Engler's 40-plus years in the business will be on display at the social center and will include classic guitars from such artists as The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, the Everly Brothers, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Bon Jovi, James Brown and Smokey Robinson. This will be the first public showing of the memorabilia.

The April 5 dance will run from 8 p.m. to midnight and will feature disc jockey Ralph Trilli, co-host of Cruisin' Sunday on WJPA in Washington, with music from the 1950s and early 1960s.

Tickets for the BYOE (Bring Your Own Everything – food and beverages) affair are $10 per person and tables of eight or more are available. Seating will be limited to 600 and reservations can be made by calling 724-330-5002.

The fire department will provide free refreshments (not pop).

Engler, a native of Creighton and a graduate of East Deer Frazier High School, began booking concerts at theaters and colleges in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio in the late 1960s. In a move to graduate to bigger venues he joined forces in 1973 with another Pittsburgh promoter, Pat DiCesare, to form DiCesare-Engler Productions, which became one of the most respected and successful concert promotion teams in the United States.

They promoted some of the best and most popular acts in the world including the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Fleetwood Mac, the Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Madonna, Aerosmith and Genesis.

DiCesare-Engler Productions was sold in 1998 but Engler, a resident of Sewickley Heights in Allegheny County, remains busy, on a limited basis, as a promoter and music producer.

Engler's autobiography offers a personal and poignant reminiscence of his career.

Engler's success and influence on the entertainment industry was recognized Jan. 23 when he became the first inductee into the Pittsburgh Rock ‘N' Roll Hall of Fame, created by the Hard Rock Café and the Cancer Caring Center. The award was presented at a gala at the Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh by Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Foundation.

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