River Cities Gazette

John Rhodes brings back the nostalgia with performance at Miami Springs Country Club

 

River Cities Gazette

John Rhodes brought the magic of the good ol’ days back to the Miami Springs Country Club on Saturday, May 3. John, the last living member of the Rhodes Brothers, didn’t miss a note with his singing and comedy and the crowd was delighted.

It was the first time Rhodes had presented the show without his multi-talented brother, Eddie Rhodes, who passed away in November 2012. Although Eddie is irreplaceable, Mark Friedman stepped in. A consummate entertainer, Friedman played keyboard, sang and exchanged comedic banter with Rhodes.

A glamorous spark was added when Friedman’s wife, Rodi Alexander, joined the performance. Alexander’s singing and dancing in a red, tasseled dress and high heels took the show to new heights.

Besides providing a generous dose of nostalgia to a full house, proceeds from the dinner and show benefitted First Draft Production’s S.H.I.N.E. Project for domestic violence awareness.

The four Rhodes Brothers – Ruey, John, Tom and Eddie – rode a wave of popularity for more than fifty years, appearing on national TV shows and owning their own nightclub. Oldest brother Ruey left the group in the 1970s to perform on his own and Tom eventually moved on, but John and Eddie continued performing, much to the delight of their fans.

For countless years, the Rhode Brothers were the closing act at the River Cities Festival. Backed by the popular local band Room Service, John and Eddie performed in the Gazebo to a packed crowd.

While straight-man John projected smooth normalcy, Eddie was a wild man, dancing with women from the audience and whipping the crowd into a fun-filled frenzy.

The Rhodes Brothers/Miami Springs connection goes back more than fifty years. At the age of 21, John bought his first house on Raven Avenue. Both John and Eddie lived here at one time and Eddie was a resident when he passed away. His widow Karen still lives here.

The last time John and Eddie performed together was at Eddie’s Riverside Grill (now Crackers) and last Saturday’s show was particularly poignant for John.

“It’s very emotional for all of us,” said Karen Rhodes. “A big part of our hearts is missing.”

John has lived in Daytona Beach for ten years and now works as a hearing aid specialist.

“This is the first show I’ve done since Eddie died,” said John. “Mark is a genius for putting it together.”

John said he would be doing future shows with Friedman, his longtime friend, and they will have an act ready for the next River Cities Festival.

“Coming back to the Springs was amazing,” said John. “I’ve known some of these people for 30, 40, 50 years. They’re like an extended family. It’s like a movie, seeing how they evolved over the years.”

Looking much younger than his years and with support from his lovely wife Kathy, Rhodes is still looking towards his future of entertaining. He’s hoping to get together with members of the Impact of Brass, (another local band that achieved a measure of fame), and Wayne Cochran, who became internationally famous before dropping out to become a minister.

“We did several shows with Wayne,” said John. “He played our nightclub and our show when we were in Vegas. There are a lot of connections from the old days.”

No Rhodes Brother show is complete without a rousing rendition of Y.M.C.A. and the tune brought people to their feet trying to spell out the letters. The old days were resurrected with nostalgic music and banter and remembrance of the late Eddie Rhodes. 

“I was a bit nervous but it felt wonderful doing the show and the audience made me feel at home,” said Rhodes. “I thank them and love them all.”

Read more River Cities stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
GOODBYE SUMMERTIME: The moms of the Summer Love’n Playgroup got together one last time on Labor Day to say goodbye to summer.

    Miami Springs moms group makes summer count

    What do you get when you combine nine energetic adventure seeking children, six creative and dedicated mothers, and one summer in Miami? You get the Summer Love’n Playgroup and this group of Miami Springs moms and their children said goodbye to summer with a Labor Day celebration.

  •  
NEW BT PASTOR: Father Jose Alfaro was installed as the Pastor of Blessed Trinity Church during the Sunday, Sept. 7 10:30 a.m. mass. For the last 15 months Father Alfaro held the title of administrator.

    Father Jose Alfaro officially becomes pastor of Blessed Trinity

    Although Father Jose N. Alfaro has been serving at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church for 15 months, he was considered the administrator. However, on Sunday, Sept. 7 he was officially appointed pastor, much to the delight of parishoners.

  •  
BUSTED:  Miami Springs police officer Justin Robbins transported armed robbery suspect Luis Antonio Reyes to the police station last Saturday night.

    Miami Springs cops arrest knife-wielding suspect

    A knife-wielding 52-year-old man allegedly tried to rob another man in the parking lot of Office Depot, 3600 NW 42nd Ave., on Sept. 6, but Miami Springs Police officers were so close that the suspect was in custody within minutes.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK