Quick! What do the Judds, The Carpenters, The Von Trapps, and The Partridge Family all have in common?! Other than a possible and perceived passion for paleontology—which might come to mind for only a select few (albeit a very select few)–they are all sets of family musicians both real and fictional and we love them all—to greater or lesser degrees! Well Bill and Laura Pursell are no exception and come Sunday January 10th, this father/daughter duo will take center stage at Vitello’s en dual masse for the first time in years! To round out the musical merriment in triplicate, the Pursells will also welcome a third apt guest musician in the form of beloved family friend Donny Most (also and most widely known for his erstwhile double-threat acting skills as Ralph Malph on the adored 1970s sitcom Happy Days!)
Bill Pursell began his career studying classical composition at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Howard Hanson. He would go on to gain employ as the arranger for the U.S. Air Force band while also serving in World War II.
Best known for his hit record Our Winter Love, Pursell is also a highly sought after music teacher and collaborator. He has instructed such artists as Trisha Yearwood and Brad Paisley. He has also tickled the ivories as far back at the 60s on several albums by Johnny Cash, and served as a session musician and arranger for such luminaries as Patsy Cline, Johnny Paycheck, Hoover, Joan Baez, Eric Anderson, Scotty Moore, J.J. Cole, Willie Nelson, Dan Fogelberg and a scintillating host of others!
Mr. Pursell is currently a faculty member at Belmont University’s School of Music: A position he has maintained since 1980. He has also completed a Doctor of Music Arts degree as of 1996.
Actress/Singer Laura Pursell garnered her first hint of national recognition upon singing for President Gerald Ford and Betty Ford in Palm Springs. From there, she went on to record five albums with some of the most renowned jazz musicians on the west coast. Some of her acting gigs have been a bit more motley and eclectic encompassing everything from an appearance in Weird Al’s “Mmmm Mmmm” song video parodying Tonya Harding (wherein she would contribute her very own figure skating skills), to a repeat role on Days of Our Lives, to a small but central role in The Landlady starring Talia Shire, to a starring role in the 2013 coming of middle age web series Living the Dream.
As a singer, she has reached international approbation performing in St. Petersburg Russia, and Dublin Ireland. Highlighted west coast performance venues include Spazio, The Money Tree, Barone’s, Monteleone’s, The San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, Vicky’s of Santa Fe in Palm Springs, the Canyon Club and Vitello’s (naturally). She has also performed with Gary Tole’s “Legends of Swing” orchestra and Doug MacDonald’s 13 piece “Jazz Coalition”. Currently she can be seen every Thursday night at Mixology 101 with an incomparable jazz trio!
Also set to attend: Dee Wallace of E.T., Grimm, and The Whispers, Kate Linder of The Young and the Restless, Judy Norton of The Waltons, Chris Trousdale of ABC’s Austin & Ally, recording artist Remi Lyon, and Carolyn Hennesy of True Blood, General Hospital and Cougar Town!
The show starts at 8 pm and runs approximately two hours for an evening that is sure to please!
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