A friend of a friend- John Hodges-Frankie Walters-June 1

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for June 1, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

This is the season where you can listen to a lot of good live music outdoors in North Carolina. In Lumberton, NC we have a concert series every Thursday night in June called “Alive after Five”. The bands play from 7:00-9:30 p.m. on the corner of Water and Third Streets. The line up includes groups like The Band of Oz, The Embers, and The Carolina Breakers.

Lumberton, NC is the birthplace of a good Carolina band called Goldrush. I had the good fortune to becoming friends with their leader singer Frankie Walters when he used to be my two door down the street neighbor. Frankie and his wife Carolyn moved from Lumberton several years ago to get closer to their daughter Natalie.

One of the greatest Christmas Eve celebrations I ever experienced was at Frankie’s home when he used to live on Elm Street. He invited my wife Mira and I along with some other neighbors including Bonnie and Kenny Biggs to sample some holiday cheer and listen to live music. It was such a great treat and will be a night I will never forget. Frankie sang a lot of great holiday classics and even his daughter sang a song or two with her dad. It was a postcard perfect night.

The Goldrush Band has been entertaining audiences from Florida to Virginia for the last 30 plus years and are still in demand today for country clubs, weddings, private parties and festivals. Their blend of oldies and beach music, classic rock and country makes any occasion more fun because everyone gets to hear some of their music preference during our performance.

Goldrush had the pleasure of performing at the 1st Annual Beach Music Awards in 1982 with such greats as The Coasters, The Tams, and James Brown and have stayed true to the music that is truely timeless and still has a broad appeal to this day with all age groups.


One of Frankie’s friends is also in the band and his name is John Hodges. There is only one John.



The Friend of a Friend-JOHN HODGES


The Keyboard Man

We all have met people who you think have been drinking or are crazy. Then you come to find out that they are neither. Meet John Hodges the keyboard player for the band Goldrush.

John Hodges currently teaches theater arts at Purnell Swett High School in Pembroke, NC. His teaching experience includes 18 years teaching social studies and seven in theater. His plan call for him to retire at the end of this semester. He has a personal goal with each student to instill and inspire them as much as possible. He attempt to give each student the desire to be creative with their own minds and use this creativity with discipline.

John inspires by being over the top. He produced a very popular show called  “Remember the 1960s” — a show he based on his experiences growing up during the titular decade that was performed at high schools across Robeson County for more than 17 years. There are many leaders in our community that were part of those shows that John produced.

John will be missed by our local school system. I hope that I will see him in retirement still on the keyboards with Goldrush. I know when I do he will be ad-libbing and keeping my friend Frankie Walters with a smile on his face.


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