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Area band is inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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HARTINGTON — A band featuring several area musicians is being inducted into the Nebraska Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“The Wanted,” a local rock and roll band which performed here in the 1960s and 1970s will be inducted July 24 into the Nebraska Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Wanted band, comprised of Larry Rupiper, Clair Rupiper, Mary Ellen (Rupiper) Kline and David Kline will take the stage once again Saturday, July 24, at Divot’s DeVent Center, Norfolk.

Music was often heard when growing up in the home of Clarence and Bernadette Rupiper.

Piano and guitar were the couple's favorites and the Rupipers passed on to their children not only their talent for music, but also their love of it.

For Christmas, Larry and Clair received guitars and lessons. Soon, they were “playing by ear” to their favorite records which inspired them to start a band of their own.

While still in high school, and with their parents’ support, the Rupipers started The Corvettes. This band included Jerry Rupiper, the eldest son, on drums, Larry on vocals and lead guitar, and Clair on bass.

Other musicians joined them over the years as they played school dances and ballrooms. The Corvettes stopped playing after Jerry was called to the service. But their days of playing in a band were far from over.

Music, they say, is in the blood, and that seems to be the case with the Rupiper family.

When Jerry returned from the service, he was asked to play drums for a Country and Western band called, The Wanted. When the group needed a lead guitarist and vocalist, Larry became a member and Clair joined as the bass player.

With the Rupipers on board, The Wanted soon became a rock and roll band. That’s when another family member joined the group, with Mary Ellen playing keyboard and singing vocals.

The Wanted played venues in many area towns. When Jerry decided to retire from the drums, a new drummer, David Kline, was introduced to The Wanted.

They were known for playing the music people wanted to hear — hit songs from the radio and music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Every weekend, local ballrooms in northeast Nebraska and southeast South Dakota were packed - sometimes with record breaking crowds - with people who wanted to dance and listen to the music of The Wanted.

For many people, the band brought good times, good dancing, and most of all, good music, that they still remember today.

Area residents can relive some of these memories when The Wanted takes the stage once again at the Nebraska Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, July 24, at the Divot’s DeVent Center, Norfolk.

The performance will feature Larry Rupiper on lead guitar and vocals, Clair Rupiper on bass guitar, Mary Ellen (Rupiper) Kline on keyboard and vocals, and David Kline on drums.

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