Percy Sledge passed away at his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on April 14, 2015. It is a sad day for all of us, but we can be thankful that we got to share in Percy's life and career. He will be missed as a dear friend and fellow entertainer. We can only hope that when our time comes to leave this Earth we will have contributed a fraction of what Percy Sledge has given to the world of music. We love and miss you Percy.
Since 1999, Sunset Drive has been performing as the backup band for Percy Sledge, the hit maker of the ’60’s soul era with his number one hit ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’. For these concerts two backup singers were added, Holly Williams and Terri Birkett of Stuart. In addition to many Virginia dates, Sunset Drive has performed with Percy Sledge in Maryland, Texas, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky in the US and New Brunswick, Canada. In 2004 Sunset Drive began backing up ‘Mr. Tighten-Up’ Archie Bell from Houston, Texas and accompanied him to his induction into the South Carolina Beach Music Hall Of Fame. In 2005, Percy Sledge was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sunset Drive performed with him the morning of his induction on ABC Television show 'Good Morning America'. Sunset Drive has performed in 2006 and 2007 at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, backing Percy Sledge, Eddie Floyd, and Dee Dee Sharp, as well as doing a tribute to 50 years of STAX Records.
The 2015 edition of Sunset Drive includes Ben Prunty (lead vocals and saxophone) of Rocky Mount, VA, Cecil Akers (keyboards and vocals), Warren Rodgers (bass guitar and vocals), and Joe Owens (lead guitar) all from Stuart, VA, John Stone (drums) of Fieldale, VA, Chris Wilkes (trumpet) from Salem, VA, Carlton Wilkes (saxophone) of Boones Mill, VA, and Warren Rodgers, Jr. (sound engineering), of Patrick Springs, VA.
Sunset Drive released their first CD self-titled as ‘SUNSET DRIVE’© in April 2002 on WRM records ®. Their next CD was released in September, 2004, entitled ‘Percy Sledge and Sunset Drive - Live In Virginia’© , also on WRM records ® . A live DVD music video with Percy Sledge was filmed in Prestonsburg, KY in July, 2006 and released in April, 2007 entitled 'Percy Sledge - The Ultimate Performance'. A new Sunset Drive CD is being recorded and will be released soon.
"...some of the greatest musicians I have ever done my songs with...not only great musicians, but great guys"
- Percy Sledge
Sunset Drive's extraordinary variety of experience (including appearances on Good Morning America and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in NYC with top name performers such as Percy Sledge, Archie Bell, Eddie Floyd and Dee Dee Sharp) keeps them prepared for the wide range of venues. Whether it’s a corporate function, wedding receptions, a concert or a private party – Sunset Drive is completely prepared to provide an audience involved entertainment experience! To check our availability and rates, please use the form on our "Contact Us" page or send us an email.