Trace and Exile

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People Get Ready - Exile - iTunes

EXILE PLAYS MUSIC CITY SESSIONS by Cindy Watts - The Tennessean/USA Today Network

In the span of one week, "Kiss You All Over" transported pop/country band Exile from playing for door money in a bar in Kentucky to NBC's popular late night music variety series "The Midnight Special" in California.

"It was really that fast," recalled Exile's Marlon Hargis. "The next few months were a blur. We went right on tour with Fleetwood Mac and Aerosmith. "Kiss You All Over" changed our lives."

It was 1978 and 40 years later, Exile is planning a year of surprises to mark the song's anniversary as well as Exile's 55th as a band. The group played the Tennessean/ USA Today Network's Music City Sessions at Aurora Nashville during CMA Music Festival. Members shared music, chatted about memories and revealed a bit of what members have planned for 2018.

Exile is in the process of recording some of the band's biggest hits, which include "Woke Up In Love', "She's A Miracle", "Super Love", and "I Don't Want to be a Memory" for a project to be released next year. In addition members, members found a stash of demo tapes from their early days as a group that are rich with unreleased gems and first recordings of hit songs. Exile is having the tapes remastered and plans to release those, too.

"Maybe we'll call them the garage tapes," Hargis said. "Some of it sounds totally different from the way it ended up."

The band still tours extensively and has more than 20 shows booked between now and the end of the year, and a Christmas tour over the holidays. On those shows, Exile plays the group's hits as well as its entire new Christmas album, "Wrapped Up In Your Arms For Christmas"

"We never really give any thought to slowing down . . .or speeding up, for that matter," said Exile singer J.P. Pennington. "It's just a love of what we do."

The group isn't aware of any other crossover bands with a 55-year history, of which bass plaer/singer Sonny LeMaire said members are "very proud."

"At this age, we just want to leave as much good music as we can for the future," Hargis said. "We want to leave as positive of a legacy as we can. I'd like to be remembered 50 years from now."  (Originally published 12:19pm CT August 16, 2017)

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