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National TV broadcast fans the Flame

Interest in Lexington band surges

December 17, 2009
By MICHAEL ANICH, The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN - A recent broadcast about Lexington Center's Flame on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" has stoked the fires of interest in the music group, bringing a surge in CD sales, bookings and Web site hits.

The Nov. 27 airing of a human-interest segment exposed the soft rock group, whose members are local disabled musicians, to a national audience.

"It has been a great response," Lexington Director of Public Relations Tim Fiori said Monday.

He said as a result of the airing, Flame was invited to perform at a national 20th anniversary celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act set for July 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

The four-minute and 43-second "Good Morning America" segment about Flame generated so much interest that the group has sold 335 of its CDs since the broadcast, Fiori said.

The segment, titled "Music Saves Lives," can still be seen on the band's Web site, www.flametheband.com.

Flame, formed in 2003, is made up of Lexington clients with disabilities. The "Good Morning America" crew filmed a Flame rehearsal at the Lexington Day Treatment Center on East State Street and the group's performance at Railfest in downtown Gloversville on Aug. 8. The film crew also visited the residence of the band's autistic lead singer, Michelle King, and the group home of blind drummer David LaGrange, both in Gloversville.

Lexington Center Executive Director Paul Nigra said Monday the heightened interest in Flame is tremendous.

"We had e-mails from 34 states," Nigra said. "They were ordering CDs and talking about booking performances and signing up for the [Flame] Fan Club. It was great."

He said that initial burst of interest in the past three weeks continues and will probably get a boost from an upcoming airing on WAMC radio of a Friday show that Flame recorded at The Linda, the station's performing arts studio in Albany.

Fiori said 200 new members have joined the Flame fan club in the past few weeks.

Immediately after the "Good Morning America" segment was aired, Fiori said, the band's Web site had a 2,000 percent increase in hits. Three weeks later, the Web site continues to get four times more hits per day than it averaged before the broadcast.

Nigra said Lexington also received a call from a producer in Las Vegas who wanted to book Flame for an upcoming convention of pharmaceutical executives.

Flame has already performed shows throughout the United States and internationally. Money it earns goes back into band expenses.

On May 13, Lexington signed a deal with Interface Media Group of Washington, D.C., to make a documentary film for theatrical release about the band.

Nigra said this week the producer is still working on funding for the project, which is expected to take 18 to 24 months to make.

Michael Anich can be reached at johnstown@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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