The Wenatchee World



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The Worm eats humble pie

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Thanks to some pretty advanced detective work, the Worm finally tracked down Jane Reichert this week. Actually, she emailed the Worm, who is embarrassed to admit she's gotten so dependent on Internet searches and finding people through social media that she forgot one of the basic journalistic skills when trying to find someone. Namely, ask around the office! Reichert — who has lived in Wenatchee for 30 years — is the sister to Jimmy Gilmer who sang Sugar Shack with The Fireballs back in the '60s that the Worm wrote about a couple of weeks ago. She and her husband, Don, also know Wilfred and Kathy Woods. The Worm should have known to ask Wilf if he knew her. As her editor pointed out, Wilf knows everything! Actually, it was Kathy who told Jane that the Worm was trying to contact her after learning that her brother had been profiled in the book, "Echoes of the Sixties," as one of 43 composers and performers who influenced an entire generation. So, did he influence his sister? the Worm asked when they spoke this week. "I would say if he influenced me in any way, I had more dates in college that year," she mused, wondering aloud how Sugar Shack got to be the top selling record in 1963. "Then the Beatles came in and it was, Hello, Goodbye," she said. "They just wiped everybody else off the side of the earth." Actually, Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs played for quite a few more years, and had more hits, including "Bottle of Wine," in 1968. Regardless of her brother's music, and how much he may have influenced a generation, she said, she and Jimmy are very close, and became more so when her mother was sick and he was traveling to Wenatchee regularly to be with them. "He's such a good person. He's a wonderful person to be related to," she said. If you're a fan, Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs will be playing in Santa Fe for a children's fundraiser soon, she said. "That's all they do now is fundraisers," she said. "He says, 'We're so bloody old now, we can't even remember the songs!" If you're interested in going, just ask Jane when it is — if you can find her!