Saturday night will feel strangely quiet for members of Waco oldies band the Morticians. For the first time in 28 years, the band won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day with hamburgers, music and dancing on the Saturday night before.
The decision to end the Morticians’ long-running “Rock and Roll Valentine’s Dance” came after last year’s event, Morticians keyboardist and guitarist Buddy Edwards said.
“It was really a major undertaking,” Edwards said, noting that the band and their spouses did almost all the work to put the annual dance together. “It always has been a great event, but it reached the point where it was too much work . . . We had a great run and a wonderful time doing this.”
The Morticians, which re-formed in the 1980s from former members of a 1960s Richfield High School band, are one of the area’s best-known oldies and classic rock bands. They cover a hefty repertoire of rock and pop hits from the 1950s through the 1970s.
The annual Valentine’s Dance, accompanied by a hamburger dinner, had drawn more than 1,000 fans to the Waco Convention Center some years, but attendance in the past two years had dropped.
“There were a lot of people in our fan base who were not so excited about getting out at night or dancing,” Edwards said.
But he was quick to add that the dance’s end didn’t mean the end of the band.
“We still play one to two times a month. The group is still together,” he said.
Edwards is the only remaining original member from the Morticians that re-formed in the 1980s. Lead guitarist Clark Nauert is the most recent Mortician, replacing Jeff Horton, who has retired from the band.
The Morticians, named to the Music Association of Central Texas’ Hall of Recognition, still play public venues such as the Carleen Bright Arboretum, the Bosque River Stage and the Hewitt Dog Days of Summer.