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Rick Springfield at Graceland


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Kimberly Baker doesn't know how many times she's seen Rick Springfield in concert. She stopped counting sometime after 40. She didn't stop attending shows, though, and plans to be in the audience with her mother when Springfield plays Memphis as part of a bigger event called General Hospital Weekend, a Graceland-hosted fan fair celebrating TV's longest running daytime drama.

Graceland is a good fit for Springfield who scored a Grammy for his song, "Jessie's Girl," and played Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital. Like Elvis, he has his share of super fans. Baker, who plans family trips around his concerts, is one of the biggest. We asked her to explain how that kind of lifelong fandom happens.

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"He was everywhere when I was growing up," she says, talking Soap Digest and Tiger Beat magazine. "I didn't know his name at first, but he was on Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk and The Rockford Files and Battlestar Galactica." Shortly thereafter, he was on the radio and Casey Kasem's weekly top-40 countdown. "He was the first person I ever saw in concert twice in one year," she says, beginning a long list of Rick-based "firsts."

"Being a lifelong fan has to do with this happy part of my childhood — a time that was fun and supported by my family," Baker says. Her mom thought Springfield's "Don't Talk to Strangers" was a good message for little girls, so in 1982, they both went to see Springfield's Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet tour at the Mid-South Coliseum. Baker has since taken her children to see Springfield and, at various times, she and the kids have been invited onstage to perform "Don't Talk to Strangers," and "I Get Excited."

"If you're close to me, you probably know a lot about Rick Springfield, or you've been to a show with me," she says. "Or you've met him."

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