I had no idea that a 61-year-old woman from my home state of Massachusetts had so much to do with the success of one of my favorite musical groups. Donna Halper was working in a Cleveland, Ohio radio station in 1974 and was looking for a track to put on the air that was long enough to allow for a bathroom break.
When Halper noticed that a track on an album by a new group called Rush was longer than seven minutes, which provided adequate time for the DJ to answer a call from nature. After hearing the track, entitled “Working Man,” she then realized that the group was offering a lot more than just a song that was long enough to allow her to slip away from the microphone for a bit.
Since then, Halper has been a staunch supporter of the Canadian rockers and even organized the effort to secure Rush a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She developed a close relationship with the members of the group through the years, and can always count on a backstage pass when they are performing in the area.
For her efforts that helped lead to the group’s recognition, Rush dedicated their first two albums to her, and she was even hired on by the group’s record label, Mercury Records, as first female Director of Artists and Repertoire.
Recently, Halper was backstage at the Rush show at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA when she received the news that Rush was indeed going to get their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the groups is clearly appreciative of her support through the years.
“She is a fiercely passionate and highly-opinionated woman and is a tireless supporter of Rush,” said Rush lead vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee.
“We have remained friends through the years, and she always makes a point of paying us a visit whenever we are near her home,” Lee said.
For the whole story check out the Patriot Ledger.