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Kansas’ Richard Williams on the band’s ‘Supernatural’ resurgence

Emily Butler Photography

Kansas is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year with a new tour kicking off June 2 in Pittsburgh. While you’d think that would mean their audience would be a mostly older crowd, that’s really not the case. It turns out, thanks to the CW show Supernatural using their classic “Carry On My Wayward Son” as their unofficial theme song, the band has been attracting a much younger audience.

“I’m not sure exactly when it was, eight years ago or so, just looking out and going, ‘What are all these 13-, 14-, 15-year-old kids doing in the front row?’” guitarist and founding member Richard Williams tells ABC Audio. “And we didn’t really understand it and we said, ‘Curious, why are you here?’ And they said, ‘Supernatural.’”

He adds, “That television show brought probably the biggest thing that’s happened to our career in the last quarter century. Those 15-year-old kids in the front row then are 30 and they’re bringing their kids to Kansas shows.” 

The song was such an integral part of the series that Williams says Kansas was actually supposed to appear in the program’s 2020 series finale, but COVID got in the way.

“The final show was written for us and then we were flying to Vancouver to film it and we were told, ‘Don’t get on the plane because Canada has closed its borders because of COVID,’” he shares. “And so that last episode never got to be filmed. They had to rewrite the ending, and that was a bummer. It was such an exciting thing to be a part of.” 

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