War peforms tonight at Merced County Fair

War, the band that’s produced hits like “Low Rider,” “The World Is a Ghetto,” “Cisco Kid” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” is scheduled to take the stage at 8:30 p.m. at the Merced County Fair, in the Outdoor Theatre.

The concert is free with fair admission.

War’s winning combination of funk, jazz, R&B and rock ’n’ roll has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. Lonnie Jordan, the original lead singer, keyboardist and musical director, continues to be the voice of the band, according to a press release.

War has 17 gold, platinum and multiplatinum records including the triple-platinum “The World Is a Ghetto” and multiplatinum “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” “All Day Music” and “Deliver the World.” Gold singles include “Summer,” from their “War’s Greatest Hits Live” album, which was the first single from any greatest hits package to become a hit.

In 1969, Eric Burdon and War released their first album, “Eric Burdon Declares War,” featuring the No. 1 single “Spill The Wine.” The band toured extensively in Europe and the United Kingdom. On Sept. 16, 1970, Jimi Hendrix joined Burdon and War for a jam session in London. Hendrix died later that evening. Burdon was so devastated by the death of his friend that he decided to leave War and returned to Los Angeles. War continued their European tour without their former frontman before returning to the states, the release said.

Following Burdon’s departure, War’s success soared. In the early 1970s, the release of “Slippin’ Into Darkness” and “Me and Baby Brother” represented their unmistakable sound and spoke to millions of Americans about the troubled times of Vietnam, Watergate and the ethnic tensions of the inner cities.

In 1972, War released the LP “The World Is a Ghetto.” The album’s second single, “The Cisco Kid,” struck gold, and the album hit the No. 1 spot and was Billboard magazine’s Album of the Year, the release said.

War’s music has been used on television shows like “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill,” “America’s Most Wanted,” “The Bernie Mac Show,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “The George Lopez Show,” “Entourage,” “Suddenly Susan,” “My Name Is Earl” and MTV’s “Rock the Vote.”

Admission to the 2014 Merced County Fair is $5. Children 5 years old and younger get in free.

For more information call the fair office at (209) 722-1507, email or visit