Weekender writers, editors, GMs throughout the years remember Janet Rains

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Alan K. Stout — Staff writer, music editor, general editor and correspondent for the Times Leader and the Weekender from 1992 to 2001

“When people went out to see her sing, they knew they were going to have a good time. She was a great vocalist and entertainer. She had so much charisma that she was, in our local scene, a star. One of the things I noticed when she passed was she was extremely unpretentious. It wasn’t like she was a celebrity that huddled up back stage and was whisked away after the show. She mingled with everybody.”

Michael Lello — Weekender editor from 2004 to 2011

“I enjoyed running into Janet at events. Our conversations would always turn to ’80s hair metal, and she had some amazing stories to tell. She always seemed to be in a good mood no matter the circumstances, and you’d walk away with a smile yourself.”

Rich Howells — Weekender editor from 2012 to 2014

“What struck me about working with Janet was that, despite being the frontwoman, she asked me to speak with her bandmates instead of her to give them the spotlight in articles. The focus wasn’t on her, but on the music and how excited she was about whatever project she was working on at the time. She was so passionate about making music, and that came through every time I talked to her. I wrote an article about one of her projects, Headbanger’s Ball, and her drummer, Johnny Dee, had nothing but nice things to say about her. I interviewed her guitarist in that band, Virus, who also worked with her many times for good reason — she was a kickass woman whose enthusiasm was so infectious that she could convince anyone to join or support her. You just wanted to be a part of whatever she was doing at the time.”

Rachel Pugh — Weekender general manager from 2000 to 2012

“When I was GM at the Weekender, I also sat on the board for the Domestic Violence Service Center. For many years, I organized a Weekender fundraiser that benefited the DVSC called Women Who Rock. It was an annual concert performed by female lead singers. Janet, who was lead singer for the band M-80 at that time, was a super busy performer in the musical entertainment circuit. But she was always so gracious to volunteer her time for this cause. She probably could have been at other paid gigs, but instead, she would sing on the stage of the River Street Jazz Cafe to benefit abused women and children. It’s because Janet had a good soul. And everyone who knew her knew this about her. The community lost more than just her amazing talent. We lost a humble community servant and vivacious spirit.”

Janet Rains, left, and former Weekender general manager Rachel Pugh are pictured at a past Women Who Rock Concert, which benefited the Domestic Violence Service Center.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_RachelJanet-3.jpgJanet Rains, left, and former Weekender general manager Rachel Pugh are pictured at a past Women Who Rock Concert, which benefited the Domestic Violence Service Center. Submitted photo

Janet Rains had a lasting effect on people around her, including members of the Weekender family throughout the years.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_Janet3-3.jpegJanet Rains had a lasting effect on people around her, including members of the Weekender family throughout the years. Courtesy of Media Five Entertainment