At one time, there was good reason shows and concerts pretty much dried up and disappeared during the hot summer months.

Those were the days before air conditioning, so most theatres and auditoriums turned into ornate ovens when it got hot outside. And that coupled with the fact many families abandoned their city homes for the country, where the pleasures of the old swimmin' hole and lemonade on the veranda took care of entertainment needs.

The tradition remained, despite almost universal AC and the fact that few left town because Mom and Dad worked and the kids were up to their eyeballs in organized activities.

But now, with the addition of two major venues, in San Ramon and Livermore, the bands play on in winter or summer, and not in the town square (although that may happen, too). The point is entertainment is flourishing in the area, with top talent dropping by summer and winter.

In the next few weeks, there's a wide array of entertainment visiting the various venues around the area.

Livermore's Bankhead Theater is staging special cowboy style concerts Friday and Saturday in conjunction with the Livermore Rodeo.

Contemporary country music takes center stage Friday when Buffalo Rome drops by, followed on Saturday with Asleep at the Wheel, the popular, Grammy-winning country swing band.

For the past 40 years, Asleep at the Wheel has put a little Texas swagger in just about everyone's boots with its wide range of American music, from cowboy and bluegrass to the swing sounds of the big bands.

Buffalo Rome, with its fine-tuned three-part harmonies is on its own mission of "putting the West back in country western music."

Performances are in the theater at 2400 First St., Livermore, and reservations may be made at 925-373-6800 or www.bankheadtheater.org. Tickets to Buffalo Rome cost $30 to $40, and Asleep at the Wheel tickets are $39 to $62.

FIREHOUSE FEATURES: Two singers, Broadway and television performers Vicki Lewis and Joan Ryan, are coming to Pleasanton's Firehouse Arts Center at 2 p.m. June 10.

The two performers concentrate on duets performed over the years by singers including Carol Burnett, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Bette Midler and Liza Minnelli.

Lawrence has an impressive set of credits including a regular role in the TV series "News Radio" and Broadway appearances in "Chicago," "Damn Yankees," "Snoopy" and "Wind in the Willows" opposite Nathan Lane. Ryan's voice can be heard on the TV series, "Smash" and her stage credits include, "Footloose," "Little Shop Of Horrors," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Suds."

Tickets for the performance in the theater at 4444 Railroad Ave., Pleasanton cost 17-$27.

The Doors Legacy Band brings its tribute to the Jim Morrison band and the whole '60s era to the firehouse at 8 p.m. June 16.

The band's mission is to recreate the sound and feel of a late-'60s concert by the watershed rock group, using vintage instruments, costumes and the swagger of Morrison.

Singer/songwriter Karly Bonoff, who wrote and recorded many favorite songs beginning in the late '70s, performs in the Firehouse with her band at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Bonoff, whose material has been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Wynona Judd and Linda Ronstadt, began her career doing backup vocals for Ronstadt and Wendy Waldman, before recording her first album in 1977.

Tickets to her show are priced at $20-$30.

Reservations for all shows may be made at 925-931-4848 or www.firehousearts.org.

PRESCHOOL PERFORMANCES: There will be entertainment for young children at Danville's Village Theatre, throughout the summer.

The series starts at 10 a.m. June 15 with a show by The Bubble Lady who serves up giggles and suds with her amazing bubble stunts.

Other performers in the series include juggler/percussionist Unique Derique at 10 a.m. July 20 and singer Gary Lapow at 10 a.m. Aug. 3.

Tickets, at $3, may be reserved at 925-314-3400 or www.villagetheatreshows.com

Contact Pat Craig at pjcraig495@yahoo.com.