Thursday, April 24, 2014

Concert Review(s) ... Yours and Ours!

Forgotten Hits has a VERY special offer for one of our local readers!   

In order to qualify, you must meet ALL THREE of the following criteria:  

#1) - You must be free to attend the Dean Torrence and The Surf City All-Stars Concert THIS SATURDAY NIGHT (April 26th) at The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL  

#2) - You MUST love the great surfin' sounds of the '60's, provided by artists like Jan and Dean and The Beach Boys

and #3) - You must be willing and able to turn in a full, concert review by 6 PM Sunday Night that we can run on The Forgotten Hits Web Page on Monday Morning.  

If you meet ALL of the above criteria, we've got an AWESOME offer for you ...    


Because this is such short notice, we're giving these tickets to THE VERY FIRST PERSON to respond to today's posting ... send in all your pertinent details in an email to and the first one to respond will be going to Saturday Night's Concert!  (Tickets will be left at The Arcada Theatre Box Office in your name) 

Then you can write your own awesome review of the show, just like Shelley Sweet-Tufano did below for a Doo-Wop Show that SHE saw out on the East Coast!  (As much as we had hoped to go, we can't make it to this awesome Surf City All-Stars concert ... so you'll be acting as our eyes and ears for the show ... our "Absentee Reviewer" if you will!)

Remember, first come, first served ... so email me NOW!!! 



In the world of athletics, there are 'body types' that seem to go with certain sports or athletic events.  There are husky football builds, shorter-stockier gymnasts, long-willowy ice skaters ... etc.  Let me tell you that after seeing this March 22nd Doo Wop event, I can safely say:  There is NOT a musician's body type!  Tall, short, husky, slim, blonde, brunette, redhead, young, older than young - it all appears and melds together in music.    

The air outside was windy and cold. 
The atmosphere inside was warm and tender ...  

The Capris:  Vocal Groups Hall of Famers. 
They hit us with "Great Balls of Fire".  (Musically that is ... the show would have ended if they had physically decked us!)  Then a song they recorded in 1982 (not a misprint) ... "Back Home to Me"; ending with the favorite, "There's a Moon Out Tonight".    

Next The Marcels pop out, jump in the air, twist and turn around, and basically define the term 'whirling dervish'.   They are also in the Vocal Groups Hall of Fame. 
They start out with "Heartache" and then do a medley around their (and the audience's) junior and high school memories.  Within this medley, I hear "What's Your Name", "Earth Angel", "In The Still of the Night" and "For a Million Years".  I love the way they act out walking over to that junior high school girl standing on the other side of the gym (boys on one side, girls on the other) and coyly begin to sing.  They end with the 1961 hit:  "BLUE MOON".   
Love it, love it!  

Remember "Charlie Brown"?  Well, The Coasters are still kicking in unison when they sing that song AND "'Yakety Yak".  They started out with two songs that The Beatles covered on the BBC Live shows:  "Poison Ivy" and "Young Blood".  For me, The Beatles' covers are the ones I remember better, and it just reminds me that it was the American influence that exploded The British Invasion.  The Beatles obviously admired The Coasters to have chosen these songs during their early elementary growth.  I could hear Lennon's voice in my head, gumming the words, "What's your name?" in his imitation of an old man trying to pick up a young teen.  Another member of The Vocal Groups Hall of Fame, The Coasters have been favorites of my students through the years.  Their parodies rock with enthusiasm and love of life.  

Ending the first act was Charlie Thomas and The Drifters.  I have seen them before, and as Lou Christie says, "If you ever get the chance to see Charlie Thomas and his Drifters, GO."  The Drifters are one of the main reasons for the Truth in Music laws that have been passed by all but six states right now.  There were so many groups calling themselves The Drifters that we never knew who we were watching ... and many of them had not even been born until the end of the 20th Century!  Charlie is an original Drifter, who appeared with two Veteran back-up singers.  That's Veteran, as in military, and Veteran, as in established vocalists.  With their long frock coats and debonair style, they glide and slide through the performance of "On Broadway", "This Magic Moment", "Sweets For My Sweet", "There Goes My Baby", "Up on the Roof", and "Under the Boardwalk".  They are also members of The Vocal Groups Hall of Fame, as well as The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I am not a fan of the board on The R&R Hall, but I do admire most of the groups who are in it.   

Since it is intermission, let me introduce our MC for the program:  Emil Stucchio.  Emil has a popular NYC group, Emil Stucchio and The Classics.  He has some funny (I thought they were) stories about aging through the rock and roll era, but our promoter Dick Fox was quick to use the speaker system to ask him, "Is this going anywhere?"  and then snore loudly.  Hey, it was funny and they have to change the set on an open stage, so it works.  

Intermission no more.  The Happenings are happening!  Bob Miranda is bouncing around (honestly, this man is older than me and I only keep jumping around to confuse my students), a horn section has been added for the second half, and more saxophones.  The lead guitar and musical director is George Rizzi.  He is married to the sister of my daughter's childhood dance coach.  When they announced their wedding (about 15 years ago?) the bride's family was heard to cry, "She is marrying a guitar player.  They will starve!"  Hahahahahaha! ... George is doing very well, thank you.   
The Happenings open with a Rascal of a song, "People Got To Be Free", then go into Carole King's "Go Away Little Girl".  Amazing that a woman would write a song that portrays a man's frustration so well.  My fave Happening song, "See You in September" from 1966, is the third offering.  Even though my college years were not in the 60's, this song became the May anthem for four years when we left our college romances for home and summer vacation.  The last song was from 1967, and first heard on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour:  "I Got Rhythm".  WOW, this piece of the show seemed to fly by.  I wasn't ready to let them go ... but they left the stage and I was forced to move on.  

The next group, Jimmy Beaumont and The Skyliners, had the least hold on me.  I am not familiar with them, and only their song "This I Swear" rang a bell.  Granted "Pennies From Heaven", which was their opener, is familiar ... but because it has been so often recorded.  However the audience, mostly New Yawkers, held them in high esteem and clapped loudly to bring them on.  "I Can Dream, Can't I?" and "Shooby Doo Wop" were two other numbers, with there being one last title I cannot remember at all.  I know I was distracted by the melon colored dress that the female vocalist wore, and unfortunately not for positive reasons.  If you cannot comfortably move around on stage, rethink your attire.     

"Baby, You still GOT it!"  remarked a woman in the first row.  "What?" said Lou Christie, "Can you repeat that please?"  "I SAID, 'BABY YOU STILL GOT IT!'"  she repeated.  OK, Lou ... did you really not hear her the first time?  Just asking.   
Each of Lou's songs were mesmerizing, but the vision that remains with me is Lou singing "Beyond the Blue Horizon" and two silhouetted figures dancing together at the top of the stairs directly across from us. I wanted a video camera (illegal in Westbury) in the worst way at that moment.  Everyone on my side of the round, will hold that beautiful sight in our memories forever.  It was probably two ushers, but the effect was ever so romantic.  Dick Fox and Emil Stucchio almost literally pushed Lou back on stage for an encore, and so "Hold Me" became the last song of the night.  I had been invited to Lou's reception afterward, and while waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for my turn to speak with him, played "Is that REALLY Billy J Kramer and is that Sean Penn?" with my friends.  It was not Sean Penn.  It WAS Billy J Kramer, who brushed us off with "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah" when I admitted I figured him out.  I giggled, and his wife smiled, but Billy was a bit embarrassed as he was there to visit with Lou as well.  I have seen a picture of Lou and I talking that was taken by the professional photographer on site (and HEY people ... the invitation said DO NOT BRING YOUR OWN CAMERAS ... apparently I am one of two people who can read!)  Anyway, Lou looked deeply interested in my conversation, which was nice to see.  I think we were talking about a friend of his at the time.  
-- Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano    

Sounds like you had a great time, Shelley ... I'm still wishing Lou Christie would come out our way ... he's one of those that I have always wanted to see ... and both times when I actually had tickets, the shows were cancelled at the last minute.  Lou Christie with The Happenings?!?!?  Now THAT would be a show to see!!!  (Hint - hint!!!)   

Thanks, Shelley!  (kk)