A Legendary Line Up
by Cate Murway
Historic Bristol on the Delaware
is proud to announce a legendary line up
of "the music you love to remember".
Don't miss this opportunity to hear some of the greatest names in Doo Wop for FREE. There are a plethora of free concerts, spectacular performances, different multicultural festivals, and outdoor movies, just a fragment of the jam-packed schedule of exciting events at the Bristol Lions Park in historic Bristol on the Delaware.
The Lions Park is a vibrant destination location for recreational, cultural, and community pride events and you are cordially invited to savor the flavor of one of the most captivating and musically exhilarating concert events!
Come to the “Doo Wop In the Park” for the 5th Annual Doo Wop Concert on Saturday, September 18, 2010 (rain date Sunday, September 19th).
The concert runs from 5 PM to 10 PM.
In the mid 1950’s, the Doo Wop music genre emerged from the street corners, building stoops and front porches of northeastern cities. Talented city youth used their own instruments – their voices – to make music, and their playful yet passionate style delivered some of the most popular hits of its time.
Using tight harmonies and centering on themes about love and life, this music holds a special place in history.
The term "doo-wop" first appeared in print in 1961, coined during the height of a vocal harmony resurgence. The first hit records to use the syllables "doo-wop" in the refrain was the 1955 hit, "When You Dance" by The Turbans (Herald Records H-458), in which the chant "doo-wop" can clearly be heard. The 1956 song "In the Still of the Night" by The Five Satins, featured the famous plaintive "doo-wop, doo-wah" refrain in the bridge.
While planning the Borough’s 325th Anniversary celebration, President of Council, Ralph DiGiuseppe, Jr. came up with the original idea to showcase the era that put the street corner- society onto the national charts. The doo-wop style of smooth, consonant vocal-based rhythm and blues music developed in African-American communities in the 1940’s and achieved mainstream popularity in the 1950’s and early 1960’s.
These icons of doo-wop will be performing for your pleasure this Saturday, the 18th.
Mention Doo Wop to any oldies fan and you often get a pleasant reaction.
The show starts at 5:15PM featuring the opening of the show by Gary A. Tosti and Sonny Mosco, "Gary & Sonny" and then some of the classic street corner “serenaders”, "The Cadillacs", "The Orlons", "Larry Chance and the Earls" and "The Tymes".
The sounds of the rhythmic vocal groups that defined the 50's and 60's typically include double bass, electric guitar, saxophone, drums, piano, and harmony vocals.
Doo Wop songs have the following unique qualities: vocal harmony with varied range of voices (lead, falsetto, first tenor, second tenor, and a baritone or bass singer), uncomplicated music and lyrics of nonsense syllables with a simple beat, accompanied by very light instrumentation or none at all.
One of the tight, sweet groups with a band name drawn from cars, is the Cadillacs.
The group first came together as The Carnations in 1953, with lead vocalist Earl “Speedo” Carroll and their first recording came in July of 1954, with Josie Records #765, featuring “Gloria” and “Wonder Why”. In 1955 the group's biggest hit was "Speedo", Carroll's nickname. Four years later, the Cadillacs were featured in the movie “Go Johnny, Go” and in 1979, Earl Carroll, Earl Wade, Bobby Phillips, and Johnny Brown came together for a Subaru commercial.
The Cadillacs were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.
Before the original Orlons formed in 1960, they were an all-girl quintet called Audrey and the Teenettes. The Orlons received gold discs for the million selling achievements of three of their singles, including “South Street”.
In 2010, they became one of first US Top 100-charting groups to have a career spanning 50 years.
“Remember When” the harmonies and the words of the great songs turned this particular type of music into true classics? Larry Chance and the Earls have continuously been pleasing audiences with their flawless harmonies, ceaseless vitality and endearing dedication to their fans, since the late 1950’s. In 1957, Larry and five gifted accomplished friends discovered that vocal groups were to be found on almost every street corner and they declared themselves the High-Hatters. By 1960 the group evolved into what would then be called "the Earls" and it's become a life long labor of love.
The R&B soul group, the Tymes, originally formed in 1956 in Philadephia, as the Latineers. They are one of the few acts to have one and only one chart-topper in both the USA and UK with different titles. Their labels include Cameo Parkway, Columbia, RCA, and MGM.
Their “So Much in Love” was elected to the Songs of the Century in 2001 and they were selected for the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2005. The Tymes appeared on the PBS special, My Music: Love Songs of the 50’s and 60’s.
North Ward Councilman Anthony Muccie was proud to oversee “an outstanding group of people.” The organizers include, finance person, Anna and Joseph Larrisey and Angelo Grisolia who efficiently provides the electric for the show. Ginny and Mike Paleafico provide all the support help for the entertainers. Andi Harvie and Joe Malone secured donations and gift certificates for the basket raffle, along with assistance from Annette Gottsabend and her cousin, Councilwoman Lorraine Cullen. The cost is $5.00 per ticket for a chance at winning the $1000.00 basket.
Karen Dopson located the vendors who will be serving a variety of food and beverage refreshments for purchase and Meryl Winslow organized the fire, ambulance and emergency services. Amy McIlvaine took total charge of publicity for the show.
Per Anthony, they all enjoy “seeing people smile and having a good time.”
Everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs, sweaters and blankets for your own best seats. This is an amazing opportunity to sample an unsurpassed musical treat in an exciting, intimate way, a perfect end to a late summer evening on the waterfront. Come after dining in one of the many restaurants located in the picturesque historic Bristol on the Delaware.
Parking will be available at Lenox Corporation, 1414 Radcliffe Street. Shuttle buses, provided by the Bristol School District, will run a continuous loop, taking the concert-goers to and from the event from 4:00 PM until midnight.
Oh, and bring your dancing shoes!
For additional information, please call 215.788.1600.
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Hitting the Right Notes with the Blue Notes
By Cate Murway
“If you don't know me by now….”
…….there is still time!
The Bristol Borough Council is hosting its sixth annual Doo Wop Concert, Saturday, September 17th, a spectacular outdoor waterfront venue, from 5:00 to 10:00 PM.
"If You Don't Know Me by Now", a song written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, was recorded by the Jersey soul musical group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, becoming their first hit when released as a single in 1972. It topped the R&B chart and peaked at number three on the Pop chart.
Come hear the song chosen as one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA].
Enjoy the kind of warm music that is back to simple and basic, when slow dancing was still in style. You will thank them for the magic and romance and mystery, music that touches your heart and your mind and your soul.
Their vocal talents and choreographic genius have always marked them 'specialists' in the trade.
Trust in them….. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes have appeared in over 16 countries and 100 cities, thrilling fans around the world.
The also have a proven strong Community Involvement.
In addition to establishing an annual Harold Melvin Music Scholarship for a musically gifted high school student, they have raised over $3 million for 9/11 and received the NYC Civic Award; raised funds totaling over $1 million for Katrina victims; prepared over 3,000 meals for the homeless in Washington, DC and volunteered with the Washington, DC Food Kitchen for the homeless; and performed at a benefit for “Children in Trouble” in Detroit, MI.
The Blue Notes was originally founded in 1954 by the late Philly pianist/doo wop singer, Harold Melvin [1939-1997] considered one of the major forces behind the soulfully powerful Philly Sound of the '70’s. It is indubitably the most talked about and covered Philly soul group in history, attaining national as well as international recognition.
Melvin launched the careers of many artists, including the late husky-voiced percussionist, soul singer Theodore DeReese "Teddy" Pendergrass, Jr. [1950 –2010], once featured as lead vocalist.
The group’s repertoire includes soul, R&B, doo wop and disco. The original group known as “The Charlemagnes” came to be known as Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes in 1960 and was noted for several hits on Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia International label between 1972 and 1976.
Their lush instrumentation accompaniment, smooth balladry, and stylish image continue to make them music and performance superstars today.
Tote your lawn chairs, sweaters and blankets down to Bristol Lions Park. A variety of foods and beverages will be available for purchase. Historic Bristol on the Delaware also provides many excellent restaurants serving Italian, Indian and American cuisine well within walking distance of the Lions riverfront park.
The Blue Notes will be singing some of their greatest hits, “The Love I Lost” and “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, including Platinum and Gold hits, “Bad Luck”, “If You Don't Know Me By Now”, and “Wake up Everybody”.
You will enjoy the sounds of all the musical guests-Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners, The Crystals, and Gary A. Tosti and Sonny Mosco, "Gary & Sonny" as they open the show from the stage at 5:00 PM.
A Borough school graduate, John Albert Morris
rode his bike around the town often
during his youth but this is his and the Blue Notes’ first time
performing in Bristol.
The second tenor vocalist is currently employed
as the Southeast Water Plant Treatment Plant Operator.
He grew up in Winder Village and shared his birth date
with the gentle and humble renowned singer,
Pierino Ronald "Perry" Como.
They also shared the mutual insistence on principles of good taste.
He credits both of his parents, John and Ruth with good voices.
His mom sang in the church choir and
he warmly recalls their prophetic and his favourite bedtime song,
George Gershwin’s “Summertime” from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess.
“One of these mornings
you’re gonna rise up singing
Then you’ll spread your wings
and you’ll take to the sky………”
St. Ann Elementary School Principal, Mother Ignatius recognized the young Eagle Scout’s vocal talents. Scoutmaster, Mr. Howard Jackson led his Boy Scout Troop #213.
John sang “God Bless America” over the school PA system and shared his powerful vocals at all the school functions.
His parents kept him and his siblings, Eugene and Yvette, who are both Nurses, on a constructive, positive path. His mother was a first grade teacher and they were never permitted to just “rip and run”.
John participated in the “Earls of Bucks Drum and Bugle Corps”. He played a percussion instrument, the bass drum and the piano. He still owns that York piano, one of the highest-grade brand names of pianos manufactured by the Weaver Piano & Organ Company of York, PA.
He sang with the Sevilles for 14 years before Blue Notes’ Donnell Gillespie heard him sing and asked him to audition.
According to the Blue Notes web page, “His voice along with his good looks completes the dynamic sounds of Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes.
The Blue Notes went on to perfect something that was already near perfect. There are no adjectives to describe their grand performances. Simply stated- they have been performing to standing room only audiences.
John and his wife, Raquel met as students at West Chester University. They are most proud of their son and daughter and three grandsons.
“I am living my dream as a professional entertainer and being a part of Philadelphia music history.”
The Blue Notes television performances included spots on the Johnny Carson Show, American Bandstand, Soul Train, the Sammy Davis, Jr. Show, Dinah Shore Show, Mike Douglas Show, Merv Griffin Show and the Don Kirshner's Rock Concert.
They have performed in the Apollo Theater Harlem, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, the Palladium in London, the Yankee Stadium in Brooklyn and during the Super Bowl –2009.
Meet the rest of the perfect harmony of the Blue Notes, one of the dynamic groups that came out of the Gamble and Huff Sound of Philadelphia Family.
One of the great lead singers of R&B music, Donnell “Big Daddy” Gillespie- “I think the animal I would identify myself with is a big old Grizzly Bear, but a gentle one.”
Baritone with a smooth dance style, Anthony “Tony” Brooks- “My favorite color is “blue” and favorite food is “meatloaf. My all time favorite movie is the “Godfather” series."
First tenor with a unique dance style, Rufus “Fus” Thorne- "If given an opportunity to have dinner with one person, living or deceased, I would choose my deceased father, Rufus Thorne, Sr.”
Harold Melvin’s widow, Ovelia manages and maintains the Blue Notes’ high-end wardrobe, keeping the group donned in classic suit attire and one of their daughters, Trudy, takes care of logistics as the road manager.
See you Saturday for the legendary, spell binding, soul stirring performances of "the music you love to remember".
Don't miss this opportunity to hear some of the greatest names in Doo Wop for FREE.
Everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs, sweaters and blankets for your own best seats.
Parking will be available at Lenox Corporation, 1414 Radcliffe Street. Buses will transport concertgoers to and from the parking lot until 11:00 PM.
Sunday, September 18th, 2011 has been scheduled as a rain date.
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