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2012-2013 Season

History of American Rock and Roll

February 2 at 8 p.m.

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Charlie Thomas’ Drifters – While the The Five Crowns met with little commercial success, they enjoyed local popularity and that is why they were on the bill at the Apollo Theater in New York City in 1958 when George Treadwell fired his famous group, The Drifters. It was Charlie Thomas’ voice that Treadwell heard and hastily recruited the Crowns to become the new Drifters. Lover Patterson once said that Charlie Thomas’ voice was one that the world would enjoy forever, and he was right! The new Drifters first release in 1959 was a song called “There Goes My Baby”. This was the beginning of what is generally acknowledged as the Golden Years of the Drifters.

Shirley Alston Reeves original lead singer of The Shirelles – Bridging doo wop and uptown New York pop-soul, The Shirelles projected a beguiling mixture of tenderness and innocence that was grounded in R&B as much as pop/rock. The Shirelles soon became known throughout the world when they placed six singles in the Top Ten, and their songs have become classics and have since been covered by many artists, including the Mamas and the Papas and Dusty Springfield. Manfred Mann had a hit with a cover of the Shirelles’ song “Sha La La”. And the Beatles themselves covered ” Baby, It’s You” as well as the lesser known “Boys”.

The Chiffons – The Chiffons were one of the top girl groups of the early 1960s. With their trademark tight harmonies, high-stepping confidence and the hit machine of Goffin and King writing songs such as “One Fine Day,” the Chiffons made music that helped define the girl group sound of the era.

The Teenagers – “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” was The Teenagers first and biggest hit. The group, known for both their harmony and choreography, also had hits with “I’m Not a Juvenile Delinquent” and “The ABCs of Love”.

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