Band reaches out for Four Tops
By BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 16, 2001
If you want to see the original Four Tops on Sunday, you can hop an airplane to New York and pay big bucks to see them at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx.
Then you can go to the Pasco-Hernando Community College Performing Arts Center on Sunday to see Spectrum, a Las Vegas-based singing group that does all the Four Tops' favorite tunes -- Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch; Baby, I Need Your Loving; Reach Out, I'll Be There.
Gaming Today columnist Steve Beyer described the group as "tight, classy . . . men (who) deliver an outstanding performance of the Tops classic tunes."
Nite Life writer Don Usherson said the four "have the sound, personality and energy needed to pull this one off."
The Four Tops had its first big hit, Baby, I Need Your Loving, in 1964, and the original four members continued to perform until June 1997, when Lawrence Payton died of liver cancer. Shortly thereafter, former Temptations member Theo Peoples joined the group, and in continues to perform nearly 200 concerts and almost 100 corporate shows every year.
Spectrum was organized five years ago in Las Vegas to do the Four Tops songs as part of a multimillion-dollar stage extravaganza at the Imperial Palace Theatre in the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino, "Legends in Concert." It also did the act in "American Superstars" at the Stratosphere.
Group founder Cushney Roberts researched the Four Tops, organized and arranged the music and harmonies, coordinated the choreography, got the outfits and prepared the team for the stage. He auditioned extensively, then chose former Navy man Redd Williams, former Delfonics singer Daniel Mitchell, and longtime performer Kenny Walcott to round out the group.
Opening for the group is Elvis impersonator Bill Atkins.
At a glance
WHAT: Spectrum performs the Four Tops' hits opening act is Bill Atkins
WHERE: Pasco-Hernando Community College Performing Arts Center, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey
WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday
TICKETS: $10 to $14. Call 816-3241 or 847-5313 or purchase at the box office, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. today.
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