Doo-wop tour to rock New Port Richey
By BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN
© St. Petersburg Times,
In late August, local entertainment presenter Eddie Morelli brought four legendary rock, rhythm and blues and doo-wop groups to the Center for the Arts at River Ridge for a three-hour concert that rocked the rafters.
On Oct. 6, he will raise the River Ridge curtain on The Doo-Wop 50 Tour, showcasing four 1950s and 1960s groups from the New York City area who went on to have bright moments in popular music's national sun.
Headlining the show will be Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, who are best remembered for the 1968 hit The Worst That Could Happen, which went to No. 3 on the pop charts.
Earlier in his career, Maestro had been lead singer with the Crests, whose 1958 ballad Sixteen Candles was a classic even before the 1980s Molly Ringwald movie of the same name made it immortal. The Crests' other well-known songs during Maestro's tenure were Step by Step and The Angels Listened In.
Also on the show are the Capris, a Queens, N.Y., group best known for the tight harmonies on There's A Moon Out Tonight, which went to No. 4 on the pop charts in 1960. The group broke up in 1964, but came back together in the early 1980s when a nostalgia craze brought their original hit back to prominence and their Morse Code of Love brought them new fans.
Another Queens group, the Cleftones, are also on the program doing their Little Girl of Mine, which went to No. 8 on rhythm and blues charts and to No. 57 on pop charts. Their See You Next Year was a hit in the New York City area.
Non-New Yorkers will probably remember the Cleftones best for their covers of the standards, Heart and Soul, which got the group to No. 18 on both pop and R&B charts, and For Sentimental Reasons.
The fourth group, Earl Lewis and the Channels, came from Harlem and had a sound all their own. Three of the five members sang close harmony, while deep bass Clifton Wright was featured and Earl Lewis sang falsetto far above the harmony. Their The Closer You Are was a hit in 1956. Their other songs include My Love Will Never Die, Altar of Love, My Heart Is Sad and a cover of Frankie Laine's That's My Desire.
The show is rounded out with the Tampa Bay group the Satellites.
At a glance
WHAT: Doo-Wop 50 Tour
WHERE: Center for the Arts at River Ridge, Town Center Road, New Port Richey
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6
TICKETS: $35. Call (727) 843-0162 or 1-800-434-5776. Web site is www.geocities.com/morellioldieshows
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111