Doowop Weekend day two
Day two of the Long Island Doowop Weekend was another marathon with 15 acts performing, but the accent was more on oldies pop nostalgia this time than pure Doowop. The first act, Linda Jansen with the Angels was a case in point, with so so renditions of Cry Baby Cry, Til and My Boyfriend's Back. Doowop was represented by The Fireflies, in bright yellow suits, who were adequate on Morse Code Of Love and You Were Mine, but Johnny Farina's instrumentals, including he and Santo's Teardrop and Sleepwalk, were fine but didn't really fit. A couple of highlights followed, both in the pop style. Kathy Young looked and sounded great on Happy Birthday Blues and her A Thousand Stars brought a lump to the throat. Next was Chris Montez, who I've seen a couple of times lately and doesn't disappoint with his enthusiasm and boyish charm. This time he included some of his MOR material, with Call Me and The More I See You, which went down well with the audience, but also included C'mon Lets Go, All You Had To Do, a duet with Kathy Young, and the bubbly Let's Dance, during which he came down into the auditorium and danced with a couple of women.
The young Kid Kyle showed that Doowop isn't quite dead with impressive versions of Earth Angel and The Diary. Larry Chance and the Earls continued the theme withe the ballad Never, the revivalist Remember Then and an average take on I Believe, before Jay Siegel's Tokens really lifted things with some high class singing,including a note perfect version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Other numbers included Tonight I Fall In Love, A Portrair Of Our Love and a couple of numbers by acts that Jay produced: the Happenings' See You In September, and the Chiffons' One Fine Day. After the break the Jarmels were impressive on Never Let You Go and A Little Bit Of Soap, and Maurice Newton of The Fidelitys, was soulful on Captain Of My Ship and the group's biggest hit Thr Things Of Love. Lenny Dell and The Demensions were no more than average on standards like Unchained Melody and their hit Over The Rainbow, but the next act, Eugene Pitt and the Jive Five, put them to shame. Dressed in lime green suits they were superb on WhatTime Is It and I'm a Happy Man and Eugene Pitt showed that he still what it takes on their classic My True Story. Act of the day I think. Willie Winfield and The Harptones were smooth and soulful on their set, during which MC Bobby J sang bass on A Sunday Kind Of Love, but Jimmy Beaumont and The Skyliners didn't quite hit the heights with Pennies From Heaven, I'll Go My Lonely Way and their smash Since I Don't Have You. Finally Charlie Thomas's Drifters closed things out with some singalong, including On Broadway. Overall this was another fine day, with Eugene Pitt, The Tokens, Chris Montez and Kathy Young taking the honours. Next year's will be the last Doowop Weekend in its present form. Audience numbers are declining it seems and a new format for the die hard doowoppers is promised. I await news with interest. Photos to follow when I get home.