Long Island Doowop Weekend day two
Day two of the Doowop Weekend in Long Island was a real treat, as it featured not only doowop, but some great girl group sounds from the early sixties. First up, of the original groups was the Quotations, who featured their hit song Imagination, plus Let Me In and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and were very enjoyable.Jimmy Stephens of the Safaris followed, with their hit Image Of A Girl, plus Let Me In and Teenager In Love. The first of the sixties girl groups were the Orlons from Philadelphia, a group with three females and one male. who were excellent on Wah Watusi, Not Me, Don't Hang Up and South Street. Then it was the turn of another mixed female/male group the Majors, with a lead singer who absolutely nailed Just A Little Bit Now and A Wonderful Dream.
One of the highlights of the evening came next: a female supergroup comprising five singers from girl groups of the early sixties, each of whom contributed one number each. Margaret Williams of the Cookies sang Chains, Nanette Licari of Reparata and the Delrons contributed Whenever A Teenager Cries, Louise Murray of the Jaynetts did Sally Go Round The Roses, Beverley Warren of the Raindrops sang The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget, and Lilian Walker of the Exciters did Tell Him. All of them sounded very close to the originals and were great to listen to. An absolute delight.
Next up was the next generation of doowoppers Kid Kyle, whose voice was pure on Little Bitty Pretty One, Earth Angel, I'm So Young and The Diary, although he stopped a couple of them when the band, who were excellent on both nights, started wrongly to his ears. Larry Chance and the Earls followed. He's a very funny guy and not a bad singer as Never, the self penned Acapella With My Friends, Remember Then and I Believe showed. Finishing off the first half was Freddie Cannon, who tried hard to get some audience involvement but failed. His numbers included Tallahassee Lassie, Way Down Yonder, a rather dull Shake Rattle and Roll, Palisades Park, Action, an attempt at Land of 1000 Dances and a Chuck Berry tribute. I've seen Freddie before and enjoyed him, but this time the band seemed not to really get him and he struggled.
The second half of the show kicked off with the Capris, the lead singer of whom did an Eddie Holman soundalike on Hey There Lonely Girl and their great hit There's A Moon Out Tonight. Then came a real treat: La La Brooks, lead singer of the Crystals, looked fantastic for her near 70 years and sounded great on Then He Kissed Me, There's No Other Like My Baby, Da Doo Ron Ron and Proud Mary, during which she bounded around the audience like a teenager. I think I'm in love!
Things went downhill somewhat with the next act, Chuck Giroud, who sang lead with both the Hondells and the Castells. He did his best on Little Honda, Sacred and So This Is Love but his voice isn't the greatest. The rest of the show was pure doowop, firstly with the Mystics, who were smooth as silk on Higher and Higher, their big hit Hushabye and Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart. Also good were John Kuse and the Excellents who reprised their US hit Coney Island Baby, and Jimmy Gallaher and the Passions, who were close to perfection on This Night Was Made For Love, Gloria and Just To Be With You. Finally it was a return for Jay Siegel and the Tokens. Jay retains a great voice, which was evident on Tonight I Fell In Love, Portrait Of My Love, and. especially, The Lion Sleeps Tonight.
I felt that the second half, La La Brooks excepted, was a little repetitive, with a string of similar sounding doowop groups, each of them good in their way, but rather similar. But it was a great evening overall, and another great weekend. Will I come next year for the slimmed down show? Not sure, but probably not, based on the names announced so far.