Popular oldies groups coming to Hagerstown

November 18, 1998|By KATE COLEMAN

Popular oldies groups coming to Hagerstown

[group profiles]

It's the songs, not the singers.

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," by The Platters, "Yakety Yak," by The Coasters, The Drifters' "Up on the Roof" and "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes evoke youthful memories for countless baby boomers.

The groups have been around since the 1950s and '60s. There won't be any original members on stage at The Maryland Theatre Saturday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m., but that hasn't stopped area fans from nearly selling out the house. And it hasn't stopped the music.

--cont. from lifestyle--

"The cast was always changing," says Carlos Larraz, concert promoter.

Some of this music has been around for 45 years.

"It's definitely the music," says Jerome Jackson, who has been a Drifter for 10 years. He performed with three of the group's original members.


The Drifters perform more than 200 shows a year, touring all over the United States. The act usually performs alone, but does some shows with the groups they'll be with in Hagerstown.

"We don't be joking when we hit the stage. This is no amateur show," Jackson says.

Jackson says he's amazed by how many young people, including teenagers and 4- and 5-year-olds, attend concerts. They know the words to the songs and sing along. He's never seen anyone leave a show without a smile, he says.

The music is going to last forever, says Chuck Cannon, Oldies 106.9 FM radio disc jockey and one of the evening's masters of ceremonies.

Cannon, who has worked in the oldies format at radio stations in California and Georgia, loves the music. Ratings never go down, according to Cannon. Lots of younger people - not just those who grew up with the music - listen, too, he says.

"I like it because it's just life," says Margie Lowery of Hagerstown. She and three of her faculty colleagues at Hagerstown Business College have tickets to the Saturday performance.

Phil Amrhein is one of the HBC teachers. He doesn't listen to oldies all the time, but he does like oldies a lot.

Amrhein, 51, grew up with the music in East Baltimore. He achieved a dream of his youth by dancing with Mary Lou Raines and Vicki - he doesn't remember her last name - two members of "The Committee," the regular teenage dancers on "The Buddy Dean Show," a local television version of American Bandstand. Although he couldn't wear the super tight-legged pants some of "The Committee" guys wore, he got in front of the camera and had a great time.

The teachers will gather for wine and cheese at Lowery's before the concert and are really excited about the evening, Lowery says.

And well they should be.

Jackson says he and his fellow performers are looking forward to coming to Hagerstown, and has some advice for people attending the show.

"Make sure they bring their dancing shoes," he says.

Oldies concert ticket information

The Drifters, The Platters, The Coasters and The Marvelettes

  • When: Saturday, Nov. 21, 8 p.m.
  • Where: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown
  • Tickets: $21.50 and $24.50, plus $1.50 service charge. Available at The Maryland Theatre or by calling the box office at 301-790-2000.

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