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'50s, '60s show definitely 'All Right'

June 26, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, PA. - The Motown sound came to Greencastle Saturday.

The Beary Hobbs' Drifters, The Cornell Gunter Coasters and The Marvelettes gave two performances of 1950s and '60s hits at Greencastle-Antrim Senior High School.

Originally scheduled for The Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, Pa., the show was moved to the high school because of a partial ceiling collapse at the theater several weeks ago. Proceeds from all of the relocated shows still support The Capitol Theatre.

Emcee for the show was Gary Michaels of radio station 95.9 FM, which plays music of the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

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"This music is the sound track of our lives," Michaels said. "We grew up with it, it has gotten into our heads and hearts, and it never leaves."

Wearing bright red suit coats, the Cornell Gunter Coasters performed '50s music in a modern theatrical style.

Because of trouble with the sound system, the group sang their first song, "It's All Right," a cappella and unamplified, making it easier to hear their impeccable harmonies.

After performing "Poison Ivy," one of the members said, "We don't do shows. This is a party," and invited audience members to dance.

The "bass man" took the hand of audience member Sue Henry of Martinsburg, W.Va., and danced with her.

After the show, Henry said she "loves Motown. I've followed it for years. I really enjoyed the show."

Henry's ticket was a birthday present from her friend, Helen Burkhart of Chambersburg. The women have known each other for 20 years, they said.

Burkhart got into the act also, although reluctantly, she said. She was "Lucy Brown" for the song "Charlie Brown."

"I didn't want to do it. (But) he's got this way with the audience," Burkhart said.

Burkhart also likes Motown music, but they agreed that Henry is the real fan. They went to see The Temptations together at The Capitol Theatre once.

Although none of the original Marvelettes are in the trio now performing under that name, the group captured the sound of the originals. The Marvelettes debuted in 1961 with "Please Mister Postman," which sold 3 million copies.

"They are the Motown sound," Michaels said.

Wearing long, black evening gowns, they sang "Heat Wave" and "Beechwood 4-5789."

When they got to "Don't Mess With Bill," one of the singers went into the audience and brought back a man to play the part of Bill.

"It was kinda neat," said Jim White, 67, of Fayetteville, Pa. It was the first time he had danced on stage.

White's wife, Kathy, reacted with surprise and laughter to her husband's appearance on stage.

"It was different," she said after the show. "He's sort of shy. He's quiet."

The Beary Hobbs' Drifters, who have sung for the president, been on television worldwide and performed for the 200th anniversary of the Constitution, wore crisp white suits with white shoes, red ties and red handkerchiefs in their breast pockets.

"We will take you back to that special time in your life when you could understand each and every word" that performers sang, the lead singer said.

After "Up on the Roof" and "This Magic Moment," he asked, "Who remembers 1961?"

Most of audience members raised their hands.

"It's been a long, long journey. It warms my heart when I see all the family, friends and lovers out there," he said by way of introducing "Stand By Me."

While none of the members of the Beary Hobbs' Drifters were with the original group, "We shared the stage with them," the lead singer said. Hobbs was one of the original Drifters.

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