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DVR alert! Check your Local PBS Station

Check your local TV listings for tomorrow night, Friday – March 6, and over the next few days. My local public station is in one of its fund-raising cycles and they use some terrific music specials as their major vehicles.

This Friday (March 6) Atlanta’s PBA-30 is broadcasting Rock, Rhythm & Doo Wop, a terrific all-star show of performers from the early days of Doo Wop & Rick ‘n Roll. You will get to see the original performers do their hits from the early 50’s to the early 60’s.

This show is one of T.J. Lubinsky‘s excellent productions for public television. Yeah, there will be a few pledge breaks but, if you like this music as much as I do, you probably have to go pee a few times anyway. And consider calling in during one of those breaks to support your local station and get one of the great CD-DVD thank-you gifts in return.

There are some really great acts in this show. Little Anthony & the Imperials do three numbers, including Goin’ Out of My Head. This may be the last filmed performance with the classic foursome. Jay Black, of Jay & the Americans fame, does an unbelievable performance of Cara Mia. Jay sounds deeper, better, stronger than when he performed the same song on Shindig in the ’60s

Don’t stop watching too early. Near the end Kathy Young & the Innocents reunite do A thousand Stars. She looks wonderful! As the host, Jerry Butler, points out, she was “only fourteen years old” when she cut the original hit. Amazing! Also, Fred Parris rejoins The Satins (used to be The Five Satins) to do I’ll Remember (In the Still of the Night).

Also on the show are The Tokens. Original lead Jay Siegel (now Dr. Jay Siegel) is terrific in this performance, and most of the original Token’s appear. The only missing ingredient is Anita Darian, who sang descant on the original recording. I have always thought that Anita had the greatest voice ever pressed onto a ’45. The descant part is adequately performed here by Donna Groom, wife of the kettle-drummer.

The Greatest Voice in Rock 'n Roll

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Why I pick the 50’s and early 60’s

When it comes to Oldies, my favorites are from the very early days as Rhythm & Blues and Doo Wop gradually morphed into Rock ‘n Roll and became the music of teenagers. I cut it off at the early 60’s because I think The Beatles, and the rest of the “British Invasion” changed Rock ‘n Roll forever. And not necessarily for the better, in some profound ways.

I am open to and, in fact, encourage debate on this. If I am going to offer up my opinions (e.g. no dead-teenager songs) then everybody else gets to offer his or her own. That’s what this is all about. Sharing our likes, dislikes and memories of the music that has been the background to our lives.

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