Two years ago a remarkable event took place at Lincoln Center Out of Doors. In partnership with the Ponderosa Stomp, the summer series presented an entire day devoted to the music and history of the 1960's Girl Group Sound, with a panel discussion and a five hour concert featuring many of the seminal singers and groups of the era. For those of us who treasure this music, it was an unprecedented, outstanding showcase of music that definitely doesn't receive its due often enough.
Some of the producers of the 2011 show have put together the Girl Group Sound Spectacular which takes place Sunday night, September 8 at BB Kings and it is not to be missed - especially if you missed the last one! The story of the girl group sound is a unique New York story in which young writers, producers and musicians from all walks of life collaborated in creating music that celebrated American teenage dreams with songs that combined raw emotional urgency and sophisticated production. Neighborhood girls, church choir singers, high school prodigies, babysitters and secretaries from Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan became overnight sensations.
Kids everywhere responded to their music, sending these records to the top of the charts, dominating the airwaves for several years and defining the era between early rock and roll and the British Invasion of the early 60's. The girl group sound was also, notably, created by a fully integrated collective in the era just before Civil Rights. Those involved formed tight personal and professional friendships, many of which endure to this day.
Maxine Brown at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 2011.
Photo by Kevin Yatarola, Used With Permission.
While generations of music fans of all ages can sing these songs by heart, most of these great singers are not known by name. The Girl Group Sound Spectacular salutes the women behind these unforgettable hits. The evening will feature Baby Washington ("That's How Heartaches are Made"), Maxine Brown ("Oh No, Not My Baby"), Barbara Harris (of The Toys' "A Lovers Concerto"), Margaret Ross-Williams (of The Cookies' "Chains), Louise Murray (of The Jaynetts' "Sally Go Round the Roses"), Beverly Warren (of the Raindrops' "The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget"), Lillian Walker-Moss (of The Exciters' "Tell Him"), Nanette Licari (of Reparata and the Delrons' "Whenever a Teenager Cries"), and Toni Wine ("A Groovy Kind of Love"). The singers will be backed by The Boyfriends, featuring members of The Losers Lounge, The Uptown Horns, and Yo La Tengo, helmed by musical director Jeremy Chatzky.
With the recent wild success of The Rascals Once Upon A Dream on Broadway, the recent film 20 Feet From Stardom, and the upcoming Broadway production Beautiful - The Carole King Musical about King's early life and career, it is clear that audiences are clamoring to hear and learn more about the iconic music of the Sixties. Sunday's Girl Group Sound Spectacular highlights and pays tribute to those unsung heroines who are such a special part of our musical history.
Tickets can be purchased here.