LIVE: Golden Oldies Spectacular @ Proctors, 4/11/15

Review by Greg Haymes

Ultimately, a golden oldies show is all about memories, with music serving as the catalyst. But at the annual Golden Oldies Spectacular at Proctors in Schenectady last month, there was more than enough good music to go around even if you weren’t a baby-boomer who grew up hearing those hits on a transistor radio.

The Lettermen were the headliners, and despite numerous personnel changes over the years, their trademark three-part vocal harmonies were intact. Unfortunately, they packaged most of their Top 40 hits into medleys. Decked out in collegiate letter sweaters, 74-year-old Tony Butala (the only original member) led the vocal trio through a too-short mash-up of their hits “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Theme From ‘A Summer Place'” and “When I Fall in Love.” Each member also offered a solo spotlight number – Butala went with a Frank Sinatra medley – and plenty of pressing the flesh with the fans during songs like “Up, Up and Away.” Donovan Tea even sang a country song from the balcony.

It was the dynamic Darlene Love who stole the show, however, exhibiting plenty of genuine star power. “They’re not oldies anymore,” she declared. “They’re classics – like me.” And she wasn’t kidding. Backed by a seven-piece band (the largest of the night), the 73-year-old Love’s powerhouse vocals still send shivers, and decked out in black and silver spangles, she conjured up that classic Phil Spector Wall of Sound with gems like her opening “He’s Sure the Boy I Love,” “Today I Met the Boy I’m Going to Marry” (with a wailing sax solo by the Capital Region’s own Keith Pray), “He’s a Rebel” and her towering finale of “River Deep, Mountain High.”

Jay Siegel’s Tokens threw the spotlight on Siegel’s still impressive falsetto with “Tonight I Fell in Love,” “A Portrait of My Love” and their signature “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” The Marcels (no original members) added some doo-wop and R&B flavor to the evening, as well as some nifty choreography, paying tribute to the Drifters, the Coasters, the Penguins and other groups before closing their set with their iconic “Blue Moon.” The Duprees boasted no original members either, but they delivered credible renditions of love songs “You Belong to Me” and “My Own True Love,” while Phil Granito worked out on Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops.” As Tony Testa paid tribute to the group’s original members, he said, “We honor them, and carry the torch forward.”

People Got to Be Free > Put a Little Love in Your Heart
Our Day Will Come
Medley: Traces/Memories > Hurts So Bad > Put Your Head On My Shoulder > Shangri-La
Frank Sinatra Medley: I Get a Kick Out of You > I’ve Got You Under My Skin > Night and Day
Cowboy Love
Daddy’s Girl
Up, Up & Away
Medley: The Way You Look Tonight > Theme From “A Summer Place” > When I Fall in Love
Sealed With a Kiss
Unchained Melody
Bring Him Home
Medley: Goin’ Out of My Head > Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You
God Bless the USA

He’s Sure the Boy I Love
Wait Til My Bobby Gets Home > Da Doo Ron Ron
Today I Met the Boy I’m Going to Marry
Marvin Gaye Medley: Ain’t That Peculiar > You’re All I Need to Get By > Ain’t No Mountain High Enough > What’s Goin’ On
He’s a Rebel
Lean On Me
River Deep, Mountain High

Have You Heard?
It Isn’t Fair
Beyond the Sea
The Things I Love
Why Don’t You Believe Me?
Take Me as I Am
Jackie Wilson Medley
My Own Tru Love
American Music
You Belong to Me

Tonight I Fell in Love
I’ll Always Love You
The Wanderer
Portrait of My Love
My Girl
See You in September > One Fine Day
The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Goodbye to Love
Yakety Yak
Save the Last Dance for Me
Stand by Me > Cupid
High School Memories Medley
Blue Moon

Comments are closed.