An Afternoon at the
30th Annual (2012) Lead East
September 2, 2011, Parsippany,
The 2012 Lead East (World's Biggest Fifties Party and Classic
Car Show) celebrated its 30th Year in 2012. The annual event began on
Wednesday August 29 and ran through Sunday, September 2. It featured 34
Oldies Bands and Doo Wop Groups, 1800 Vintage Cars from 22 states, numerous
activities and a huge crowd. There was a lot of great vocal group
harmony and a special outdoor tribute to the memory of UGHA founder and
president, Ronnie I. We at Classic Urban Harmony were only able to
attend the Sunday afternoon activities but we had a fabulous time,
For vocal harmony fans, there had already been a Saturday
afternoon acappella concert and an evening show featuring Willie Winfield &
the Harptones, The Dimensions, The Willows, The Teenagers and The Solitaires.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon to catch the second acappella
Outdoors at Lead East 2012
Inside the hotel, we were immediately greeted by our friend,
Jimmy Merchant, original member of the Teenagers and co-writer of "Why Do
Fools Fall In Love".
Pam Horner & Jimmy Merchant
Charlie Horner & Jimmy Merchant
We arrived at the acappella concert too late to obtain a photo
of the first group, our friends Junior & The Four Seniors, but did catch the
end of their performance. They sounded great, especially singing "Mr.
Misery," a song that one of their members, John Paloney, was on the original
recording [by the Intentions on the Jamie label].
The concert was emceed by our friend Cool Bobby B of the Doo
Wop Stop (Sirius/XM Radio),
Cool Bobby B
Echoes of Time
The Barons (Crowns)
The Copians with Rich Giresi (right) leading
The Copians with Jim Bakay (right) leading
Bob Belniak (Echoes of the Past magazine & NE Doo Wop Society),
Pam Horner, Glen Fisher (WJCT Radio's "Doo Wop Revival")
Pam & Charlie
(Photo courtesy of John Bishop)
Jim Bakay (Copians & WRDV Radio) and Joe O'Donnell (5/3
In addition to the formal concerts, Lead east had several
strolling acappella doo wop singing groups. These included our friends,
Re-MemberThen, strolling acappella group
A special "Remembering Ronnie I" Tribute was set up outside at
the Rhode Island Island. Ronnie I was a key figure in Lead East until
his passing. The tribute site was constantly crowded with former UGHA
members and Ronnie I friends and fans. Tony O played music and tapes of
Ronnie I. radio shows. Singers would stop by and spontaneously start
harmonizing. It was a beautiful event.
Tony O playing music at the Ronnie I Tribute
Young group, the Whiptones (13-16 years old) from Whippany, NJ,
harmonizing at the Ronnie I. tribute.
Our thanks to all who put together the Ronnie I Tribute,
especially KJ O'Doherty, Tony O and Tom Harford. We hear it may become
an annual event!
Copyright © Classic Urban Harmony LLC, 2012. All