What an incredible night (Sunday, July 10) at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen NJ, as we celebrated our first anniversary of bringing acappella groups into the Central Jersey nightspot on a monthly basis. The club was packed to standing room only.  We came dangerously close to turning away people who didn’t make reservations, but a couple “no shows” and the club bringing out some extra chairs allowed us fit everyone in.  The first 50 paid admissions received a special surprise souvenir of the event – a 45 RPM vinyl record by a great R&B vocal group in a custom made cardboard sleeve containing our logo and a list of all the acappella groups that performed at Roxy & Dukes during the past year.  Though most of the 45’s were reissues, there was an occasional original label 45 mixed in.  [We wonder who got the original label copy of “219 Train” by the Moonglows on Chance? 😉 ]   On stage were two of the more popular acappella groups around – Grand Central Echoes and the Whiptones.

The Grand Central Echoes turned in a spectacular set, including great versions of “Hey Senorita,” “Wonderful Girl,” “I Thank The Moon,” “Sunday Kind Of Love,” “One Summer Night,” “Zoom,” “Don’t Say Goodnight,” Could this be magic” and “Solitaire”. Tony Aquino handled most of the leads with his strong voice.  Elliot Matlin, Harry Van, Michael Pia and Roger Miliote provided some tight harmony.  Elliot also  did a nice lead on “One Summer Night”.  Roger normally sings with Nostalgix but filled in for Shelly Buchansky who was ill.

During intermission we handed out some great door prizes including double CD’s by the Flamingos, Imperials & Chantels and doo wop caps, donated by Grand Central Echoes, to about ten people.

The Whiptones, the teenage singing sensations from Whippany, NJ, showed why they are so popular. They started up tempo with “Who’s That Knocking” and “Rama Lama Ding Dong and really had the place rocking with “Rockin’ Robin'”.  At one point they called a young lady up from the audience and serenaded her with the Cadillacs’ “Please Be My Girlfriend”.  The Whiptones’ high energy set continued with “Book Of Love,” Runaround Sue,” “Long Tall Girl” and “ABC’s Of Love”.  They paid tribute to Johnny Maestro with “It Must Be Love” and even sang an original tune, “The Best Time Of Our Lives,” a song that they sang at their high school graduation.  The encored with “Come Back My Love”.  We’ve been fans of Mike, Derek, Brad and Matt since we first saw them at Lead East in 2012.

Our sincere thanks to both fabulous groups, Grand Central Echoes and the Whiptones for some great harmony. Thanks also to all who came out to help us celebrate, and to Roxy & Dukes and their staff for making all this possible.  Now on to our Second Year.  Nostalgia 5 and the Copians on Sunday night, August 14.  See you there.  (But don’t forget to email us for reservations at CUH@att.net.)

Click on any photo to enlarge or scroll down to watch videos of the night’s performances!