There was plenty of harmony – smooth acappella harmony – at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen NJ this past Valentines Weekend, 2017. Two great Philadelphia acappella quintets, the Copians and Nostalgia 5, combined for a total of 31 fabulous songs that had us feeling sorry for anyone who missed this show!. Both groups have performed at Roxy & Dukes before and we were glad to have them back.
The Copians started things off with a couple of up tempo songs, “So Fine” and “While Walking” and then surprised the audience with their interpretation of the Sonny Gordon & the Angels’ song, “Wedding Bells (Are Ringing In My Ears)” The Copians set was full of surprises that night as they prepared for their big March 4 performance at Monmouth University’s Doo Wop Explosion II. In between more well known songs like “Hey Senorita” “Pain In MY Heart” and “The Wind,” the Copinas give us their own renditions of a number of great songs we never expected to hear done as acappella group sounds. Horace Brown led Bobby Blue Bland’s “Members Only” prompting members of the audience calling for him to sing it again as an encore. (He didn’t – the Copians chose John Bishop’s classic rendition of “Would You Still Be Mine”. We were thrilled to hear the Copians tackle “Remember What I Told You To Forget,” probably the best song Tavares ever did! Bill Keith (Charlie’s former co-host on the radio) led that song along with a lesser known Cadillacs song called “I’m In Love” that only seems to have appeared on the Cadillacs’ Murry Hill box set. We didn’t recognize it at the time but now it is one of our favorite Cadillacs sings. Plenty of other highlights to the Copians’ performance including Bob Reilly’s Jocko imitation – something he’s been doing since the Neighbors Complaint days of the 1980’s. Our thanks to Jim Bakay, Bill Keith, John Bishop, Horace Brown and Bob Reilly.
Nostalgia 5 did the second set and they were spectacular. Starting with “Sixty Minute Man” (Pete Siciliano lead), the group followed up with the soulful sound of the Mighty Marvellows’ “In The Morning”. Again, the song selection was magnificent – a mix of better known songs like “Drip Drop,” “As Time Goes By,” “Farewell My Love,” and “Ten Commandments Of Love” with collectors items like “Here’s That rainy Day” (Intervals) and “Please Be My Girlfriend” (not the Cadillacs arrangement but that of the Spotlighters). We understand that most of Nostalgia 5’s arrangements were done by Mike Impriano – a splendid job! All the members of the group had a chance to sing lead, and all did well. Many in the audience were waiting for bass Pete to sing some Ravens songs and he didn’t disappoint them. How often do you hear an acappella group sing Jimmy Ricks’ “Count Every Star,” “Love Is The Things” and “If You Didn’t Mean It”? Many thanks to Pete Siciliano, Ted Ziffer, Michael Impriano, John Squillaciotti, Jim Tschantz.
Here are some photos and a few YouTube videos of the event. Click on any photo to enlarge and then use the side arrows to see others.