For those of us who were fortunate to attend TJ Lubinsky’s two-day TV taping of the PBS Doo Wop Generations concert at Asbury Park NJ’s historic Paramount Theatre, we got to experience a once-in-a-lifetime event! This was the first time we at Classic Urban Harmony ever attended a TV show taping of this magnitude and it certainly gave us an appreciation of how much hard work and long hours go into it. Each aspect of every song performed must be worked out in detail, including the set, singing, stage position, choreography, lighting and multiple camera angles. Much of this is accomplished during the day-long rehearsals, but still required multiple takes on most songs before the full audience during the final evening taping.
Our sincere thanks to producers TJ Lubinsky and Henry Deluca and their staff for granting Classic Urban Harmony full access to the backstage and rehearsals on both December 12 and 13, 2017. Since most people don’t get to experience what goes on behind the scenes, we thought we’d give you all a peek at what we experienced. We arrived in Asbury Park for rehearsals on Tuesday at 10:45 AM. With only a short break for dinner, we stayed in the Paramount Theatre until almost the end of the evening show at 2:00 AM Wednesday morning. We returned to the Wednesday rehearsals before Noon on Wednesday and stayed until 2:30 AM on Thursday. At that point, there were still four acts to go. We would have stayed to the end, but we had a Thursday morning business meeting scheduled.
The long hours were prompted by the needed retakes on most songs both during rehearsals and the actual concert taping. That said, there was never a dull moment. Everywhere we went, we ran into singer friends, many of whom we had not seen for ages. We stayed across the street from the Paramount, in the Berkeley-Carteret Hotel. By chance, we were given the corner room on the uppermost floor with views of the ocean on two sides. We’re not positive, but we believe this room was part of the suite once leased long term by Johnny Cash. But we heard music everywhere in the hotel, mostly from groups warming up in the hallways and stairwells.
The Paramount forbid everyone from taking photos and videos during the concert and having produced so many concerts ourselves, we wanted to respect the wishes of the producers. However, we did take a lot of photos during the rehearsals and elsewhere that we can share with you. Click on any thumbnail here to see the larger version with a label below it telling you what it is. Also, use the right and left arrows to see adjacent photos. When you get to the end use the back arrow to come back to this page.
First, photos from outside the theatre and in the hotel.
Photos from Tuesday’s rehearsals.
At Wednesday’s rehearsals.
Here’s a great video of Frank Pizarro and the Cameos warming up with “Stardust” prior to singing it on stage.
Finally, a couple IPhone shots from the concerts. We know we shouldn’t have taken these but we didn’t photograph during the singing and we couldn’t resist these.
All told, there were great performances from all the artists, of both old and new generations. In order of performance: The Whiptones, Mike Mastellone, Jimmy Clanton, Street Corner Renaisaance, the Heartbeats, the Tee Tones, J.T. Carter’s Crests featuring Peter Lemoncello Jr., J. T. Morgan & Brooklyn Bridge, Re-MemberThen, Larry Chance & the Earls, Vicky Tafoya & the Rendondos, Asa Elliott & the Modern Gentlemen, Bobby Brooks Wilson (Jackie Wilson’s son), the Danleers, the Majors, the Visser Brothers, the Skyliners, the Alley Cats, Kid Kyle & the Kool Kats, Gwynn Alden, the Belmonts, the Duprees, Caddillac Chris Ruggierio, the Lovettes, the Whatabouts, Shy of a Dozen, Kenny Vance & the Planotones, New Orleans Bishop & the Voices Of Soul, the Virginia Gentlemen, the Del Satins, Freddy Velas & the Silvertones, Jay Siegal & the Tokens, Justin & James, Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, Jay & the Americans, the Cats Pajamas, Frank Pizarro & the Cameos, the Legends of Doo Wop, Frankie Lymon’s Teenagers, the Marcels and the Swallows. [Hope we didn’t miss anyone.] So much talent on stage over two days.
The concert was emceed by our good friend Alan David Stein of WMTR-AM’s Friday night “Doo Wop Drive” along with Pittsburgh dee jay Mike Frazer. Jon “Bowser” Bauman handled the taped for TV introductions. Little Anthony Gourdine introduced one act on stage but interviewed others backstage for TV.
In addition we got to see a video of Fred Parris with the Five satins singing “In The Still Of The Night” taken last month at the church where the record was first recorded.
The final edited version of the TV show is due to air on PBS sometime in March, 2018. Watch for it!