April 21, 2018, saw one of Classic Urban Harmony’s greatest concerts ever, Doo Wop Explosion 3. The historic all-acappella concert took place in Monmouth University’s magnificent Pollak Theatre, West Long Branch, NJ. Headlining the concert was legendary doo wop icon Gaynel Hodge – former lead of the Hollywood Flames and Turks, last original founding member of the Platters and co-writer of “Earth Angel,” one of the most familiar songs of all time. Gaynel was backed acappella by Quiet Storm. Quiet Storm also sang their own set and backed spectacular jazz singer Deborah Charleston. Also on the concert were some of the top acappella groups on the East Coast – Joel Katz & the Dynamics, Nostalgia 5, 5/3 Woodland, Re-MemberThen and Frankie & the Fashions. Rising star JT Morgan joined Frankie & the Fashions as a guest vocalist for one song. The concert was produced and emceed by Pam & Charlie Horner of Classic Urban Harmony LLC.
A number of celebrity singers were in the audience including Jimmy Merchant (Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers), Buzzy Willis (Solitaires), Tommy Petillo (Duprees) and Carlotta Cole (Ikettes, Sa-Shays, Utmosts, Sweethearts and many others). For the grand finale Jimmy Merchant and Carlotta Cole joined Gaynel Hodge and the rest of the singers for a rousing version of “Why Do Fools fall In Love”. Carlotta is Gaynel’s niece. Jimmy explained to the audience that the group that would become the Teenagers first called themselves the Earth Angels after Gaynel’s song. Jimmy started the song off with a bass run and Carlotta took the lead.
We’ve debated how to review this concert but no words can adequately describe the flawless acappella harmony we heard from each of the groups. Nor can words capture the excitement that ran through all of us when the event began to take shape. The concert was professionally video’d and videos will be posted on this site in the near future. In the meantime, here are close to 100 photos to give you a flavor of what went on. We’ve included the pre-concert “meet & greet” reception and the concert itself in the photo gallery below. You can click any photo to enlarge and see the caption below it. Use the forward and back arrows to see others; or you can click on the first photo (yellow flyers) and click through the page. There are THREE pages in the gallery, so be sure you click “next page” to see the rest of the photos. Except where noted most photos were taken by Scott Macfarlane and bear his watermark. Others are courtesy of Mary Ann Neil Dorso and Marina Petillo, our taken by us. We’ll be adding even more photos soon. Needless to say, this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. Enjoy the photos.
The Pre-Concert Meet & Greet Reception followed by the Doo Wop Explosion 3 Concert.