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5th Annual Philadelphia Doo Wop Festival
September 11, 2010

by Pamela Horner 


 

Once again great weather prevailed for the fifth annual Philly Doo Wop Festival held outdoors at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.  In the history of the festival, it has never rained.  This year’s festival was especially poignant because it occurred on 9/11.  Each year the Doo Wop Festival benefits our veterans through the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Educational Center.

The show began with the National Anthem.  The opening act was the acappella group Junior and The Four Seniors.  Jimmy Depre lead “Could This Be Magic”  backed by experienced group of Philadelphia singers.  Former Ecstasies’ lead Dave Moore led  “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”.


Junior & the Four Seniors


Junior & the Four Seniors


Junior & the Four Seniors
 

Bobby Tippin, singing solo performed the patriotic “Goodnight Saigon” to a track.  A young jazz soloist, Rabiyah, had her own band backing her. She sang a couple of numbers including her current tune “Drives”.


Bobby Tippin performing
 

A surprise guest to the festival was Jimmy Merchant, original member of Frankie Lymon's Teenagers.  He treated the crowd to “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” (a song he co-wrote) backed by the Philly acappella group Quiet Storm.


 

Jimmy Merchant (right) backed by Quiet Storm


Teenagers' Jimmy Merchant


Jimmy Merchant & Quiet Storm


Jimmy Merchant & Pam Horner


Popular vocal group 45 RPM who has been on the Philly music scene for many years performed several numbers including “Hey There Lonely Boy” and “Zing Went The Strings”.  They ended their  performance with “God Bless The USA”.


45 RPM


45 RPM


Michael Williams from the motion picture, “Standing Ovation” performed a couple of hip hop numbers.


Michael Williams (left)


Of course the Philly Doo Wop Festival always draws quite a crowd.  There were many friends and celebrities in the audience and we couldn't capture them all on film.  We did catch up to a few of them.


Part of the crowd at Penn's landing


John Paloney (currently of Junior & the 4 Seniors) (left)
and Frank Lafaro of Frankie & the Fashions


Christine Vitale of WFDU-FM and E-Z from the acappella group, Choice


Joe Grimaldi of the Ecstasies & Charlie Horner


Gold Radio's George Frunzi & Pam Horner


Pat & Stu Pushkin of the Doo Wop Group Harmony Singers Club
 

Next up was a vocal group from Pittsburg who sang acappella named The Streetlights. They were nicely attired  in matching shirts of different hues. They sang traditional doo wop songs such as “Sixty Minute Man”, “Diamonds And Pearls” and “In The Still of the Night”.


The Streetlights


Penn's Landing waterfront during the Doo Wop Festival


The Battleship New Jersey, across the Delaware River from Penn's Landing
 

Attired in debonair black tuxes with red bow ties was one of Philly’s most popular vocal groups today, Quiet Storm.  This great acappella group was well received by the crowd.  Some of their songs were “Oh What A Night”, “Sincerely”, and Everyone’s Got A Home But Me”.  They closed with the song that everyone was waiting for, The Blue Note’s song “She Is Mine”, which ended with a piercing high tenor note.


Quiet Storm


Quiet Storm


Quiet Storm


Quiet Storm

 

King Arthur, one of the event's MC's.
 


Bill Diamond, one of the event organizers and also a member of Cornerstone
(Photo courtesy of Johnny B)


Tre Ja Vous is a female trio that specializes in some of the girl group songs of the 50’s and 60’s.  They sang Linda Jones’ "Hypnotized” along with “Be My Baby” and “ You Can’t Hurry Love”.


Tra Ja Vous


Tra Ja Vous
 

One of our favorite groups was up next Cornerstone featuring Golden Voice Harry.  They were brightly attired in red jackets and black slacks.  While previously known for their doo wop songs, this group made the transition into soul harmony.  Not only do they sound great, their choreography is sharp.  Some of the songs they sang were “Who’s That Knocking”, “Down by The Ocean”, “Hold Back The Night” (Trammps), and “United” (Intruders) They also sang an original song, “When Two People Fall In Love,” from their new CD, Sharkskin, Silk & Soul.


Cornerstone


Cornerstone choreography


Cornerstone


Cornerstone.  Golden Voice Harry on right.


Ferry on the waterfront


Left to right: E-Z (Choice), Gil Torres (Larkings), Charlie Horner


Two original Ecstasies: Joe Leone and Joe Grimaldi.
Joe Leone (left) was the first tenor on "Lucky Old Sun" (Amy label).
 

Another favorite group of ours is the outrageous Little Isidore & The Inquisitors.  They began with “Doot Dootsi Wah,” an original song.  They also sang “Dry Your Eyes,” “Oceans Apart,” "Harlem Hit Parade” and many more of their well know tunes.  As usual they were dressed in very striking outfits in a red and black theme.


Little Isidore & the Inquisitors


Little Isidore & the Inquisitors


Little Isidore & the Inquisitors
Left to right: Johnny Staccato, Little Isidore, Molten Milten, Kitten Kaboodle
 

The featured group of the day was the Chantels.  As usual they were outstanding, featuring Ami Ortiz on most of the leads.   They sang their well-known hits such as "Look In My Eyes," He's Gone," "I Love You So" and "Maybe."


The Chantels
(Photo courtesy of Johnny B.)


The Chantels' Amy Ortiz
(Photo courtesy of Johnny B)


The Chantels
(Photo courtesy of Johnny B)


This years' festival features some non-vocal group artists including soloists, jazz and hip hop artists.  While the crowd might have perferred an all doo wop festival, there was plenty of group harmony throughout the afternoon.  If you missed this year's be sure to catch next year's Philly Doo Wop Festival.


 

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