When an anonymous source
tipped us off that one of our favorite up-and-coming doo wop acappella
groups, “Re-memberThen,” would be holding an impromptu rehearsal in the
commuter tunnel under the railroad five minutes from Classic Urban Harmony
headquarters, you had to know we’d be there to cover it.
Arriving just after rush
hour at the Bound Brook (NJ) train station, we had to let the evening
commuters clear 98-year-old concrete tunnel that connects the north- and
south-bound trains before the group could fill the cavern with harmony.
Bound Brook, NJ Train
Station and Tunnel
Tunnels, of course, have
natural echo, making the human voice sound smoother and fuller. Is it any
wonder, why in days past, singers would congregate in locations where their
voices could reverberate, while they polished their sound?
Members of Re-memberThen
were all seasoned acappella singers in their youth who pushed vocal harmony
to the back of their lives as they got older. They are now back into
singing with a passion, their voices sounding stronger with each rehearsal.
It’s only natural that they’d retrace their younger days and search for an
Members of Re-memberThen
entering the tunnel.
Descending the steps into
the tunnel, Re-memberThen began warming up with “Gee” and then launched to
“Gloria”. The harmony filled the concourse, attracting bystanders who
stopped to listen. The songs flowed rapidly; “Morse Code Of Love,” “Looking
For My Baby,” “My Juanita,” “When we Get Married” and “Tonight Could Be The
Night” with Frank’s stong voice handling most of the leads. Jim did a nice
job on “In The Still Of The Night,” and one of our favorites was Frank’s
rendition of “Crying In The Chapel.”
“As a youngster, I’d sing
with my group in the tunnel at the New Brunswick train station,” New Jersey
native and group leader Frank Cicerale recalled. “We sing there until the
police chased us off.” Tenor, Jim Offner, grew up in Philadelphia and
after deejay Jerry Blavat’s dances at Wagner Ballroom, used to harmonize
with his friends down in the Broad & Olney subway station. Other group
members include Marty Geliebter, Andy Martin and Randy Croce.
One commuter asked if the
group sang here every week. He said if so, he’d be back. There was a time,
we remember, when you could count on hearing any number of acappella groups
competing in the tunnels, subways, underpasses and sheltered courtyards,
anyplace where there was a natural echo. And for one all-to-short evening,
Re-memberThen brought those memories back. Our thanks to Re-memberThen and
all the acappella groups who are keeping the echo alive. – Charlie & Pam
Re-memberThen, left to right: Randy
Croce (bass, South Jersey), Andy Martin (baritone,
Staten Island, NY), Marty Geliebter (2nd tenor/lead, Manalapan, NJ), Frank
(lead/1st & 2nd tenor, Piscataway, NJ), Jim Offner (1st tenor/lead,