On June 12,
2010, Richard Nader Entertainment Inc., presented Richard Nader’s Summer Doo
Wop Reunion XXI at the IZOD Center in the Meadowlands, NJ. The enjoyable
day and night of doowop music honored the memory of Richard Nader, who
started the Rock & Roll Oldies Revival at Madison Square Garden in 1969.
Sadly, Richard succumbed to complications of Parkinson’s disease in December
2009. Deborah Nader is keeping alive Richard’s dream.
started with a doo wop tailgate party and classic car display. Many old
cars were on view in the parking lot.
examines classic cars
outdoor stage, three outstanding acappella vocal groups battled it out for a
chance to appear on the main indoor stage later that night. Former WCBS
radio personality, Don K. Reed, allowed New Millennium, Sounds of the Street
and Quiet Storm to each sing a twenty-minute set while the audience picked
the winner with their applause. Each group did an outstanding job, but the
winner was Quiet Storm, an impressive group out of Philadelphia.
Left to Right: Smitty from Quiet Storm, member of New
Don K. Reed, member of Sounds of the Street
Don K. Reed
(front) with Quiet Storm
Storm's Smitty and Pam
of VIP tickets there was a “meet and greet” with the singers. We spoke
briefly with Richie Freeman, long time member of the Five Satins who signed
our program. (For the record collectors reading this, Richie had previously
sung with the Starlarks on the Elm and Aancho labels.) Three of the
Coasters were there, including bass singer “Fast Eddie” Whitfield whom
Charlie has know for about 25 years. Eddie once sang with the acappella
group, Neighbor’s Complaint from Philadelphia. Eddie introduced us to the
other Coasters and we had a few photos taken together.
VIP Meet &
Pam & Five
Satins' Richie Freeman
Pam with the Coasters
grabbing something to eat, we headed toward our seats on the floor of the
IZOD Center. Deborah Nader addressed the crowd, talking about Richard’s
legacy in producing shows like this since 1969. She told us that Richard
was a veteran who served in Korea. Deborah then introduced Amanda Nikka who
at age fourteen was a very polished performer with a strong voice. She sang
the patriotic song “God Bless the USA” followed with “I Believe.” Barbara
Harris of the Toys entertained us with “Lovers’ Concerto” and was joined by
Amanda Nikka for a duet of “I Will Survive.”
Barbara Harris of the Toys
a long time friend of the late Johnny Maestro, and now the leader of the
Crests came on stage to sing “The Angels Listened In” and “16 Candles.”
Mara’s Crests were two former members of the blue-eyed Philadelphia soul
group the Soul Survivors who did “Expressway to Your Heart.”
Tommy Mara & the Crests
Reed, whose long running radio “Doo Wop Shop” is still remembered by New
York area fans, introduced the next group. The Five Satins were very
impressive. Fred Paris sounds remarkably the same as he did on his
records. They harmonized to ”The Jones Girl” and “In The Still of the
Night”. Astonishingly, they began the latter song acappella and then
repeated it with the band.
Fred Parris (right) with the Satins
Nader introduced Terry Stewart, the President and CEO of The Rock And Roll
Hall of Fame and Museum. Terry spoke about the Hall and how The Coasters
were inducted into it. The Coasters put on a fabulous show! They looked
very polished dressed in red jackets. The group is lead by Carl Gardner Jr.
the son of Carl Gardner. Some of the songs they sang were “Poison Ivy,” “Searchin,”
“Young Blood,” and “Charlie Brown.” The Coasters had great chorography and
their dancing was very lively.
R&R Hall of Fame President, Terry Stewart
who are always a very polished act, described themselves as the other boys
from Jersey. They dedicated their set to Richard Nader and Johnny Maestro.
They vocalized “My Own True Love,” and “You Belong to Me,” with Tommy
Patillo back on lead. Phil Granito led the group in a spirited rendition of
“Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops.”
Cookies, a female trio led by original member Margaret Ross performed their
big hits “Chains” and “Don’t Say Nothing Bad About My Baby.” This was
the first time we’d seen the Cookies perform and they sounded great.
by Terry Stewart as another group in the Rock Hall, Frankie Lymon’s
Legendary Teenagers were on stage next with two original members, Jimmy
Merchant and Herman Santiago. Both have been singing for 55 years. Timothy
Wilson (of Tiny Tim and The Hits) sang lead. Rounding out the group was
bass singer Tommy Lockhart who we know from the acappella group, the Sheps.
The Teenagers performed “I Promise To Remember”, “Share” and “Goodie
Goodie”. They closed their act with “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”. The
Teenagers’ chorography was just sensational as was their singing. They are
always show stoppers whenever they perform.
Frankie Lymon's Legendary Teenagers
Left to right: Jimmy Merchant, Tommy Lockhart, Herman Santiago, Timothy
short intermission the concert resumed. The winners of the afternoon
acappella contest, Quiet Storm, was up to sing The Blue Notes “She is
Mine”. This group is spectacular. Being well familiar with their
repertoire, we knew “She Is Mine” would draw a rousing response from the
audience, and it did.
and the Planotones were next. Kenny has been in the music business a long
time, having been a member of Jay and The Americans. Kenny did the
soundtrack for the film, “American Hot Wax,” during which the idea of the
Planotones originated. They always wear hats and dark clothing but this
time they added a little comedy to their performance. Some of the songs
they harmonized to were “Those Oldies But Goodies,” “Diamonds and Pearls,”
“Devil or Angel” and of course “Looking for an Echo.” The crowd enjoyed the
“Planotones” walk choreography. The audience loved them and gave they a
Kenny Vance & the Planotones
Stewart was back on stage to introduce the Platters who featured original
Platter Herb Reed singing bass. Herb was dressed in serious black while the
group was dressed in hot pink. This group is very polished and impressive.
They sang “Twilight Time,” “Only You,” and “Great Pretender.” They closed
their portion of the show with a song they recorded in Paris, “Smoke Get in
Your Eyes”. The Platters are just marvelous!
Herb Reed (center) & Platters
act of the night was the Charlie Thomas Drifters who were also inducted into
The Rock Hall. They put on a show! Their chorography and harmony was
superb. They were also dressed to impress. The Drifters harmonized to
“There Goes My Baby,” “Save The Last Dance for Me,” “Up On The Roof,” and
“Under The Boardwalk.”
Charlie Thomas (right) & Drifters
Charlie Thomas' Drifters
concert was amazing. The acts were all excellent. It was a wonderful way
to pay tribute to Richard Nader.