WFDU-FM Fundraiser Concert at Mexicali Live
Teaneck, NJ, March 10, 2011

(Reviewed by Pamela Horner)



Christine Vitale who hosts The Group Harmony Alley program on Sunday nights from 7PM to 10PM hosted a fundraiser at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ on March 10, 2011 for her radio station WFDU (89.1 FM, www.wfdu.fm).   It was a sensational show from start to finish.  The show began in a downpour of rain but those in attendance didn’t dwell on the stormy night once they arrived. The music was amazing and the acappella groups flowed on and off stage.  Christine even had a large clock on stage to keep the concert moving.
 

WFDU's Christine Vitale


The first group up was The Expressions from Staten Island.  They were impeccably dressed in red jackets and black slacks. They looked very polished and sounded that way too.  A few of the songs they sang were “I Only Have Eyes for You”, “What’ch Gonna Do” and “Everybody’s Got A Home But Me”.


The Expressions


The Expressions
 

It was so wonderful to see the Lar-Kings once again who mostly reside in Brooklyn.  They have been singing as a group for many years.  Their choice of songs was superb.  They sang “Most of All”, “Only Sixteen”, and  “You Are”.  They closed their performance with some Nutmegs' songs “Make Me Lose My Mind,” and “Comin’ Home”.  This was a superb performance by a veteran group.
 

The Lar-Kings


The Lar-Kings


To see and hear the Lar-Kings singing "Island Of Love" at the WFDU Fundraiser click the YouTube below.  Video courtesy of Jim Bakay.



Christine Vitale & the Lar-Kings
 

Quiet Storm is a Philadelphia acappella group that causes a sensation wherever they perform.  They’ve got marvelous voices and bountiful confidence.  They harmonized to The Moonglows “Sincerely”, their own arrangement of The Crickets’ “You’re Mine”, and The Temptations “Lady Soul”.  They closed their set with The Blue Notes “She is Mine” and The Temptations “Farewell My Love”.   It was an amazing performance!


Quiet Storm


Quiet Storm


To see and hear Quiet Storm performing "Lady Soul" at the WFDU Fundraiser, click the Youtube below.  Video courtesy fo Jim Bakay.




Quiet Storm with Christine


From Westchester, NY and formed in 1988, The Magic Touch gave us their slant on acappella singing..  They sang a stirring rendition of The Four Seasons’ “December 1963 (Oh, What A Night” and went on to sing a Temptations medley of” I Wish That It Would Rain” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”.  Their version of “House of the Rising Sun” reminded me of The Nylons in concert.  This group represents a bold new approach to  acappella singing.


The Magic Touch


The Magic Touch


The Magic Touch with Christine


The Vic Donna Group who sang at our anniversary party put on an astonishing show.  Vic introduced each song and told how he was acquainted with the song.  It was interesting to learn the history of each song. The first song was “Teenage Rose” which Vic recorded with the Parakeets.  Vic initially heard “Walking My Baby Back Home” when the Fi-Tones’ Gene Redd rehearsed it although the Fi-Tones never recorded the song.   The Vic Donna Group harmonized to “Love Was A Stranger To Me” originally recorded by Vic & the Parakeets and written by Lloyd Davis of The Fi Tones.  The next song “We Three” was recorded in 1961 as The Sharps.  Originally Vic did all but one of the voices.  Another Parakeets song that was never released was “A Big Night for Love”.  The Fi-Tones also rehearsed the song “Rosemarie” but it never came out.  The very incredible Vic Donna Group closed with “You”.  This group is superb and I hope to see them again---soon!


The Vic Donna Group.  Vic Donna on left.


The Vic Donna Group


The Vic Donna Group


To see and hear the Vic Donna Group performing "We Three" at the WFDU Fundraiser click the YouTube below.  Video courtesy of Jim Bakay.




Christine Vitale with the Vic Donna Group
 

The closing act for the evening was the Persuasions the “granddaddies of acappella”.  They still sound remarkable after all these years.  Over the years, The Persuasions probably did more than any other group to popularize acappella singing.  They opened with a very explosive version of “ We Still Ain’t Got No Band”.  They continued with “Looking For An Echo”, “Since I Fell For You,” and “Gypsy Woman”.  They harmonized to a very soulful version of “Buffalo Soldier”.  The Persuasions sang “500 Miles” which was the 1966 Bobby Bare hit.  They went on to sing “Old Man River” and closed with “Under the Boardwalk” with audience participation.  If you have the opportunity to see this group in concert, please do so.  They will be appearing at The Blue Note on April 18, 2011.


The Persuasions


The Persuasions


Christine with the Persuasions

 

Kudos to Christine Vitale and her staff for a fabulous show!  Everyone had a great time and it was all for a good cause.

 

Copyright © Classic Urban Harmony LLC, 2011.  All Rights Reserved.