Post Number: 51
Posted From: 18.104.22.168
|Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:38 pm: || |
For anyone here who might be interested in this past week's memorable events that took place at Howard University in Washington DC, below is a "brief" synopsis:
Wednesday, June 23. We used this day for traveling and getting settled. That evening we spent some time with Arthur Crier discussing the upcoming day's events.
Thursday, June 24. The first person I met in the hotel lobby was GINO PARKS!!! In the evening, Jim and I attended the Howard University gallery exhibit "Doo-Wop: From the Street Corner to the Stage". Many original photos of the artists were showcased there, many photos that I've never seen before! Later that evening, some of us hung out in the hotel's bar and some super jamming took place. Of special note was Gino Parks doing his version of "Stand By Me" which had everyone on the floor!!!
Friday, June 25th - Main event - Dance party and reunion tribute to the Pioners of Rhythm & Blues and Doo-wop - Ballroom of Howard University Blackburn Center. The background music in between performances and awards was provided by Maryland D.J. Charlie Stinchcomb, who did a great job of choosing some wonderful tunes to play. This event, the entire evening, was one of the most outstanding venues I've ever attended! Most of the performers sang two songs (each artist was allowed to do 1 or 2 songs). Outstanding performances were seen and heard by (in no particular order) the Continentals who sang "Dear Lord" together for the first time in 49 years, Eddie Rich and the Swallows, the Velons, Exhilarations, Lorraine Anthonio Lofaso of the Socialites (boy can she belt out a song!), a current Chords group (unfortunately Buddy McRae was not able to attend), Roy Hamilton, Jr., the Magics (with Jim as one of them), the Five Discs with Arthur Crier borrowed for their bass, Barbara English & the Clickettes (super awesome talented ladies with a ton of energy), Baby Washington, Lillian Leach (absolutely delightful and sounding the best I've heard her in 15 or so years) & her Mellows (with Gene & Arthur)
..Lillian was extremely well received with her singing "How Sentimental Can I Be" with Gene & Arthur & one other person (I think it was one of the Exhilirations) backing her up
..Another of the extremely memorable performances was Gene Tompkins leading on the Ink Spots hit "If I Didn't Care" with Arthur Crier doing his awesome bass! Unbelievable! Also very special was Bill Lindsay (of the Cadillacs, Twilighters, Bachelors, Crickets, etc.) doing a tribute to Dean Barlow on "You're Mine", also backed up by Gene & Arthur! Of extra special interest to me (and very well received) was the performance by Jay Johnson of the Diablos, together with Gino Parks (legendary Miracle/Tamla/Fortune recording artist out of Detroit, now living in Atlanta), and my better half, Jim Dunn, singing two songs - (1) "Do You Remember What You Did" with Gino Parks leading (recorded originally by the Diablos in the mid 50s), and (2) "Let Me Come Back" with the solid deep lead bass voice of Jay Johnson (Velvet Angels song)! What a thrill to hear and see Gino Parks, Jay Johnson, and Jim on the stage in front of over 700 people (probably way more, but I'm terrible with numbers)!
The awards ceremonies, both with the recipients who were present to receive them, as well as those who were not present (but their voices were taped from their acceptance speeches given to Gene & Arthur) and played for everyone to hear, was something never to be forgotten! We heard the voices of Johnny Reed (Orioles - award was accepted on behalf of Johnny by Bobby Thomas), Bill Pinkney (Drifters), Leonard Puzey (Ravens), Warren Suttles (Ravens) and Floyd "Buddy" McRae (Chords), who all unfortunately were not able to be there in person. Fortunately we got to see and hear in person the acceptance speeches by honorees - Richard Barrett (Valentines, as well as founder and manager of the Chantels, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers and the Three Degrees), The Chantels (Lois & Renee were there on behalf of the group), Eddie Rich (Swallows), Ernie Lee Warren (Cardinals), Harold Winley (Clovers), James "Pookie" Hudson (Spaniels), and legendary pioneer veteran radio/stage host, Hal Jackson (WLIB, WMCA, WABC in NY)
.Hal Jackson also owned and managed the Washington bears championship-winning basketball team during the years of segregation. We are told that Hal is now around age 90, but you would never know it by a long shot when you see and hear him speak in front of everyone! The "Primary" honorees received gorgeous trophies, designated as "Frazier" awards. Clyde Frazier donated the trophies in memory of his son Clyde Jr. who was killed in the "9/11" tragedy. There were many more awards given to various people who have helped in different ways keep the sounds of "our" music alive over the years (e.g. Tom Spain who did the documentary for National Geographic in 1993 on the Bronx groups, David Hinckley, writer for the New York Post, Todd Baptista (author & discographer), Marv Goldberg, (author & discographer), and many, many more!
Many other legends of the music were also in attendance, including Herb Cox (Cleftones), Bobby Thomas (Orioles/Vibranaires), Eulice Mason (Martells/Velours) and others (whose names escape me at the moment).
An awesome finale was done lead by Jay Johnson doing "This Little Light of Mine". Most of the performers came back up on stage and joined in, and you could just feel the love everywhere!
Saturday, June 26 (afternoon) - Doo-Wop and DC - DC's R&B Musical Past Through Discussion and Song - Howard University Blackburn Center. This was a panel discussion and performance by some of the legendary rhythm & blues artists originating from the Washington, DC area. Panelists included Reese Palmer (Marquees/Moonglows/Legendary Orioles), Diz Russell (Regals/Legendary Orioles), Sandra Bears (Jewels), and Bobby Owens (Velons). The Velons performed (to perfection, I must add!) Members of the audience were able to ask questions regarding any of the members' history and/or their relation to the DC chitlin' circuit scene over the years.
Saturday June 26 (evening) - Internet Doowop Clubs annual party get-together - held in a ballroom of the Best Western Hotel. Excellent buffet and casual setting lent to everyone having a great time. Nate Thomas (4 Palms) brought his keyboard and together with his good friend Jack Jackson, also of the 4 Palms, created his annual R&B/doowop choir! Lots of fans of the music, as well as lots of the legends themselves came to be part of a casual and friendly evening. Included in attendance were (in no particular order) - Jay Johnson (Diablos/Velvet Angels/4 Sonics), Gino Parks, Lorraine & Kim (Socialities), Barbara English (Clickettes), Shirley & Queen (Darlettes), Nelson Martin (Angels on Gee), Dave Goddard (Aquatones), Roy Hamilton Jr., Lillian Leach (Mellows), Bill Lindsay (Cadillacs/Bachelors/Crickets/ Montereys & more) , who by the way is the father of Beverly Lindsay-Johnson one of the promoters and organizers of this event, along with the other ever-so-hard working promoters and organizers of the entire venue held at Howard University, Arthur Crier (Halos, Chimes, Mellows), Gene Tompkins (Limelighters & Mellows), and Clyde Frazier. There was lots of impromptu singing all night long including doowop, R&B, soul, and gospel. Gino did a great lead on "Whatcha Gonna Do", Lillian by request did "Yesterdays Memories", and gospel favorite "This Little Light of Mine" was lead by Jack Jackson of the 4 Palms, followed by the strong voice of Lorraine of the Socialites, and a lot of help from the others!
I probably have omitted some events and attendees, but I have tried to list those who come quickly to my mind. A terrific and wonderful job very professionally and well put together by Arthur, Gene, Clyde, & Beverly, who worked so very hard to get this all together.
Pictures & more details will be added to our web site over the next few weeks, or as long as it takes me to view, edit, upload, and choose from over 300+ photos I took!
P.S. COUNT, where you there???????? If so, we never met!!!
Post Number: 602
Posted From: 22.214.171.124
|Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 3:05 am: || |
Sounds like a great time had by all, honouring the legends of a bygone era, as they truly do deserve it.
I wish I could have been there for that great flashback in time.
Shoo be doo, doo bah yay!!
(Message edited by phillysoulman on June 29, 2004)
(Message edited by phillysoulman on June 29, 2004)
Lynn Bruce (lynn_bruce)
Post Number: 36
Posted From: 126.96.36.199
|Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:35 pm: || |
Nikki,thanks for all the info.It must have been something to hear all the harmonizing by all the original doo-wop groups.
Those WERE the days!!
Post Number: 52
Posted From: 188.8.131.52
|Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 1:41 pm: || |
Hi Lynn & Bobby,
Thanx for your interest.
I'm working on an update for our website showing many memorable pictures from this awesome event. I'll post here when the site is up and running (I have over 300 pictures to go thru....).
I know this wasn't a Detroit venue (thus perhaps not too much interest here on this forum), since this was a DC event. But Detroit WAS in the house - JAY JOHNSON and GINO PARKS!!!
Post Number: 78
Posted From: 184.108.40.206
|Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 6:31 pm: || |
WOW!! Looking forward to the photos!! Thanks, Nikki!