At Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2013-14 season on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. with An R&B Christmas. Hosted by WCBS-FM 101.1's "Broadway Bill Lee," this holiday concert will feature chart-topping doo-wop and R&B artists performing their biggest hits along with some holiday favorites.
The evening's lineup will include Charlie Thomas' Drifters ("Under the Boardwalk," "Up on the Roof"), The Coasters ("Yakety Yak," "Poison Ivy"), Blue Magic featuring original lead singer Ted Wizard Mills ("Side Show"), and Shirley Alston Reeves, original lead singer of The Shirelles ("Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow").
Charlie Thomas was performing at the Apollo Theater with The Five Crowns in 1958 when manager George Treadwell fired The Drifters and recruited the Crowns to become the new Drifters. Their first release, "There Goes My Baby," reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart, and they went on to have several top 40 hits. Thomas was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, along with other original members Doc Green, Ben E. King and Elsbery Hobbs.
Named for their west coast base, The Coasters grew out of a successful Los Angeles based doo-wop group called The Robins. Their first single "Down in Mexico," became a Top Ten R&B hit in 1956, epitomizing the sort of humorous story-songs that they would become best known for. They would go on to hit the charts with "Yakety Yak," "Charlie Brown," "Poison Ivy" and many others. The Coasters hold the distinction of being the first vocal group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Best known for smooth, soulful ballads, Blue Magic was founded in Philadelphia in 1972. The group's first million-selling U.S. Top 10 hit single, "Sideshow," was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in August 1974, climbing to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the R&B chart. A follow-up, "Three Ring Circus, also sold well, reaching #36 on the pop chart and #5 on the R&B chart.
Original lead singer of the legendary girl group The Shirelles, Shirley Alston Reeves was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. The Shirelles, which Reeves co-founded with her high school classmates in 1958, boasted six singles in the Billboard Top Ten throughout the 1960s. Their hit song "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" made them the first girl group to top the Billboard Hot 100, and, along with their classic "Tonight's the Night," earned them a place on Rolling Stone's list of greatest songs of all time.
"Broadway" Bill Lee is a 40-year radio veteran and multiple Radio Personality of the Year award winner. He can currently be heard in WCBS-FM 101.1 during weekday afternoon drive time (Mon-Fri, 3–7 p.m.)
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College's presentation of An R&B Christmas is made possible, in part, by Con Edison.
Founded in 1954, Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College presents outstanding performing arts and arts education programs, reflective of Brooklyn's diverse communities, at affordable prices. Each season, Brooklyn Center welcomes over 65,000 people to the 2,400 seat Walt Whitman Theatre, including up to 45,000 schoolchildren from over 300 schools who attend their SchoolTime series, one of the largest arts-in-education programs in the borough. In 2014-15, Brooklyn Center will celebrate its 60thanniversary season, which will correspond with the opening of the new Leonard and Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College.
Tickets are $45/$36 (orchestra/mezzanine) and can be purchased by phone at 718-951-4500 (Tues-Sat, 1- 6 p.m.) or online at BrooklynCenterOnline.org.