Concert promoter Joe Nardone Sr. will host another of his popular oldies shows on Friday, and this time more than just doo wop will come into play.
"Doo Wop Plus" showcases the doo-wop stylings of The Skyliners, The Chantels, The Dubs and Larry Chance plus the classic sounds of Lou Christie, famous for his falsetto and pop hits, and Johnny Tillotson.
Tillotson is a singer and songwriter who had his greatest success in the early 1960s when nine of his songs made the Top 10 on the pop, country and adult contemporary charts. He is best remembered for 1961's "Poetry in Motion" (No. 2), 1962's self-penned "It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'" (No. 3) and two songs that reached No. 7, 1961's "Without You" and 1963's "Talk Back Trembling Lips."
Christie is from suburban Pittsburgh and is best known for a string of hits in the 1960s and his three-octave vocal range. His biggest hits include the No. 1 smash "Lightnin' Strikes" from 1965, "Two Faces Have I" (No. 6, 1963), "Rhapsody in the Rain" (No. 16, 1966), and "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" (No. 10, 1969).
Larry Chance was born in Philadelphia and is the original lead singer of the 1960s doo-wop group The Earls (later known as Larry Chance and the Earls), a group discovered while singing on a street corner in front of a subway station in New York City. The group's first record, "Life is But a Dream," was released in 1961 and became a regional hit, and they first charted nationally in 1963 with "Remember Then."
The Dubs were formed in 1956 by combining two Harlem vocal groups, the Five Wings and the Scale-Tones. The group's biggest hit was 1957's "Could This Be Magic," which landed them a spot on disc jockey Alan Freed's package tours of the time period.
The Chantels are a girl group formed in 1957 while its members were still in high school. Four of the group's five original members still perform together and are best remembered for lead singer Arlene Smith's distinctive vocal on 1958's "Maybe," which reached No. 15. The group reached the Hot 100 eight times between 1957 and 1963 and was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.
The Skyliners were formed in Pittsburgh in 1958 and are best known for the 1959 classic "Since I Don't Have You," which has been covered by everyone from Don McLean to Ronnie Milsap to Guns 'N Roses. Other Top 40 hits for the quintet included "This I Swear" (No. 26, 1959) and "Pennies from Heaven" (No. 24, 1960).
The group's lead singer, Jimmy Beaumont, got his professional start at the age of 18 and still fronts the current lineup, which includes Nick Pociask, Rick Morris, Donna Groom and her husband, Mark Groom, who has been the group's drummer and musical director for more than 25 years.
"We still do 40 or 50 shows a year," Beaumont said in a recent telephone interview with The Times Leader. "We see people from their late teens up until their 70s, and that might be due to the television exposure."
Beaumont said the group did the first doo-wop special on PBS in 1999 and still sees sold-out crowds because of that exposure.
"We definitely saw a resurgence around that time, and they still run the show," he said. "So as more people see it, they want to come out and see us live."
Asked why he thinks doo wop is still so popular when other musical styles have come and gone, Beaumont said, "It's a happy style of music, and a lot of the songs were very well written.
"Usually when a new trend comes in, it lasts for 15 or 20 years and then goes away. This one's been hanging in there, so there must be something to it."
What: Joe Nardone Presents Doo Wop Plus
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
Tickets: $29.50 to $49.50
Call: The Kirby Center box office at 826-1100 or www.ticketmaster.com