Born in the ’40s, Doo Wop — tightly harmonized rhythm and blues — characterized the golden age of rock and roll. Gathered for one performance, The Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”), Bobby Hendricks’ Drifters, Remember When (Platters Tribute) and Dodie Stevens (“Pink Shoelaces”) continue in The Best of Doo Wop tradition — now in its twelfth season on tour.
The Best of Doo Wop will perform in Three Stages on Saturday, Sept. 15. It will be a full evening of music; each group is backed by the Billy & The Corvettes Band and the show will be emceed by comedy host Scott Wood.
In 1961 The Tokens, four boys from Brooklyn recorded “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” on the RCA label. The song (originally a Zulu folk song called “Mbube” anglicized to “Wimoweh”) soared up the charts to become the number one hit in the nation. To date, it has sold more than 15 million worldwide.
In a survey conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Record Industry Association of America, The Tokens’ classic recording of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” placed 159th in the top 365 records of all time. True rock pioneers, they were among the first to successfully use the falsetto lead voice, a sound that would later influence groups from the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys to Led Zeppelin and Rush. They were also the first group to play their own instrument tracks for recording sessions.
Bobby Hendricks Drifters
ln 1957 Bobby Hendricks and his group The Five Crowns were the opening act for the Drifters singing group, which he idolized. The Drifters were so impressed with his tenor voice and Clyde McPhatter style that they offered him the position of lead vocalist replacing Johnny Moore. Bobby toured with the biggest stars of 1957 including Paul Anka, The Diamonds, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, Fats Domino, The Big Bopper and many more.
With the Drifters he recorded “Drop, Drop, Moonlight Bay” and “Suddenly There’s a Valley.” Leaving the Drifters in the latter part of 1959, he recorded the smash hit “Itchy Twitchy Feeling.” A year later be joined Bill Pinkney and The Original Drifters and toured for 17 years.He was inducted into the Doo Wop Hall of Fame of America at Symphony Hall in Boston on April 13, 2001.
Remember When (The Platters tribute)
Since the introduction of the classic “doo-wop” sound of the 1950s, there has never been a group as widely known as The Platters. Their first release “Only You” was on the Billboard charts for 22 weeks in 1955, and rose to number five. Less than one month later, The Platters soared into the spotlight with their number 1 hit “The Great Pretender.”
Since their first two chart-toppers The Platters had an incredible string of hits including: “My Prayer,” “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” “Harbor Lights,” “Ebb Tide,” “Red Sails In The Sunset,” “If I Didn’t Care,” “The Magic Touch” and many more. Members of the Remember When Platters Tribute include Michael Martin, Johnnie Morisette, Tameron Gennae, and Philemon Young (who was also a member of the Buck Ram Platters group).
Dodie Stevens (born Geraldine Ann Pasquale) was a singing prodigy at the age of 4. By the time she was 7, she began making local television appearances, and in 1959, at age 13, she had a No. 1 hit and gold record with the song “Pink Shoelaces.” Dodie often tours with other artists from the 1950s and 60s, such as Fabian, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell, and is a frequent headliner at the Flamingo Hotel in Laughlin, Nev. Her daughter, Stephanie, who is also her back-up singer, steps up front at the end of the show for a duet with her mom.
Tickets for The Best of Doo Wop at 8 p.m. on Sept. 15 are $35 to $49, with premium tickets available for $55 and $59; they are available online at www.threestages.net or from Three Stages ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Three Stages is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.