2001-07-21 / Columnists

Notes From The High C’s by Sharon Gabriel

You don’t want to miss the RMAC Rock N’ Roll Concert this Sunday at Ft. Tilden. It’s not too often we present someone from a Hall of Fame, but Shirley Alston Reeves, the original lead singer of The Shirells is a member of the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and she will be performing at the concert starting at 6p.m.

If you were a teenager growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, you remember The Shirells and their first big hit, "I Met Him on A Sunday" which was a collaborative effort by the group. It was an instant hit and propelled them to become one of the first "girl" groups.

Shirley Alston Reeves has become quite a success in her own right. Born in Henderson, North Carolina, she moved to Passiac, New Jersey and, while attending Passiac High School, she met the other girls that formed the group and The Shirells were born.

If you saw the film "Dirty Dancing" you will remember Shirley and The Shirells singing "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", a hit song penned by Carole King, one of the outstanding songwriters of our time. A little side note; having worked in the entertainment industry for many years, I met Carole when she and her husband at that time, were just starting out and were writing for the music division of my company. It was always fun to stop down at the music department and listen to what could possibly become the next big hit. However, you almost needed earplugs because the music was played at top volume, supposedly so it could be heard better.

In any event, Shirley Alston Reeves has become very accomplished in the advertising field where a long list of her achievements would include the first Rock N’ Roll Coke commercial, as well as commercials for Wendy’s and Pepto Bismal, among others.

Just a partial list of songs with Shirley Alston Reeves and The Shirells would include "Tonight’s The Night", "Baby It’s You," "Mama Said" and "Soldier Boy", among many others.

Shirley’s show is designed to please even the toughest musical appetites, so come and enjoy.

If you watched American Bandstand, The Clay Cole Show or listened to "Cousin Brucie" you remember The Demensions. A legendary group from the "sensational sixties", The Demensions had reached number one on the music charts all over the world, from Hawaii to Italy. "Over The Rainbow", "Foolish Heart" and many of their songs are still being heard as The Demensions play The Meadowlands, Atlantic City and Westbury among other theaters. Their musical sounds still touch the audience and we are sure you will have a smile while listening to them.

In addition to the music, Sundays concert is very special to all of at RMAC. The Rock N’ Roll concert was always the favorite of Leon Locke, and we will be making a special presentation to Leon’s wife, Susan, who has also been a big part of the RMAC. Leon could name every group and every song they ever sang. He was happiest at these concerts where he could sit at the RMAC table before the concert and shmooze with everyone and look at the size of the audience.

After the Rock N’ Roll concerts would end, Leon would say, "see, I told you they would come. Give them what they want and they will be here." To Leon we say, we wish you could be here today.

The next concert on August 5 will present The Long Island Pops Orchestra conducted by Dean Karahalis. Mark your calendar for a wonderful evening of music.


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