2006-01-13 / Community

Doo Wop Spectacular Shines On January 28

By Roseanne Honan

Pictured: Kenny Vance and the Planotones at an RMAC summer concert last year.
Pictured: Kenny Vance and the Planotones at an RMAC summer concert last year.

The 13th annual “Harry G Doo Wop Spectacular” concert kicks off another year with a jam-packed lineup of doo wop greats and upcoming talent on Saturday, January 28 at Beach Channel High School, starting at 7 p.m.

The longest running metropolitan area fundraising doo wop concert, the Doo Wop Spectacular is a 10-act show this year, including favorites Kenny Vance and the Planotones, Lenny Cocco and the Chimes, and 10-year-old singing phenomenon Kid Kyle and His Kool Kats, who was recently a guest on the Tony Danza Show.

The concert draws acts from around the country, including groups from Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Maryland. In the past, musical performers from as far as England and Australia have participated in the event.

The show is produced and hosted by Harry Gross, aka Harry G., New York’s “Duke of Doo Wop.” A retired communications and arts teacher, Harry Gross was one of the last original Beach Channel High School staff members, working there from 1973 to 2003. He created the show not only out of his love for the musical genre, but to establish a concert that raises funds in memory of his sister, Susan, who died at the age of 7 from leukemia.

A poster of singing sensation Kid Kyle. 
A poster of singing sensation Kid Kyle. The Susan G. Memorial Scholarship Fund provides a scholarship to a student pursuing a career in the music and entertainment fields.

“I tried to create an event that would draw people here to the Rockaways, and to a beautiful school and stage that doesn’t see much action,” said Gross. “I wanted a professional show for the Rockaways, and we are fortunate that it continues year after year.”

The strong support of Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and Democratic District Leader Lew Simon are invaluable to Gross and the production of his concert; as well as support from locals including Condor Pest Control and Al Camhi, and Barbara J. Morris. Gross also noted that Joey Gargiulo, longtime original custodial member at BCHS who coordinates the technical aspects of the concert, is an “extraordinaire” that is instrumental to the show’s continued success.

Gross expects a virtually packed house, between 800-900 concertgoers. Food and 50/50 raffles will be available for purchase during the five-hour event. “The night is all about the fans, the music, the artists and fun,” said Gross. He will emcee the event along with his 4-and-a-half-year-old son, Matthew, the “Prince of Doo Wop.”

For ticket information or reservations for the Harry G. Doo Wop Spectacular call (718) 891-5692 or (516) 244-3262.

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