LaLa Brooks of The Crystals led the night off with their hit song “Then He Kissed Me.” LaLa said she was 68 years old and has been singing with the Crystals since she was 13 years old. She was in great shape and looked and sounded great. Her style and sound was very reminiscent of Ronnie Specter of the Ronettes. In fact she did the Ronettes song “Be My Baby.” The only drawback was we were disappointed that she didn’t do the Crystals other song “He’s a rebel” Check out a recent Lala doing “Then he Kissed Me” by clicking on the link below and see how she looks now. 🙂
Following the Crystals The Chiffons came on. Led by original lead singer Judy Craig , they went into their hit songs “One Fine Day” and “Sweet Talking Guy” amongst a few lesser known songs from then. Judy introduced her two back-up singers her daughter and niece. “Of course they weren’t around when the original Chiffons were popular.” She said smiling. You can see a recent clip from 2011 of Judy and her niece and daughter singing “One Fine Day” below.
After a 20 minute break the show continued with The Orlons consisting of two female singers and a deep bass voice male singer Stephen Caldwell. Several of the original Orlons have since passed on and have been replaced. On October 13, 1977, Shirley Brickley was shot dead by an intruder in her home in Philadelphia. Marlena Davis lost a battle with lung cancer on February 27, 1993 (aged 48). Audrey Brickley died of acute respiratory distress syndrome on July 3, 2005 (aged 58). Stephen Caldwell and Jean Brickley still perform as The Orlons with two of Stephen’s cousins, Albreta Crump and Madeline Morris. On Friday night they performed their hit songs “Don’t Hang Up” “South Street” and Wah-Watusi among others which you can see below from 2013.
But it was Shirley Alston Reeves of the Shirelles that brought down the house. Dressed in a white sequined duster and pantsuit with two back-up singers in blue tight fitting plunging neckline dresses Shirley did a whole litany of popular oldies songs too numerous to mention getting the audience to sing along at times. She did her hit song “Will You Still Love me Tomorrow” written by Carol King. Saying, “When I first performed this song McDonald’s only had one arch.” :D. Shirley also did the Shirelles’ hit “Soldier Boy” which she dedicated to all our members of the military.
Shirley mentioned that two of the original Shirelles had passed away, one in 1982 and one in 2000.
Shirley closed the show by doing a rockin’ medley of 60’s songs starting with “The Twist” followed by “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On,” Hound Dog” and “Blue Suede Shoes.” Shirley said people always ask her if she does anything update and she always says “Nope.” And added, “This is as far as update I go and she did “Just Call and I’ll be Around.”
The audience gave her a rousing standing ovation and yelled for an encore. Shirley looked slightly at a loss and said, “O.K we’ll think of something,” then as the band started playing a few notes she interrupted and said “no not that one.” And then lit into a medley of slow classic love songs including “In the Still of the Night,” “Tears On My Pillow,” “Silhouettes”, “Daddy’s Home” and “Eddie My Love.”. As they were leaving the stage they sang “Good night Sweetheart It’s Time to Go.” Followed by the old Mickey Mouse Club closing song for the kids. M-I-C-K-E-Y MOUSE.
It was a great joyful concert and it is such a pleasure to see some of these old folks still got it and are around to perform it just like it used to be. If music keeps you young then play on.