(Pictured on the Right. The Shirelles. Beverly Lee is in the middle.)
LEE HARTGRAVE REVIEWS
THE SHIRELLES – TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS!
LIGHT UP THE LIGHTS GET OUT THE FLAGS –
CAUSE THE Rrazz Room IS JUMPING TO THE MUSIC OF THE SHIRELLES.
They were first. The Shirelles were the first American girl group in the 60’s. And they were the first to have a number one single on the Billboard Hot 100. Beverly Lee was one of the originals and she is the only original that is currently with the group. The group had many, many hits. Here are a few: “Dedicated to the One I Love”. “Welcome Home Baby”, “Blue Holiday”, “Baby It’s You” (written by Burt Bacharach/Hal David/Barney Williams), “Mama Said”, “Foolish Little Girl” and the #1 Pop hit “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) and of course the wonderfully touching “Soldier Boy” (written by Florence Greenburg/Luther Dixon). The song is still soul stirring today – and the Shirelles dedicated it to today’s Soldiers who are still fighting wars. You will remember “Sha La La” that became an international hit. It was so big that even the Beatles recorded it.
They started out with the rousing “Having A Party” – and that is exactly what it was, a great big party. Everyone was wiggling around, getting up on the stage and singing with the Shirelles (at their invitation). And even if you stay put on your plush chair, you won’t be able to stop you body from keeping time with the music. When they sang “Dedicated To the One I Love” it brought back a flood of memories. I said to a friend of mine” “Why can’t they write songs like that anymore? Where are the writers? Someday, they will write songs like that again – and I hope I am around to hear them.
Fall in love again with “Tomorrow”. The lyric: “But will you love me tomorrow?” Not good for you if you just broke up with someone. You can blame the Shirelles for that -- for their passionate delivery. There was a tribute to Etta James. And a tribute to Beverly Lee who has been with the Shirelles from the beginning (and still dances likes a teen-ager on American Bandstand). What a fun, exciting evening listening to such talent. I was kind-a down in the dumps when I got there – but they sure blew those clouds away. I left floating on air and feeling younger.
They end up the show with the most rousing rendition of “Love Train” that I have ever heard. I have to say that the band was “really boffo”. Oh My God, were they fantastic. The only one that I knew (I think it was him) was Kelly Park on the Piano. If I’m wrong, I’m sure that someone will correct me. Whoever that genius was – it was the most exciting piano playing that I have ever heard on a stage.
THE SHIRELLES ARE ADDICTIVE FUN AND DELICIOUSLY RIVETING. They updated the songs here and there to give a fresh new sound to these standards. I wouldn’t even call them old – because these girls skillfully show us again what masters of music they are. At the end they got a rapturous standing ovation. Yep – it’s a non-stop thrill ride. And one I hope you won’t miss.
RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) –trademarked-
AT THE RRAZZ ROOM IN THE NIKKO HOTEL
(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and produced a long-running Arts Segment on KQED Radio)))
More Reviews: www.beyondchron.org
Filed under: Shirelles, music, pop, R&B, Celebrity, Rrazz Room, Beverly Lee, Soul, Rock and Roll.