I’m a little bit country...
July 14, 2011 —
And just prior to becoming “a little bit Rock & Roll,” I was a teeny bit Doo Wop as well. This week the Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts (www.bethelwoodscenter.org) became my second home as I returned to the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival—repeatedly!
The White Lake Saltshaker Reformed Presbyterian Church (www.whitelake church.com) sponsored a “classic” car show on the grounds of Bethel Woods this past Saturday, in conjunction with the Doo Wop Festival scheduled for the same evening on the main stage. Lovingly restored vehicles were on display for several hours, along with their owners, and the event served as a fundraiser for the Shepherds Pantry food bank, which serves the community on the second Thursday of each month.
The vehicles represented two decades, ranging from the fabulous ‘50s through the early ‘60s, and people milled about, inspecting everything from interiors to fins, while reminiscing and celebrating the “golden age” of automobiles. Banion Felders’ 1932 Ford was awarded “best in show” and White Lake resident Dick Morey took home the people’s choice award with his 1961 Buick convertible. The cars were a perfect backdrop for the Doo Wop show that followed, and by the time I had perused the lot, I was more than ready for the music that followed.
As thousands cheered, ‘50’s and ‘60’s vocal adrenaline hit the stage with an onslaught of memories. While on the cusp (I was born mid-‘50s) I can recall being in my playpen (whatever happened to them?) as my mother played “happy homemaker” (before women’s lib) swaying and bopping to the radio while ironing and dusting before Daddy-O would get home in time for Dean Martin on the black & white.
The Fireflies, Chantels, Crickets and Planatones (do the walk) joined combo-group Brooklyn Reunion (Mystics, Classics and Passions) sounding incredible, though there were many silver streaks in the pompadours and bouffants. Major chart-toppers like “Maybe,” “Till Then,” “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be The Day” paved the way for the (all original members) group The Drifters, as they hit the stage in their matching red suits, performing the signature choreography and ultra-smooth sound (“Under the Boardwalk”) that helped define a generation.
It was a gorgeous night, and couples could be spied slow-dancing on the lawn in a really sweet flashback moment that invoked what could be interpreted as a kinder, gentler era.