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Life is but a dream

July 19, 2012

What a week! The entire Upper Delaware valley is thrumming with activity and for every event that I attended, it seems there were two or three that I missed! My first stop last Wednesday was the Forestburgh Playhouse ( and its smashing production of “The Rocky Horror Show.” There’s a full-scale review at in Arts & Leisure, but here’s a preview: it’s an incredibly entertaining show.

On Thursday, I made a pit stop at the Thunder 102 radio station in Liberty, NY ( and chatted with the Ciliberto & Friends team, as we leafed through the new issue of The River Reporter and discussed highlights just as the newspaper hit the stands for the week. Before leaving the studio, I made plans to chat with musical phenom Jay Siegel (the Tokens) who was making his way to Bethel Woods to take part in the third annual Doo Wop Extravaganza, alongside dozens of legendary vocalists from the golden age of bobby sox and poodle skirts.

Having heard that the Tokens still perform their vocals (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “Earth Angel,” “In the Still of the Night”) in the original key written, I asked if that was accurate. “I don’t know how I do it,” Siegel responded “but yes, it’s true. As long as I can still hit the high notes, Jay Siegel’s Tokens will continue to tour.” Admitting that the group had observed many “one hit wonders,” striking while the iron was hot, he and his friends decided “to learn everything there was to know about the music business,” and Siegel went on to produce many American pop classics, including The Chiffons (“One Fine Day”), Tony Orlando and Dawn (“Knock Three Times”) and The Happenings (“See You in September”).

When asked if there was a secret to the longevity of his career, Siegel sat back and thought for a moment. “Honestly, I think it’s simple clean living” he informed. “My wife and I are celebrating our 50th anniversary, and although I’m on the road a lot, I always go straight home. Will people remember Fifty Cent in years to come? Maybe, maybe not—but I’m pretty sure they’ll remember Doo Wop.”