|By Lori Szepelak|
CHICOPEE Area residents who enjoy crooning and swooning to oldies are in for a treat -- the New England Doowop Society is hosting its fifth anniversary show on Nov. 1 with featured performers Jimmy Gallagher and the Passions.
"Jimmy Gallagher and the Passions have not performed together for more than 25 years," Gary Jones, a co-founder of the New England Doowop Society, said during an interview with Reminder Publications.
Jones explained that Gallagher and the Passions had reunited for a PBS special doowop show in Pittsburgh, Pa., and that Bob Belniak, also a co-founder of the doowop society, had been able to reunite them after that show and arrange to bring them to Western Massachusetts.
"We are very excited to have them," Jones said. "They have a great show planned for us and will be singing all their hits." Jones and Belniak formed the doowop society in the fall of 2003 to bring "some of the finest rock 'n' roll, R & B and doowop talent still playing in the United States to the area," said Jones.
The rock 'n' roll revival show at the Castle of Knights on Memorial Drive also features the Tribunes of Long Island, known for their hit songs "Gloria," "Just To Be With You" and "I Only Want You."
"The Tribunes are by far one of the best harmony a cappela groups you will ever hear," Jones said, noting they are his personal favorite. "I have never been to one of their shows where they didn't receive a standing ovation."
What also makes the Nov. 1 event special for Jones and Belniak is the return of the Tribunes to the area.
"The Tribunes were at our very first show and people for a very long time have asked that we bring them back, and they graciously agreed to appear at our fifth anniversary show," he said.
Rounding out the evening's entertainment will be the Skid Marks, described by Jones as a great dance group with high energy.
"The Skid Marks give you that '50s rocking sound like no other band," he added.
As is customary with all of the doowop society's events, all groups are available for pictures and autographs after the show.
Jones also noted that two "special guests" will open the evening's festivities.
Tickets are $30 per person for the show or $42 for the show and buffet. Buffet offerings include salad, sliced turkey breast with gravy and stuffing, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, corn bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, biscuits, rolls, dessert and beverage. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Throughout the evening, Jones and Belniak have planned a variety of free giveaways, ranging from future show tickets, shirts, gift certificates to Christin's Restaurant and gift certificates for free chiropractic services by Dr. Dan Berneche, to oldies CDs and wine. In addition, 50/50 raffles will be offered due to their popularity with previous audiences.
Tickets will be available at the door; however, with reserved seating, tickets may also be purchased in advance by contacting Jones at 478-0901, Belniak at 786-1929 or by visiting Bob's Hobbies, 689 Dickinson St., Springfield.
For more information on the local organization, visit www.newenglanddoowopsociety.org.