Schenectady

Six Golden Oldies bands to perform at Proctors

The Brooklyn Bridge, top, and The Vogues will be among the performers. (Sonny Maxon photos)
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The Brooklyn Bridge, top, and The Vogues will be among the performers. (Sonny Maxon photos)

The Golden Oldies Spectacular is finally set to head to Proctors on Saturday, after a two-year delay because of the pandemic.

The show features co-headliners The Brooklyn Bridge and The Vogues, along with four other bands: Jay Siegel’s Tokens, Skyliners, Bobby Brooks Wilson and Vito Picone & The Elegants.

The doo-wop group Brooklyn Bridge, perhaps best known for its rendition of “The Worst That Could Happen,” was formed when Johnny Maestro (lead singer of The Crests) combined with The Del-Satins and the horn players from the Rhythm Method.

The band signed with Buddah Records in 1968 and went on to release several popular tunes including “Welcome Me Love,” ”Blessed is the Rain,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Your Husband, My Wife.” Since Maestro died in 2010, Joe Esposito came on as lead singer and the band continued to tour, though that was put on pause in 2020.

During that time, bassist/vocalist Jim Rosica, one of the founding members of the group, kept playing as much as possible.

“I took advantage of the time off by playing my bass and vocalizing, most every day. We would communicate with each other periodically via phone or text, just to stay in touch,” Rosica said.

Finally, last year, The Bridge was able to get back on stage again.

“For the first concert back, I had some trepidation. Would I remember the chords to the songs? Would I remember my vocal parts, etc.? These were genuine concerns constantly gnawing at me. Once I hit the stage, however, and felt the warm embrace of the audience, like riding a bicycle, thing’s normalized very quickly,” Rosica said.

The group has performed at Proctors numerous times and will bring fan-favorite songs like “Blessed Is The Rain,” “Welcome Me Love” and “Sixteen Candles” among others.

“We have a surprise planned for our closing number, ‘The Worst That Could Happen.’ We intend to integrate our live performance of the song with video of Johnny Maestro singing the lead. It should be a moving experience,” Rosica said.

The Vogues, known for its strong harmonies, released nine top 20 songs between 1965 and 1970. The group will bring hits like “You’re the One,” “Five O’Clock World” and others to the stage on Saturday.

Jay Siegel’s Tokens, the band that released the popular tune “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” started in 1960 and had a top 15 hit the following year.

In perhaps an unusual twist, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” re-entered the charts 33 years after it was first released in 1961 and became popular thanks to “The Lion King” Disney movie. Founding member Siegel continues to perform, bringing his tenor voice and soaring falsetto to audiences.

The Skyliners will bring more doo-wop tunes to the stage including its ballad “Since I Don’t Have You.” The group appeared many times on American Bandstand and its music has been featured in movies like “Lethal Weapon II,” “La Bamba” and “American Graffiti.”

Bobby Brooks Wilson, the son of Jackie Wilson, will perform in his father’s style on Saturday, recreating his persona and songs.

For Vito Picone & The Elegants, Saturday will mark their first performance at Proctors.

Formed in 1956 in Staten Island, the group released the hit “Little Star” in 1958. Over the years, the band has performed at Carnegie Hall, eight times at Radio City Music Hall and was the first doo-wop group to perform at Lincoln Center.

Saturday’s show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40.25-55.25. For more information visit proctors.org.

Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts, Schenectady

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