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There Was Music Before The Beatles:The Fabulous Singlettes

With me in the picture is The Fabulous Singlettes founder Naomi Eyers and my companion on the night, Benita Collings

The Fabulous Singlettes Glen St Theatre until Sunday, March 8

Reviewed by Ron Hylton Lee, CSP

Prior to The British Invasion in the mid-1960s, there was a music genre called The Girl Groups.

The Shirelles ("Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"), The Marvelettes ("Mr Postman"), The Supremes, Martha & The Vandellas ("Dancing In The Street") , The Chordettes ("Mr Sandman"), The Exciters ("Tell Him"), The Crystals ("Da Doo Ron Ron", "He's A Rebel"), The Dixie Cups ("Chapel of Love"), The Chantels ("Maybe"), The Chiffons ("One Fine Day"), The Cookies, The Ronettes, The Shangri-Las, The Toys ("A Lover's Concerto"), The Poni-Tails ("Born Too Late"), The Blossoms ("Needle In A Haystack"), The Bobettes ("Mr Lee"), and The Angels (“My Boyfriend’s Back”, not “Am I ever Gonna See Your Face Again?”. Don’t say it.) all had huge chart hits and defined a generation, not only because of the music style, but also the broader American public began to accept the music of young, African-American woman at a time of social segregation. In addition, this was the era in which Phil Spector created his “Wall of Sound”.

So when I heard that The Fabulous Singlettes were coming to town, it was high on my list. Also, an old mate, Alison Jiear, was a 1980s member of that group that put on some fantastic shows.

This version opened with Betty Everett’s The Shoop Shoop Song, later also made popular by Cher, only this version featured bee-hive hairdos.

The hits kept coming with The Supremes, Dusty Springfield, The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”, The Shangri-Las’ “Leader of The Pack”, Mary Welles’ “My Guy”, and the first act was rounded out with a rousing version of “River Deep, Mountain High”.

When the girls entered for the second act, I thought we were watching the stage version of Hairspray. The energy changed again when they started the disco set, which was mainly played for laughs with too many puns for my liking. Then they moved on to Madonna and some other 1980s music. The band, which consisted of one musician with a keyboard and a computer, did well in providing a full backing sound.

All three performers have exceptional and different pop voices, and group founder Naomi Eyers decided to continue with three different-figured performers, which has been consistent since The Fabulous Singlettes started. There’s the full-figured Melissa Langdon, the absolutely gorgeous Diane Dixon and Eyers, who is somewhere in between, binds the group. All are outstanding soloists and sing harmonies just as well.

This fun production, which is big on audience interaction, is only on until Sunday, March 8.

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