If it’s June and it’s Payson, it’s time for the Payson Parks and Recreation Department’s summer concert season to fly into high gear. Let the show begin!
This Saturday night and for eight more Saturdays to follow, a nice mix of local bands (Junction 87, John Carpino & the Hot Cappuccinos and the John Scott Band) and visiting bands from the Valley will present a variety of music genres — rock, blues, country, jazz, doo-wop and more.
The free concerts are scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the north side of Green Valley Park in the main ramada. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets (or both), a few dollars for refreshments and enjoy listening to quality music, gazing at the stars overhead and socializing with friends.
This Saturday, the Phoenix-based group, MC6 A Cappella, will kick off this year’s concert series.
MC6 A Cappella traces its origins to December 2003, when four friends got together in to sing a four-part accompanied arrangement of “Mary Did You Know” for a Phoenix church holiday event.
It’s reported they were so well-received that they decided to keep singing together. It was a group decision to ditch the accompanying pianist, add a fifth vocal part, and make the group pure a cappella. Eight months and several minor singing events later, with their first “real” show looming and seeking to fill out the sound, the group began experimenting with vocal percussion.
Shortly thereafter, a sixth member was added, and MC6 came to be. Since that time, MC6 has been wowing audiences with their kickin’ doo-wop rhythms and soulful harmonies.
This Saturday, MC6 A Cappella promises to bring to Payson all of our doo-wop favorites from the ’50s and ’60s in a way we’ve never heard before.
We should be in for quite a treat.
This week’s question
One of my favorite doo-wop hits (that we just might hear MC6 A Cappella perform) is “In the Still of the Night.” Can you name the group that originally recorded that 1956 Grammy and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame hit?
Was this five-member group A) The Five Discs, B) The Five Americans, C) The Five Satins or D) The Five Strings?
This group, formed in 1954 in New Haven, Conn., consisted originally of six members — leader Fred Parris, Lou Peebles, Stanley Dortch, Ed Martin, Jim Freeman and Nat Mosley.
With little success, the group reorganized, with Dortch and Peebles leaving, and new member Al Denby entering. In the fall of 1955, the group locally released their song “The Jones Girl,” which had on its B-Side “In the Still of the Night.”
The following year, the record was re-released on the New York label “Ember” and “In the Still of the Night” ended up charting at No. 3 on Billboard’s R&B chart and No. 25 on its pop chart. It sold over 1 million copies and was awarded a gold disc.
In 1960 and again in 1961, “In the Still of the Night” re-entered the pop charts thanks to its exposure on Art Laboe’s first Oldies but Goodies compilation. The repeated success of the single sparked another minor early 1960s hit, a cover of the standard, “I’ll be Seeing You.”
During the remainder of the 1960s and early 1970s, Parris led various incarnations of his group through oldies revues in America and Europe. They also recorded occasionally during this time.
Please call in if you think you know the name of the five-member group. If you are caller number five this week and have the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of 20 all-time favorite doo-wop hits. Good luck.
Last week’s question
This past week’s music trivia question asked if you could you could match the following American patriotic songs with their artists?
The songs: A) “God Bless the U.S.A.,” B) “The Ballad of the Green Berets,” C) “God Bless America”
The Artists: 1) Barry Sadler, 2) Kate Smith, 3) Lee Greenwood.
The correct matches are: “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood (originally recorded in 1984, but gained increasing popularity following the 2001 terrorist attack against the Twin Towers in New York City); “The Ballad of the Green Berets,” recorded by Staff Sergeant Barry of the U.S. Army Special Forces in 1966 during the Vietnam War; and “God Bless America,” penned by prolific songwriter Irving Berlin and robustly sung by soprano Kate Smith in 1939.
Congratulations to this past week’s music trivia winner, Grace Mootsey, who won a Greatest American Patriotic Hits CD. Grace has won several times in the past.
Enjoy this weekend’s MC6 A Cappella concert!
Web site: www.djcraiginpayson.com