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Vel Omarr was born on a small farm in the Mississippi Delta. His mother found that living in the south and working the cotton fields could not be all that life had to offer. Like many before her, she packed her bags and took the "next train smoking" to Chicago in search of better things.
Vel remained in Mississippi with his grandparents. He attended church on Sundays and recalls traveling to neighboring towns participating in or sometimes observing the "Gospel Fests."
At the age of eight, Vel moved to Chicago and reunited with his mother. This was pure culture shock! "From the sticks to the bricks," says Vel. The first song he heard on the radio as the train pulled into the station was "You Send Me" sung by Sam Cooke. "The song eased my longing to be back home in Mississippi", Vel remembers. Vel discovered his love for singing at the age of 14, and upon graduating, he decided to entertain the idea of singing as a way of life. In the early 1970's, Vel boarded a plane bound for Los Angeles to reposition himself, focus, and to pursue his dream as an entertainer.
Vel joined the legendary R&B / DooWop group, the Robins, as their second tenor lead singer, for a reunion tour in 1991. He remained with H.B. Barnum and The Robins until 1995, and then began touring with Brenton Wood as the opening act for Brenton Wood's Sweet Old School Revue. In 2003 he joined The Olympics as one of their lead singers and has performed along side other legendary artists like, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Penquins, The Coasters, Gene Chandler, The Flamingos, Zola Taylors of the Platters, and many more.
Please tell me you've heard of the Platters? Well...no worries because we're going to listen to the all time greatest hits of this fantastic group. The Platters formed in Los Angeles in 1953 and were initially managed by Ralph Bass. The group had a contract with Federal Records but had found little success before meeting music entrepreneur and songwriter Buck Ram. The band recorded a series of singles backing Linda Hayes before Ram made some changes to the lineup, most notably the addition of lead vocalist Tony Williams (Linda Hayes' brother) and female vocalist Zola Taylor. Under Ram's guidance, the Platters recorded seven singles for Federal in the R&B/gospel style, scoring a few minor regional hits on the West Coast. One song recorded during their Federal tenure, "Only You (And You Alone)", originally written by Ram for the Ink Spots was deemed unreleasable by the label. Despite their lack of chart success, the Platters were a profitable touring group--successful enough that The Penguins, coming off their #2 single "Earth Angel", asked Ram to manage them as well. With the Penguins in hand, Ram was able to parlay Mercury Records' interest into a 2-for-1 deal. To sign the Penguins, Ram insisted, Mercury also had to take the Platters. Ironically, the Penguins would never have a hit for the label. What set The Platters apart from most other groups of the era was that Ram had the group incorporate. Each member received equal shares of stock, full royalties and their Social Security was paid. As group members left, Ram and his business partner, Jean Bennett, bought their stock which gave them ownership of the "Platters" name, which would become significant later.
Deardra Shuler interviews Tony Testa of The Duprees who will be performing as part of a Doo Wop show at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx, NY. on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 8:00 pm. Other groups featured to appear with the Duprees are The Platters, The Belmonts, Barbara Harris & The Toys, Larry Chance & The Earls and Ragdoll.
The Duprees were formed in the early 1960’s in Jersey City, NJ by five William L. Dickinson High School students. They were discovered by big band leader George Paxton who combined their smooth doo-wop vocal harmonies with a big band backing on their first single, a cover of Jo Stafford’s “You Belong To Me”, which was an instant top-ten hit and million-seller. Thus the sound of the Duprees was born and hits in the same format kept coming throughout the 1960s including “My Own True Love,” “Take Me As I Am,” “Why Don't You Believe Me,” “Have You Heard,” “Love Eyes,” “It Isn't Fair” and “Let Them Talk.” Over the years, various members of the band have come and gone, but their unique mixture of doo-wop vocals with big band arrangements has remained.
Along with Tony Testa, Jimmy Spinelli, Tommy Petillo, and Phil Granito make up the rest of the current group. Original member Michael Kelly left the group in 2012. The other 3 original members, Joe Santollo, Joey (Canzano) Vann and Michael J Arnone passed.
In 2006, the original Duprees were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is located on the Lehman College campus, located at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 or online at www.LehmanCenter.org.
This week we welcome Barry Davis Sr. Barry has been in music for 50+ years. He was the conductor for Big El Shows & played for The Platters, priviledged to play with Oak Ridge Boys in churches in the south, on stage with Jerry Lee Lewis & many other National & Nashville Touring Acts. He played the Baltimore, MD country circuit for many years & played keys for just about everyone in Baltimore. This year Barry was nominate for induction into the 2013 International Musician Hall of Fame.
Finally our regular contributors, Rev Mike from Chesapeake Cigar will join us at 9:30 to discuss all things "Mancave" then at 9:45, my friend Chef Donna Desfor from Fox TV Harrisburg is going to tantalize your taste buds with Food and Wine tips!
"ROCK n' ROLL HISTORY" "THE PLATTERS" "EARTH ANGEL" Gaynel Hodge! EXCLUSIVE ONLY on FOSR!
Gaynel Hodge Bio (born January 4, 1937 in Los Angeles, California) is the co-author of the Platinum hit 1950s song, "Earth Angel", is a recording artist, songwriter and a pianist.
He is also a founding member and musical director of such famous groups as The Platters, The Turks, and The Hollywood Flames.
Hodge tours several months of the year throughout Europe, the Middle East and the United States.
Hodge was involved in doo-wop, rhythm and blues and jazz from his earliest years. Gaynel began writing songs and playing piano professionally by age 13; joining, starting and practising with all-vocal groups on street corners of Los Angeles.
By age 15, Gaynel was a regular session musician in recording studios throughout Los Angeles, and had co-written the multi-platinum hit “Earth Angel”. Gaynel went on to form the original Platters with his brother, Alex Hodge, and sang and played piano with them on their first 16 recordings.
Gaynel has written, recorded or performed with such artists as Lou Rawls, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder,Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, Dr. John, Ted Taylor, Little Johnny Taylor, Richard Berry, Dick Dale, Don & Dewey, The Chambers Brothers, The Rivingtons, The Olympics, Johnny Morissette, Tony Allen, and Duane Eddy.
Thank goodness Thanksgiving is over and now it’s time to plan “your holiday party.”
Tonight on Paired we will be discussing great appetizers, wines and cocktails. The food will include several types of baked brie’s, perfect platters: charcutterie, cheese, crudite, smoked salmon and more and finally a delicious yet simple caviar and blinis recipe for those who are willing to step it up a notch.
Tune in here tonight on Communities Digital News at 6:30pm EST then available On Demand.
JOHN CHEATDOM WAS BORN IN BROOKLYN AND HAS NOW LIVED IN LONDON FOR OVER 30 YEARS. HE WENT TO LONDON WITHOUT KNOWING ANYONE AND WAS OFFERED A CHANCE TO COME TO ENGLAND BY PROMOTER PETER STRINGFELLOW WHO WAS IN SEARCH OF SOUL ACTS THAT HE COULD BRING TO ENGLAND TO PERFORM AT HIS MOJO CLUB.
JOHN WAS SINGING WITH A BROOKLYN BASED GROUP BY THE NAME OF “THE VELOURS” WHICH PRODUCED A HIT RECORD IN 1956 BY THE NAME OF “CAN I COME OVER TONIGHT.” AT THE AGE OF 17, HE WAS TRAVELING ALL OVER AMERICA PERFORMING WITH THE GROUP TO INCLUDE THE PLATTERS. HOWEVER, THE VALOURS BROKE UP ABOUT THE SAME TIME AS THE PLATTERS AND FOUND HIMSELF SINGING WITH A REORGANIZED GROUP THAT PICKED UP THE NAME.
AFTER TOURING EUROPE OVER THE YEARS AS A MEMBER OF WHAT BECAME THE MAGICAL PLATTERS, HE MANAGED TO CARVE OUT A SIGNIFICANT CAREER AND LIFE FOR HIS FAMILY. EVEN TODAY, JOHN TRAVELS REGULARLY WITH THE ENGLISH VERSION OF THE PLATTERS AND HAS MAINTAINED HIS PERFORMANCE SKILLS AT THEIR PEAK AT THIS STAGE IN HIS LIFE.
in Self Help
This week’s show is about the horrors or pleasantries of the holiday barbeque. How many of non-invited/barbeque crashers showed up. Who is notorious for being the loudest, who has anger issues? Who has to be in charge of the pit? Who are the ones that make take-out platters enough to feed a small village? Let’s talk~~~ “TALES FROM THE PIT”
Jesse interviews Victoria Vives - Healing Arts and Spiritual Teacher, Martial Artist, and actress. She is a Starseed focusing on her connection to Lyra in the 11th dimension to channel Sacred Frequencies and compose transcendental music. Victoria is also a Reiki and Karuna Reiki Master Teacher and certified in many other styles of healing as well as being a student of Shamanism in cross-cultural and Zulu lineages. She has worked as a professional model and progressed naturally into television – appearing on numerous shows including performances alongside Robbie Williams, Diana Ross, and The Platters. Victoria became well known as the Glu-Glu Girl in “uno Para Todas” under the name of Anouk, and as the representative image of the film and music TV show “Nosolomusica”. She has made appearances in Vogue, Rolling Stones, and major Spanish newspapers. Victoria began writing and producing her own music with great success, debuting in a concert with Latin superstar Alaska (Fangoria) and 10,000 attendees. Her success continued with a contribution to the writing of the Olympic rap; in cooperation with Latin superstar Nacho Cano (Mecano) to represent Madrid’s 2012 Olympic candidacy. A spontaneous Kundalini awakening, brought her to her spiritual path and soon after started her healing practice at a Metaphysics Healing Charity group. In addition she is the author of the popular audio series “The 5 Superhero Secrets”. We will be looking at Victoria’s work in Sacred Frequnecies. You can learn more about her work at: www.victoriavives.com
This show is dedicated to: A young woman named Frances Day was mortally wounded while serving as Sgt Frank Mayne in the Western Theater.
Defending the Republic with Annie "The Radio Chick", and co-hosts Dan Butcher, Pundit Press and Kel Fritzy, Red Fox Radio
Special Guest: Todd Allen Herendeen hails from Indiana. First and foremost he is a Christian. As he always says from stage, “I love God, Veterans and my country. In that order. I put my veterans before my country because without them, we have no country.” Todd's goal every night as he walks on stage is for everyone to forget their worries or troubles for a couple hours and enjoy themselves! His drive, along with his dynamic voice and excellent showmanship have gained him much success, including a #1 Hit, in his 15 years of performing professionally.
He is so versatile, his show can be Gospel, country, rock 'n' roll, and much more. This versatility has lead him to perform as the opening act for such rock 'n' roll legends as: Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker, The Four Tops, The Platters, Leslie Gore, and The Beach Boys. He recently worked with B.J. Thomas and The Drifters! Opening for Foreigner twice was awesome too, as Todd got to do some classic rock!
On the country realm Todd has worked with Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Ricochet, Bill Anderson, Gene Watson, John Conlee, Jeannie Seely, Janie Fricke, Ricky Van Shelton, Andy Griggs, George "Goober" Lindsey, John Michael Montgomery, Lynn Anderson, The Warren Brothers, Diamond Rio, Neil McCoy and Buddy Jewell.
Listen to Billboard's Top Singles of the 1950's, great information about artists, music and the era along with fantastic commentary as only Ron Ash can bring his listeners. It'll be really nice to spend two hours with you and the greatest artisits of the 1950's on todays episode of Live 325.
Listen On Demand at www.MyBTRN.com
in Self Help
Life's Issues with Lloyd Rosen with her guest kory livingstone & Kate Bazilevsky
Toronto born pianist, Kory started his professional career playing the piano bar circuit in the local hotels. Taking the advice of Ray Carrol, an original member of the famous Platters, Kory developed his talents as a singer, and songwriter.
Kate Bazilevsky is the Director of the Human Population Academy. She holds a degree in MIS and Psychology. In 2008, she began her studies in the field of Non-Traditional Psychoanalysis, based on scientific research by Andrey Davydov and Olga Skorbatyuk. Kate founded the Human Population Academy (www.HumanPopulationAcademy.org) in 2011, and opened a publishing company called HPA Press in 2012. HPA Press publishes works that further Human Population Academy‘s mission: to educate people around the world about the laws of human Nature, the Catalog of Human Population (Catalog of Human Souls) and scientific research of its source Shan Hai Jing, based on discoveries by Andrey Davydov and Olga Skorbatyuk.