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‘Betcha by Golly, Wow’ The Stylistics leave audience yearning for more

By Wade Allen
Editor
Oct. 15, 2009

When a legendary vocal group as famous as The Stylistics come to town, there’s no question on whether or not you go - you just go.

When the group appeared as part of the Nostalgia Concert Series on Oct. 2, nearly 800 people of all ages gathered in GPAC to take a stroll down memory lane.

Group members
The Stylistics formed in 1968 in Philadelphia and enjoyed major success throughout the 1970s.

The group consists of vocalists Herb Murrell, Eban Brown, Van Fields and Airrion Love.

The audience watched in amazement as the group not only sang all of their hit songs but danced throughout the concert, which lasted more than an hour and a half.

“This is how we used to dance,” Murrell said. “You know, up in Philly, at a party when the lights would be blue you’d know it was right.”

Reminisce
With 12 straight rhythm and blues top 10 hits spanning the 1970s decade, The Stylistics proved to be one of the most acclaimed vocal groups that defined how a whole generation fell in love.

“Back when you could understand the words that were being sung...back when you didn’t shout profanities at your lady...you treated her like a lady,” Murrell said.

Singing along
The audience sang along with the group as they performed the hits that made them internationally recognized.

At certain points throughout the show, the performers would point the microphone toward the crowd and listen as the audience finished the entire chorus.

Hit after hit
“Betcha by Golly, Wow,” “Break Up to Make Up,” “You Are Everything,” “I’m Stone in Love With You,” “You’re a Big Girl Now,” “Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart),” “Heavy Fallin’ Out,” “Hurry Up This Way Again,” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New” were all performed.

Interaction
“You remember those?” Murrell asked the audience as the group finished performing a string of hits.

The group dedicated “You Make Me Feel Brand New” to the women in the audience.

“That [‘You Make Me Feel Brand New’] has become the biggest-selling song for The Stylistics,” Murrell said.

Smooth
The hallmark of their performances is a smooth, relaxed stage prescence to match the melodies that are being sung.

Lead singer Eban Brown creates the high tenor voice that has become the trademark sound of The Stylistics. It distinguishes them from other vocal groups of the same time period, such as The Spinners, The Manhattans and The O’Jays.

Romance
The calm-gestured coordinating hand and feet movements of the performers coupled with an inconspicuous band created an environment where romance was in the air.

As the concert progressed, many men began to put their arms around the women that they had come to the concert with.

Acclaim
Their album entitled “The Best of The Stylistics” became double platinum rated in record sales.

“You Make Me Feel Brand New” earned the group a Grammy nomination in the 1970s.

The GPAC Nostalgia Concert Series does not host another group until Jan. 23, 2010, when the Boogie Wonder Band takes the stage to sing hit songs from the disco era.

For tickets or more information, call the GPAC box office at (910) 521-6287.

 

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Updated: Saturday, October 17, 2009
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