Doo-Wop Group, "Desire" Offers a Blast From the Past
The United Way invites "Desire" to the Westminster Arts Center, along with former Z100 DJ, John Bell.
“You know most of the people that I’ve worked with over the years -- although many of them were great entertainers and good people -- didn’t carry with them the tradition, the style, the kind of understanding of what area performance is all about,” said John Bell, former DJ at Z100 and special guest for United Way’s presentation of the Doo-wop group, Desire.
Bell, filling in for Shelley Bruce (the originally scheduled guest) said Desire reminded him of the artists from his youth, such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennet. Bell said these artists knew how to put on a “show” without the hype and razzle-dazzle associated with today’s artists.
"Desire" underlined Bell’s statement throughout their marathon charity performance. Bantering playfully with the audience between songs, the group provided a combination of laughter and finger-snapping tunes for an evening of stellar entertainment.
After an introduction by comedian (and MC for the night) Tony Petrillo, the group lined up on stage. They opened with “Tonight (Could Be
the Night)” by The Velvets, followed by Bobby Darin’s classic “Dream Lover.”
Chanteuse Nancy McCauley introduced first tenor Bobby Hepburn, who sang “Maybe” by the Chantals. McCauley remained onstage to back up the others, as well as occasionally taking lead again.
That lack of ego, clearly on display among the old friends, was evident onstage and gave the performance a charasmatic appeal. Though the concert lasted over 3 hours, the audience looked as if it would have happily sat and listened all night.
Besides the jovial spirit of the singers’ repartee, the performance
itself seemed to grow in strength throughout the night. Despite losing their keyboard player to a flood emergency at his home, the group kept going, even doing a few a capella numbers that ended up being the highlight of the show.
"Desire" concluded the night with a request from the audience, “Kiss and Say Good-bye” by the Manhattans (normally not part of their
repertoire) and finally, “Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson which really did get the crowd to its feet.
“It was great. This is the first time I got to see them,” said Eva Chalet, a daycare worker with the United Way.
Ida Pafundi, Director of the United Way, called the night “beautiful,”
adding, “and they did this at no cost. United Way gets 100% of what they sold in tickets. That’s the beautiful part.”
“Fantastic. It was great. And I’ve enjoyed them once or twice before but it seems like every time I hear them they’re better,” said Bell.
"Desire" will be at the Publick House in Chester New Jersey on Saturday, September 17th from 7pm - 10pm.