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The Drifters are coming to HLSCC

- By Claudia Colli

I have a soft spot in my heart for the romantic soul singers of the 1950s and 60s. I remember when Percy Sledge was one of the headliners at the BVI Music Fest in Cane Garden Bay, and along with several hundred festival goers of all ages, I stood on the beach's edge, water lapping at my feet, and swayed to the sounds of "When a Man Loves a Woman." The Blue Notes and Roberta Flack were two other performers who I recall from those Music Festival days when one could spend the day – and much of the night – listening to music that ranged from reggae to fungi to R&B.

A lot of the headliners of the '60s are gone now, while others have been replaced with younger members who are carrying on their legacy. Among these is the seminal group, the Drifters, which has been billed as the "longest running singing group in pop history still performing for live audiences." To my delight they will be performing at the HLSCC on Saturday, April 1st, not a sand in your toes experience, but definitely one that promises good music in a comfortable environment.

Part of the 2016-17 Performing Arts Season, the Drifters will round out a season that has included Raul Midon, a well-known US R&B singer as well as performances by local gospel singers and the College's Chorale, and Jazz and Woodwind Ensembles.

Linette Baa, the HLSCC Auditorium Events Coordinator, says she chose the Drifters to round out the season. "I was looking for something different that would have wide appeal." Like me, she remembers the groups that performed at the Music Festival and knew that these soul groups attract audiences of all ages.

I may not be able to dance under the stars, but there will be plenty of famous songs for me to remember including one of my favorites, "Unchained Melody," a song that has been covered by a multitude of artists. Other of the group's memorable hits include "Save the Last Dance for Me," There Goes My Baby, " "This Magic Moment" and "Under the Boardwalk."

Known for their smooth synchronized dance moves and melodic four part harmonies, the Drifters were first formed in 1953. During the course of the last 60 years, over 65 members have performed with a group that has continually reinvented and updated its act. Originally known as a "Doo Wop" group, they are now comprised of a considerably younger set of men that regularly tour the globe, including a stint in the UK last summer. Although the Drifters may look different these days, their sound is the same – and audiences of all ages continue to love their songs which remain timeless.