Doo Wop show was tremendous

A Ron Dante album cover. Google Images

The NJ Bergen Pac in Englewood hosted an evening that took you back in time and left you with a smile on your face with the “Oh, What a Night Doo Wop and Rock N Roll Tour” Dec. 11. I had tickets for this event three times. Once before the pandemic hit and then canceled due to the pandemic, it was rescheduled when things settled down a bit and then rescheduled again. Unfortunately, it was once again canceled. Third time’s the charm, the show would finally go off without a hitch last week.

If you love ’60s and doo wop music, this would have been the event for you. As for me, this music was instilled in me as a child, since most of it was popular before I was born. It would always be playing in my house from the infamous Cousin Brucie on WCBS FM. This would be the music that would make me want to become a musician myself. I love listening to it but most of all, I love singing it.

Emceed by Bobby B of the Doo Wop Lovers with Bobby B on Sirius XM, the lineup was a dream come true for several reasons. I had the opportunity to meet them as well. Specifically, Ron Dante from The Archies “Sugar, Sugar” fame. Dante, who has been a guest on Applause Radio Show several times, is not only the nicest guy in the music industry but the most talented.

He looked and sounded great. They all did. Along with Dante were my other favorites, Lou Christie and Dennis Tufano of The Buckinghams. These three were the highlight of the show. Dante doing his hits, “Tracy” and “Sugar, Sugar.” Sadly, he didn’t perform any of his jingles due to time constraints, but you may remember Coke’s, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” “Sometimes you Feel Like a Nut, Sometimes You Don’t” and others.  Well, that was Dante.

You can also say he helped Barry Manilow skyrocket to fame by producing many of his hits.

Tufano, the original lead singer of The Buckinghams, did not disappoint either.  Another of my favorite songs, “Kind of a Drag” amongst his other hits were performed and were all perfect. The headliner, Christie, is another one of my top 10. His high falsetto will never fade away on his hits such as “Gypsy,” “Baby I’m Gonna Make You Mine” and my all-time favorite of his, “Lightning Strikes” were fabulous.

Building up to these amazing acts were Joey Dee from Joey Dee and the Star Liters, with his hit “Peppermint Twist.” Singer/musician Bryan Hyland performed “Itsby, Bitsy, Teenie, Weenie, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” and “Sealed with a Kiss.” Also on the bill were The Vogues and they performed their hits “Five O’Clock World” and “You’re the One.”

They all sang other songs along with a few Christmas tunes but those were their hits back in the day and each and every one were performed to perfection.  Not to give ages away here, but if you think about it, they started their careers in their teens or at least their 20s and it has now been roughly 60 years since these songs were on the charts. They are either in their 70s or 80s and if you closed your eyes, you would think you were listening to them in their heyday.

This show wasn’t a dance event for me. Not only because my body won’t allow it anymore but because I was just soaking it all in and couldn’t believe I was actually watching them perform live.  There are so many great artists that I and maybe even you have never gotten the opportunity to see because maybe they’re no longer with us or because they just don’t tour anymore.  If this tour should roll around again or something similar to it and you love the music that will never die and that started it all, you should really try to catch it. You may not ever get another opportunity to do so.

After meeting these legends, I can only hope I am honored enough to have them join me on Applause Radio Show (ARS) in the very near future.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and if you are looking for great Christmas music to hear, please join me on ARS on Christmas Eve at 10 p.m. You won’t be disappointed and I’m looking forward to another fantastic year on ARS to bring you more fabulous guests. Listen at

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JoAnn Barton | Special to The Observer

Jo-Ann Barton is a singer/songwriter and musician for the past 25+ years who contributes entertainment-related stories to The Observer. Her last CD, 'POP and CIRCUMSTANCES,' spawned a number one hit song at college radio stations throughout the United States, including Hawaii, in 2001. She is the host of the Applause Radio Show, a platform JoAnn brings to an ever-growing audience tuning into listen to their favorite celebrities.