A lot of people believe the 1950s was the “Golden Age” of music as three main forms of music dominated the air waves. Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee and others continued to make hits coming out of the Big Band Era and creating a Pop style of music.
Country music was taking shape with the entrance of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and Marty Robbins among others.
And then there was the dawn of Rock and Roll. Elivs Presley, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, Motown and Do Wop almost buried other forms of music.
This year’s theme for Restoration Days is “The 50s” and the 35th annual Restoration Days Follies will pay tribute to the three major musical genres of the decade in three acts.
“There was so much music to choose from, it was hard to narrow down,” said Co-Director Dave Paxton. “But we have five songs in each act that we think are really representative of the time.”
The Pop Act will include Russ Parker singing Nat King Cole’s “Catch a Falling Star,” Phyllis Boyer singing Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” Tom Williamson singing Rosemary Clooney’s “This Old House,” Becky Thomas singing Peggy Lee’s “Fever,” and the trio of Jan Paxton, Jan Starcevic and Cheryl Chambers singing the McGuire Sisters “Sincerely.”
In the Country Music set, Bev Graves has been lured back from Pella to sing the Patsy Cline anthem, “Walkin’ After Midnight,” Klint Sinclair will sing “Release Me,” Mark Haselhuhn will sing Marty Robbins’ “Singin’ the Blues,” and Tom Williamson will sing “Sixteen Tons.”
In the rock and roll set, Russ Parker comes back with the Platters’ “Only You,” Kevin Maughan, Klint Sinclair and Dave Paxton will team up on the Everly Brothers “Wake Up Little Susy,” Tom Williamson will perform the Elvis Presley hit “Heartbreak Hotel,” and Jan Paxton will perform “Back to the Fifties.”
It won’t be all music from the 50’s. The 50s were also known for the dawn of game shows and Co-Director Dan Walker has recreated the famous Groucho Marx game show “You Bet Your Life,” featuring a pitched battle between President Trump and four Democrat primary challengers. With the Cold War beginning in the 50’s, Walker has also created a sketch that answers the question “Why the Russians Gave Up on Capital Punishment.”
And the last piece of the 50s puzzle…a nod to the Beatnik era. Dave Thomas, dressed in his finest black beret and playing the bongos will do flowing free verse with the help of Bernie Allgood on saxophone.
Musicians for this year’s Follies include keyboardist Cindy Rhodes, trap set players Eric Chambers and Misty Smith, bass guitarists Kevin Maughan and JD Henderson and guitarists, Dave Paxton and Kevin Maughan.
Tickets can be purchased at the door Thursday, August 1 and Friday, August and are $9 for adults and $4 for students.
As a treat for supporters of the King Opera House, there will be three-dimensional drawings of the first phase of the restoration of the theater available to view.