Classic doo-wopp rock 'n' roll is coming to Wrightsville, Pa.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Charlie Thomas, lead vocalist of the Drifters, will bring the band to the White Swan Ballroom on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m.
The Drifters will perform songs from their large selection of platinum-selling hits such as: "There Goes My Baby," "True Love, True Love," "Dance With Me," "This Magic Moment," "Save The Last Dance for Me," "I Count The Tears," "Some Kind of Wonderful," "Please Stay," "Sweets For My Sweet," "When My Little Girl Is Smiling," "Up On The Roof," "On Broadway," "Under the Boardwalk," "I've Got Sand In My Shoes" and "Saturday Night At The Movies."
"We don't have to do other songs because we've got enough to do about an hour and a half show," said Thomas. "But, we might throw one or two other good songs in there."
The music selection is a collection of pieces that Thomas has performed around the world as a "Drifter" on multiple tours.
"In my heart and in my life (being a Drifter) it's something great," said Thomas. "I've been across the globe four times with Dee Clark, Chuck Berry, Donna Ross, Michael Jackson and The Supremes. I'm a Drifter, and that's the truth. You got a lot of guys running around saying they're Drifters, but they haven't paid their due."
But, Thomas isn't the only "Drifter;" he's backed by James Manning, Stephen Brown and Louis Bailey.
"They were soldiers from the Marines, Air Force and the Army that came out of the service and were looking for jobs, but they could sing," said Thomas. "I needed someone to help me carry on the name. So, I put it in the paper that I was looking to interview some singers."
The Drifters are also backed by an orchestra directed by keyboardist Jack Columbo.
"I've got a tremendous four-piece band," said Thomas. "Jack is a wonderful composer."
Thomas' career with the Drifters started in 1959, but he was an entertainer even before that, he said.
"I've got it in my heart, and I was raised in entertainment," said Thomas. "My father was a minister, and I was singing when I was young. My mother moved me to New York City from Virginia, and the window of my school was overlooking the back stage of the Apollo Theater. My mother told me never to go back there, but I used to see Louie Armstrong, Count Basie and all of them coming out the back stage with new suits on and big ol' limousines. When I was a kid I wanted to get in one of those big ol' limousines just to see how it feels. So, I took it against my mother and went back stage. This gentleman popped his head out the door, and said, "Come here." It was Sammy Davis Jr. And, that got my career started. From the Five Crowns to the Drifters."
The show will include two 45-minute sets with a short intermission. Admission is $25, but no tickets will be sold at the door. Advance purchase can be made by calling Chuck Stroud at 814-723-7239. Attendees are welcome to bring their own alcoholic beverages, and complimentary ice and glasses will be available. Plus, roast beef sandwiches and soda will be sold.
"People should come out to see our show because we all keep our britches up," said Thomas. "This is rock 'n' from back in the day."
To find the White Swan Ballroom from Jamestown, drive to Sugar Grove, Pa., take Route 957 west to Lottsville, Pa., and make a left onto Route 958. Take 958 south for 3 miles, and the venue will be on the left. The drive from Sugar Grove to Wrightsville is approximately 9 miles.