Dayton, Ohio (April 23, 2009) – On Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 8 pm in the Schuster Center, DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra welcome legendary Motown party group The Contours. National City sponsors the entire 2008-2009 SuperPops season and Eastman Kodak is the weekend concert sponsor.
In 1958, in Detroit, Michigan, Billy Gordon, Billy Hoggs, Joe Billingslea, and Billy Rollins formed a quartet that became a quintet in 1960. Forty-nine years and a series of personnel turnovers later, The Contours featuring Sylvester Potts are still standing and making the Motown sound for which they are world-famous. Their 1962 recording of Berry Gordy Junior’s Do You Love Me roared to the No. 1 spot on the R&B charts, finding new life in 1987 as part of the music selected for the soundtrack of the film Dirty Dancing.
The playlist for this National City SuperPops concert includes a Who’s Who of Berry Gordy’s Motown music empire and some of their greatest chart-toppers. Here’s just a sample:
My Girl (Temptations), I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye), Baby, I Need Your Lovin’ (Four Tops), Tears of A Clown (The Miracles), Do You Love Me (The Contours), Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Stevie Wonder), Second That Emotion (The Miracles), The Way You Do the Things You Do (Temptations), Higher and Higher (Jackie Wilson), First I Look at the Purse (The Contours), This Old Heart of Mine (The Isley Brothers), Can’t Help Myself [Sugar Pie Honey Bunch] (Four Tops).
DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman heads a local judging panel that will select 12 semi-finalists at a Motown Idol karaoke competition at the Therapy Café on Thursday, April 23, who will then audition for The Contours themselves on May 7th, again using karaoke. The Contours will select six semi-finalists, all of whom will rehearse with The Contours and the DPO early Friday, May 8th; three will appear on stage Friday night and three on Saturday night. Each singer will take a verse with The Contours’ Music Director Glen Raby at keyboard. The audience will cast ballots for their favorites at intermission. During the second half, the ballots will be tallied backstage, and that night’s winner will perform I Heard it Through the Grapevine with The Contours at the conclusion of the show. Each evening will have it’s own Motown Idol winner. Those interested in competing should know that The Contours and the DPO will perform the famous Marvin Gaye hit in E minor.
“We’re looking forward to working with the Dayton Philharmonic,” Sylvester Potts states. “It’s been quite a while since we performed in Dayton. It’s always a pleasure to do a show there.”
“Motown music has the most universal appeal of any type of popular music,” remarks The Contours’ Music Director Glen Raby. “Everyone young and old knows and loves these songs. Much of this music was recorded with strings and orchestral instruments. This is a unique opportunity for the audience to experience this great music as it was originally recorded, with a full symphony orchestra. Add to that the slick choreography, together with all of the other elements that are the hallmark of a Motown show, and it makes for a performance that should not be missed.”
Music fans in the region are invited to come groove with the 2009 version of the timeless group, backed by the full power of the Dayton Philharmonic.
Tickets $27.00 – $75.00.
National City is the SuperPops Series sponsor. LITE 99.9 is the Media Sponsor.
For photographs of Neal Gittleman or any of the various series’ guest artists, go to: