A cappella group to perform doo-wop music in Mount Dora

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A cappella group to perform doo-wop music in Mount Dora

Posted on: June 6th, 2014 by tommyj

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Members of Blend, an a cappella doo-wop group.

Members of Blend, an a cappella doo-wop group. (Courtesy of Blend / June 5, 2014)

EUSTIS — Doo-wop musicians learned how to make harmonious sounds on urban street corners in the 1950s.

Now a cappella singing is back, thanks to TV shows such as "The Sing Off" and "Glee" and to movies such as "Pitch Perfect."

The Bay Street Players will present Blend, an Illinois-based a cappella group, at 7 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Saturday.

They do mostly classic rock ‘n’ roll, such as "At the Hop" and "Blue Moon" in the doo-wop style.

"Our parents raised us on 1950s and ’60s music, said Nik Berry, 21, who sings bass.

It seems improbable that the four singers were brought up listening to the old music, but Berry swears it’s true.

"I’d sit in my grandmother’s house where she would listen to an oldies radio station," Berry said. "And Johnathan Estes, who sings lead, got it from his mother. If she liked a song, she would play it over and over again. She knew exactly how long to hold down the rewind button."

One of their first successes, at a talent show at John A. Logan College in Illinois, came with their treatment of the Del-Vikings’ 1956 hit, "Come Go With Me."

"We include it in every concert," Berry said.

The group, which also includes tenor Aaron Chamness and baritone Adrian Fox, usually add some classic country music, some contemporary songs and a bit of gospel to their performances.

They have done a tribute to The Statler Brothers and often sing some of the group’s hits, such as "(Counting) Flowers on the Wall." In 2009 they made an entire CD of gospel music, "Who We Are."

Their latest CD, "Memories," includes "Rama Lama Ding Dong," "Remember Then" and "Barbara Ann."

Their performances also include visits from famous singers, such as a Roy Orbison impersonator or the Duke of Earl. Berry said that in the Eustis concerts, Elvis Presley may make an appearance.

Tickets are $15 for the family-friendly show.

To reserve a seat or for more information, call 352-357-7777.

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