The Lettermen bring a 'Holly, jolly Christmas' to Penn's Peak
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Audience members are called on stage and help the Lettermen sing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" during concert at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, in what proved to be a hilarious segment of the show. Notice one woman gets up close and personal with Lettermen member Donovan Tea.
On Saturday night, the Lettermen performed in concert at Penn's Peak, proving once again to be supreme entertainers.
They put the large audience into the Christmas spirit with their holiday songs. They took the crowd back in time with their hits from the 50s and 60s, and accentuated the music with some videos of lead singer Tony Butala in movies such as "White Christmas" and his appearance on the old Jack Benny show.
As the whipped cream on the Lettermen's entertainment sundae, the got audience members involved in several of their numbers.
For 2 1/2 hours The Lettermen performed.
It was one of two Christmas concerts held this weekend at Penn's Peak. Last night. Ernie Haas & Signature Sound delivered yule music.
This coming Saturday night, one more seasonal show is featured when Rita Coolidge brings "A Rita Coolidge Christmas" to the venue.
Other members of the Lettermen beside Butala, who founded the band more than 50 years ago, are Donovan Tea and Bobby Poynton.
Pat Zack of West Islip, Long Island, New York said afterward, "The show was great."
"It was wonderful," added Carol Bulvich of Cherryville, who especially enjoyed Tea, of whom she said, "His vice is absolutely fabulous."
Bulvich, a native of Cumbola, said she has been a fan of the Lettermen since 1958.
The concert had a lot of serious moments, such as when the Lettermen did their romantic numbers like "Turn Around, Look At Me" and "When I Fall In Love."
It was filled with humorous moments, too, the funniest being "The 12 Days of Christmas" during which audience members were selected and brought on the stage to sing specific parts.
There was one man who couldn't initially sing the flow for "Four Calling Birds," but Tea gave him lessons and he learned quickly. Another man did a twirling dance as he sang "Nine Ladies Dancing."
There were flat voices, sopranos, and opera sounding singers.
One woman got up close to Tea when she sang her part, showing her affection for him.
The Lettermen sang the song "Up, Up and Away," a hit by the Fifth Dimension, and while doing it, went into the crowd, sat down, signed autographs, and posed for photos as they performed.
Butala put the microphone to various audience members for assist in singing the Christmas classic, "Let it Snow."
"Have Yourself A Merry, Merry Christmas" was done by Tea, who hit plastic golf balls into the audience as he sang.
The Lettermen had a fun time on stage - and the audience had just as much enjoyment - as the sang such tunes as "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "Jingle Bells," "Deck the Halls," "Winter Wonderland," and "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas."
The trio got very serious when they turned to carols. They sang numerous hits including "Away In A Manger," "Joy to the World," and a song from the Andy Williams Christmas album, "Sweet Little Jesus Boy."
A touching narration was given by Tea on the birth and life of Jesus, after which he sang the song "O, Holy Night."
He also delivered a romantic tune, which he wrote, entitled "For the First Time In My Life It Feels Like Christmas (Now That I Found You)."
The concert closed with the Lettermen singing "White Christmas" and "Silent Night" in harmony like only they can deliver.