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Interactive 50's & 60's gig held at the Summit Hill Heritage Center

  • ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Elvis Presley tribute artist Johnny M wraps a purple scarf around Marlene Basiago, Summit Hill.
    ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Elvis Presley tribute artist Johnny M wraps a purple scarf around Marlene Basiago, Summit Hill.
Published March 01. 2012 05:01PM

Lively entertainers performed music, song and dance from both the 50's and 60's during a high energy performance called "Dance Stand USA" held recently at the Summit Hill Heritage Center (SHHC) in Summit Hill.

Guests were treated to rock-and-roll entertainment by Main Street Cruisers, dancers and Elvis tribute artist Johnny M.

The show, which was performed as if the audience was participating in a live broadcast with an emcee and professional dancers, also provided audience members a chance to participate in voting for their favorite hits and dancers.

David Wargo, Vice President, SHHC, said, "The event also provided memories of earlier days, such as American Banstand, which was an American music-performance show that aired in various versions from 1952 to 1989."

The two-hour event, hosted by local celebrity and popular oldies DJ Mike Mitman, who portrayed Dick Clark, also involved spectators. Dancers grabbed people from the audience to join them.

Frank DeMatto, Summit Hill, stressed his enjoyment of all the entertainers, stating, "They were awesome. I was singing along with Johhny M." Johnny M performed many popular favorites, such "Teddy Bear," "Angel," "The Wonder of You," "Don't Be Cruel," and so on.

"The show provided audience members a unique and fun experience for those who long for the old days, as well as anyone who enjoys classic rock and roll," said Debra Ranck, President, SHHC.

The Main Street Cruisers, which is one of the most popular oldies bands in the country, features the current lead vocalist of Bill Haley's Comets, Lenny Longo, as well as Mr. Bassman Mark Gutman who performed many of the 1950s and 1960s hits.

Cindi Cleary, Summit Hill, who came to watch the show, stated, "The acoustics and environment in the building were perfect for this. I plan on attending many more upcoming events here."

Their playlist included "Rock Around the Clock," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Then He Kissed Me," "The Twist," "Love Potion Number 9," and "Shake Rattle and Roll" as some of their featured hits.

"All these songs and dances brought back memories. This performance showed the newer generations how we had fun back then," said Aurelia DeMatto, Summit Hill.

All proceeds from the show went to help support the heritage center, which houses the Summit Hill Food Pantry and hosts Feed the People, a new monthly luncheon for those in need.

Cathy Higgins, Publicity Director, SHHC, stated the board's appreciation to all the performers, center volunteers and community members who came out to support the center.

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