For Larry Chance, ACS concert 'very special' Reduced rate for performance at Penn's Peak
Larry Chance and the Earls will be appearing Friday night at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe in a benefit concert for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society.
It was a catchy beat; an oldies song that was up-tempo and made a name for a group from the Bronx called Larry Chance and the Earls.
Friday night, Larry Chance and the Earls will headline a benefit concert at Penn's Peak for the Carbon-Tamaqua Chapter of the American Cancer Society.
Also performing will be the local oldies band Remember When and Eddie "Mr. Ed" Collins.
Tickets for the event are $15 if purchased in advance and $20 at the door. Showtime is 7 p.m.
The concert kicks off a big weekend for the ACS at Penn's Peak. On Saturday and Sunday, the annual ACS telethon will be broadcast from the Jim Thorpe venue.
For Chance, the local appearance is special because he is a cancer survivor.
Chance not only overcame throat cancer, but managed to regain his voice and continue performing in a career that has spanned 54 years.
This marks the 12th year he is cancer-free.
"I thank wonderful doctors and research," he said. "I've come back very strong. Music is what I live for. It's what I love."
He knew something was wrong back around 2000 when he had been scheduled to do a public TV show and his voice was hoarse.
He got checked and it was discovered he had cancer of the vocal cords. It came as a shock considering he hadn't smoked for 10 years.
"I had seven weeks of radiation," he said, but slowly his voice returned.
"There are so many cancer survivors I formed a bond with," he said. "For those who just got it, I want them to know there is hope. You just have to believe in your doctors and have faith."
The Earls were discovered singing on the street corner in front of a subway station in New York City.
Chance, the driving force behind the group's formation and success, grew up in Philadelphia and attended high school with Chubby Checker, Frankie Avalon, and Danny Rapp of Danny and the Juniors.
But it was not until 1957 when he moved with his parents to the Bronx after high school that his musical career took off.
Chance picked the name the Earls at random out of a dictionary.
Other songs charted by Larry Chance and the Earls include "Life Is But a Dream," "Never" and "I Believe."
Chance said even though his career has spanned nearly 5 1/2 decades, he never tires of performing.
"We continue to record," he said, adding that he and the Earls have performed over the years in such venues as the famous Cobo Hall in Detroit, Madison Square Garden in New York City, Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall, the latter being a place he always dreamed of performing.
He said the most rewarding thing to happen during his career was "to come back from throat cancer and still be able to perform."
Had Chance not made it in the music business, he said he would have become a comedian.
"I love to make people laugh."
He says people who attend the concert Friday night "can expect fun. We do a lot of audience participation, a lot of comedy," he said.
In a closing piece of advice, he urged, "Anybody who has any symptoms, hoarseness or coughing more than usual, get it checked. And my fellow survivors, go for regular checkups."
The admission price for Friday's concert has been reduced from what was originally listed.
Sunday it was announced that courtesy of local radio station WMGH and area business Hiles Brothers, advance ticket prices for the show would be reduced from the original $25 to just $15.
Both new sponsors of the show say they just want to see people turn out and have fun.
"People have been working hard and digging deep all year long to make the cancer telethon the big success we know it is going to be this weekend. So we wanted to help make it as easy and affordable for as many people as possible to come out and enjoy the oldies, dance and celebrate in advance," said Lisa Hiles of Hiles Brothers.
Bill Lakatas, station manager of WMGH, said the station is proud to be a part of the American Cancer Society Telethon tradition.
"Our stations WMGH and WLSH try to reflect the spirit and the heritage of our area," Lakatas said.
"The telethon in 35 years has become part of the fabric of our community, and we've tried to help in every way possible. This oldies concert and dance is just a chance to bring together local people to celebrate all they have accomplished."
Tickets are available by calling 570-645-9835, at Hiles Brothers in Summit Hill or online at www.cancertelethon.org/concert.