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1910 Fruitgum Company and Ron Dante Show Rained-Out

Published July 4, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_05961910 Fruitgum Company

For nine years, every July 4th my husband Dennis and I loved going to see The 1910 Fruitgum Company at a park in Springfield, New Jersey, and this was the first year it got rained out after only a few songs!

From the get-go it didn’t look too good in the sky and for some reason the band started a half hour later than they were supposed to. (We actually got there early thinking maybe they’d start the show early because of the rain).

The band only got to do a few songs including their hits “Goody Good Gumdrops” and “Indian Giver” before the rain started. Original member Frank Jeckell jokingly put a towel over his head.

SAM_0602Original 1910 Fruitgum Company member Frank Jeckell

While the 1910 Fruitgum Company played in the rain, my husband noticed the legendary Ron Dante (of The Archies) standing by the side of the stage. We walked over to meet him. He was awesome! He signed one of my husband’s CDs and took a picture with me.

SAM_0601Ron Dante and me

After The 1910 Fruitgum Company cut their set short (so short I didn’t get to hear my two favorite songs, “1-2-3 Red Light” and “Simon Says”) Ron Dante came onstage, backed by The 1910 Fruitgum Company and did “I Want Candy.”

The rain was really coming down at this point, so he cut to the chase and did his biggest hit “Sugar Sugar.”

At least I got to dance to part of the legendary song before the sound guy pulled the plug.

My husband and I came home soaking wet, but we had FUN!

Oh, is that fireworks I hear — or thunder?

Happy Fourth of July

July 4th Music Extravaganza! (Toys/1910 Fruitgum Co./Buckinghams)

Published July 5, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5143Me and Barbara Harris

My husband and I had an amazing July 4th!

The town next to ours, Springfield, New Jersey, hosts a wonderful music program every July 4th — featuring Barbara Harris and The Toys, and 1910 Fruitgum Company. It’s been a tradition for us, for the past five years, to go see them and get a spot right in front!

Prior to the show, Barbara Harris actually recognized me (from going to all the shows!) She gave me a big, warm hello and we chatted. That truly made my night. Her hit “A Lover’s Concerto” is one of my favorite love songs of all time. Though it was a hit in the 1960s, I first discovered the song, around 1981, when I was working my first job and I’d hear it on the way to work on AM radio.

And of course it’s always the highlight of their shows when they perform “A Lover’s Concerto” (also known as “How Gentle is the Rain.”) They also did “Open Arms” by Journey, “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner, their other Top 10 hit, “Attack” and a medley of hits from girl groups of the 1960s.

When Barbara Harris was introduced, the announcer said she was “the nicest lady in the world.” I totally agree! Barbara is just full of light and love — a total inspiration! And boy, that lady can dance! According to Wikipedia, she was born 1945 — you’d never know it! She has the energy of a 20-something and is gorgeous too!

Next up was 1910 Fruitgum Company, another band I loved when I was a little girl. They did a string of hits of their own, plus hits by others such as the Beach Boys and the Turtles. My favorite Fruitgum hits are “1-2-3 Red Light” and of course, “Simon Says” which always gets me dancing!

As a bonus, last night, Dennis Tufano, of The Buckinghams, performed with Fruitgum Company. He was a phenomenal show man — funny and charismatic — and belted out tunes like he was on fire! Of his songs, my favorite was “Kind of a Drag.” He also did some Bobby Darin tunes and other numbers.

After the show, there was a fireworks display.

My husband, Dennis, got the Buckinghams CD autographed by Dennis Tufano — and joked with him that they were both Italians named “Dennis.”

I got to meet Frank Jeckell, original Fruitgum Co. member. We all took pictures too. His wife was so nice to take a picture of both me and my husband with him.

A very fun evening. Also got to see our friends Bobby (who once ran a very cool place in Montclair, The Soda Pop Shop),  and Art & Wendy (who we met a few weeks ago at the Lou Christie show).

A perfect summer night, that was actually chilly like September!

Fourth of July Concerts – 1910 Fruitgum Company; Barbara Harris & The Toys

Published July 5, 2013 by Maryanne

1910 Fruitgum Company(Photo swiped from their website)

Last night was spectacular! My husband and I went, for the fourth year in a row, to see the double bill of 1910 Fruitgum Company and Barbara Harris & The Toys in Springfield, followed by fireworks.

We were joined by our friends Diane and Mike. First had a beer at our home and dinner at Applebees.

The 1910 Fruitgum Company (http://www.1910fruitgumcompany.com/index.html) is amazing. I had their records as a kid and always loved them. I must have seen them about seven or eight times over they years. They did all their hits, “1-2-3 Red Light”; “Take a Giant Step”; “Indian Giver” “Simon Says” (my favorite by them) and their psychedelic “Reflections in the Looking Glass” which shows how diverse they can be.  They also do hits from other bands, and my favorite is “Midnight Confessions” by the Grass Roots.

I always love how they coordinate their clothing. This year all the band members wore classy shirts with American flags on them.

People of all ages enjoy the show, from kids to elderly. Everyone gets so into it.

Next up was Barbara Harris and The Toys (http://www.barbarastoys.net/). They always do a medley of hits from girl groups of the 1960s (Shirelles, Supremes, etc.) which is fabulous (but I do prefer hearing the entire song rather than a medley). Full songs included, the famous hit, “Lover’s Concerto (How Gentle Is the Rain)” which brought tears to my eyes. We were right in the front and I screamed out, “Thank you Barbara!” And she said, “Aw, thank you.” She’s such a doll!

All the girls in the Toys have such unique voices, it was wonderful hearing all of them sing, individually as well as together.

And I found out via Wikipedia — Barbara Harris is 67-years-old, she’ll be 68 this year (her birthday is August 18, the day before mine!) It’s amazing the energy she has onstage! Incredibly inspiring.

The surprise of the evening was when she sang “Open Arms” by Journey. I totally didn’t expect that song, it seemed out of character but it worked beautifully. Definitely a romantic evening.

After her performance we went to meet her again because Mike had the Toys single, “Lover’s Concerto” and Barbara Harris autographed it for him. So we took photos again even though we were all very hot and sweaty! We’re having a massive heat wave in New Jersey, but a wonderful evening nonetheless. Hooray for no rain!

DSCN0749Barbara Harris, me, Dennis

DSCN0751Mike, Barbara Harris, Diane

DSCN0748Barbara Harris autographing Mike’s 45 record! 

Look how cute her shoes are!

(Note: I don’t know who the guy holding the cell phone is!)