Give ‘Em An “A”!

By Christine Wiese

The sold out crowd at The Clausen Center in Holstein was thrice blest by The Lettermen’s performance last Saturday.  Not only were they treated to the legendary three-part harmony; they also got to hear a considerable array of old favorites in addition to a few new offerings.  Couple these with the fellows’ unfeigned affability and you had the makings of a grand night.

You could tell folks were thoroughly enjoying themselves by their sheer inability to sit still and be quiet.  Not that it was a raucous audience which greeted The Lettermen; neither was it a rowdy one.  However, there was a continuous groundswell of exuberant approbation throughout their concert.  Impromptu applause broke into many of the songs and then cascaded in crescendos when they came to an end.  There was not one second when the crowd was backward in its show of appreciation.

Char Warren of Correctionville was a prime example of this.  She scooted up to the stage during photo-op time and proceeded to give hugs all round.  “I’ve loved you guys for over fifty years!”, she blurted out.  They converged on all sides of her while she laughed like crazy; got her picture taken; and almost floated back to her seat.

She wasn’t alone.  The whole place was one big smile from the opening strains of “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” to the ending notes of “God Bless The USA”.

Tony Butala, Donovan Tea, and Bobby Poynton are not only great talents; they are gracious in the extreme.  Confronted by a small town crowd in a small auditorium, they could have figuratively arched their eyebrows; ripped through their golden oldies, and zipped out the back door. Instead, they gave a stellar performance – sung as if this venue were the most important stop they’d ever make.

One of them said at the close of the evening ” We have performed in front of bigger crowds, but none better.”  What a class act.  They gave us a wonderful show and we won’t soon forget it.

Indeed, who would want to forget such memorable offerings as “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing” and ” Turn Around; Look At Me”?  But then there was also the Frank Sinatra medley, the song from Les Miserables, the one from Phantom of the Opera, “I’m Already There”, their own medley with “The Way You Look Tonight”, et al.  There were way too many to list here.  The whole evening was so out of sight, the audience walked out higher than kites.

Ole Blue Eyes once said, “Those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it, and share it lest it be taken away from you as fast as it was loaned to you.”. Going by this, it appears The Lettermen have nothing to fear.