Somewhere between the ‘doo wa ditties’ and ‘pappa ooh maw maws’, I found my thrill. But, it wasn’t on Blueberry Hill. In addition, I discovered, nonsense syllables aside, that the legendary era of the late 1950s to early 1960s boasts some of the most romantic lyrics and engaging harmonies popular music has ever embraced.

And, no, I wasn’t checking out an “oldies” channel on an iPod. Instead, I spent four days, May 13-17, surrounded by nearly 2000 cruise passengers aboard The Malt Shop Memories Cruise (Carnival Inspiration). Promotional materials alleged to take one back to this golden era, and I believe that it did exactly that, even for those who were never there in the first place.

The Time-Life Company, known for its extensive historical and cultural archives, had approached the Sixth Man Company about putting together a music themed-cruise. Though Sixth Man has previously, and still does, set- up cruises featuring John Mayer, Lynard Skynard and Elvis Tribute Artists, this 50s based cruise was inaugural, and the acts were carefully chosen to reflect specific musical tastes and to target an audience which would appreciate noteworthy moments of nostalgia.

The concept was to invite like-minded people to come together and hear the songs they loved performed by the groups which propelled these now classics up the pop charts. Think of it as Doo Wop meets Woodstock – the immense fan base consisted primarily of passengers over 50, but even some of the children on the waterslide ended up singing ‘Sunshine Lollipops and Roses” and ‘Tears On My Pillow’ – although the children aboard seemed to be just as excited about the chocolate under the pillow.

The penultimate Lido Deck was awash with enthusiastic, free-spirits twisting away to Chubby Checker, one minute, and swooning to recordings of Bobby Vinton’s 'Blue Velvet' the next.

Hula hoop and prom queen/king competitions rallied the ambitious troops even more. A beautiful young woman from Texas had spent weeks planning for the “decorate your door” contest. Carefully cut and arranged replicas of 45s, her personal photograph standing at a retro diner, flaunting a poodle skirt and saddle shoes, along with hand-written song titles attached to her cabin door, earned her the top prize.

A bright smile and positive attitude allowed her to make fast friends, and, although only in her early 20s, she claimed to be “born too late” but compensated with an extraordinary recall of classic 50s-60s hits that belied someone of her tender age.

The entertainment line-up included Frankie Avalon, Lou Christie, Lesley Gore, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Bobby Rydell, the Drifters and the Platters. In addition, Gino Monopoli, an ETA (Elvis Tribute Artist) regaled the late night crowd with the gospel-inflected vocals, snarled lip, signature kicks and swiveling hips that inspired tears of ecstacy to the throngs of women seated inches away from his skin-tight jumpsuit.

Each evening showcased a featured act in the comfortable Paris Lounge and additional acts in the more intimate Candlelight Room. Gino started in the atrium, an open area featuring a winding, spiral staircase, but his act was so well-attended, he was moved to the more spacious Lido Deck days later.

Here are some impressions of the acts which played nightly. Lou Christie conducted a Rock and Roll review with two backing singers in black sequin dress – “Mary and Denise, pretty Italian girls from NYC” is how he casually introduced them. The keyboard player wore a black fedora and the brass section anticipated his every phrase. His falsetto during ''Lightnin' Strikes Again' and “Rhapsody in the Rain” was expected, and, although he couldn’t reach the pure tones of his younger incarnation, Christy’s self-effacing humour, playful persona and natural ear for melody more than compensated. After singing ‘The Gypsy Cried’ he jested about performing falsetto: “It was hard when I was 15. Now I’m 30,” the over 60 singer smirked.

Christie also revealed that ‘Rhapsody in the Rain” had been banned due to suggestive lyrics – a fact that amused many passengers. ‘Two Faces Have I’ also included some falsetto, but Christie’s current chest voice remains warm and effusive. A great piano solo by musician/arranger Dennis Sabrizi was icing on the cake.

“Does anyone want to fall in love tonight?” Christie asked. Surveying the affirmative nods of random passengers, as he sat down on a stool. "The things we did last summer/I’ll remember all winter long," he sings above a whisper. "The leaves begin to fade/Like promises we made...," he continued, and even audience members who had not heard these hits back in the day, seemed to exhibit the misty eyes of nostalgia. His heartfelt encore: ‘Never My Love’ was equally embracing, and Christie’s choice of ballads were a great contrast to the more upbeat melismatic numbers.

The Herb Reeves Platters sang ‘Twilight Time.’ But, their 1954 hit ‘Only You’ has one of the most hummable melodies ever and only a professional group with outstanding vocal range could do justice to this standard.

Herb Reeves, seated, wore a black suit, white silk shirt and his vocalists; three men and one woman dressed in vivid pink, walked out after a warm introduction. ‘My Girl’ was dedicated to all the ladies in the house and Reeves dryly joked: “If we had recorded this song, we wouldn’t be working here tonight.” The Temptations came away with the cash for this one. Pianist Ray Miller navigated some impressive passages.

Reeves narrated the band’s greatest moments between songs and a tribute to Johnny Maestro began with ‘Sixteen Candles’. The deliciously homey ‘Sugar Fly Honey Bunch’ was sung with perfect enunciation and broad choreographed movement. In fact, it was difficult to determine which element of the performance was most exciting; the synched movements, the bright vocals, the flashy suits or the historical repartee.

A 1965 YouTube video of the Imperials shows lead singer Anthony Gourdine, as a teenager, doing repetitive splits while singing ‘I’m All Right’ – a song the front man co-wrote with Sam Cooke. Publicist George Dassinger said that even when Gourdine’s childhood friend and fellow Imperial, Clarence Colllins, was grounded for a year; he and Anthony still persevered back in the day. They, however, practiced in the courtyard; Clarence sang his vocal line from the fire escape a couple of floors up, while Anthony wailed below.

Watching the men perform this evening, that precocious childhood enthusiasm still, fortunately, exists. The men clown around in a comfortable fashion, drawing in the audience with their light-hearted ad libs and warmth.

And, when these luminaries were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, Rolling Stone, Ronnie Wood, humbly bowed before Anthony, expressing how much he still loves ‘Tears On My Pillow’.

Stories like these are bound to stimulate excitement, of course, and I was anxious to see and hear this popular group take us back to what was supposedly a gentler time.

The big band onstage played a medley of the band’s greatest hits and then Anthony appeared wearing a black tux and white shirt. Dramatically, he sang ‘All by Myself’ with the same wrenching no-holds- barred passion, evidenced on earlier footage. His three cohorts then magically appeared, kibitzed around, and, mugging disapproval, they made references to their old neighborhood. The juxtaposition between this dark opening rendition and the light comic travails amongst the singers was not only unique in this era of over-production, but reminiscent of a time when singers casually stood on the street corners practicing their harmonies.

Then, they launched into the Marvin Gaye hit, ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ with complex motions perfectly synched and powerful voices splendidly fused.

“This is what we like to call the early years, when I was a young man – real small,” Gourdine intimated. The 1958 ballad ‘Tears on my Pillow’ brought the large room to a whispering standstill. When Gourdine sings, “Tears on my pillow, pain in my heart,” his face aches and his arms grip despair. Gourdine explained to me, earlier in an interview, that his acting studies enabled him to really feel the character of a song.

Attempting to take us back even earlier, the group recanted “to those street corners.” It was easy to imagine a younger incarnation of these enthused singers busking under the streetlights of Brooklyn’s Fort Greene area, night after night, to “attract girls” and perfect their unprecedented style. “Just two kinds of people in the world” trail across the dimly- lit lounge; the song written by Clarence Collins, is accompanied by brisk finger snaps.

Expressing gratitude to the songwriting team of Teddy Randazzo and Bobby Weiss, and arranger Don Costa, Anthony dedicates ‘Hurt So Bad’ and ‘Goin’ Out of My Head’ which sold 4 million records in ’64. A thunderous version of ‘If You Think I’m Sexy’ followed. After receiving several standing ovations, the group continued on with ‘Every Move That You Make’ and ‘Sugar Pie Honey Bunch.’

The mix of a cappella and big band inflected R & B made the show flow quickly. LAI are celebrating more than 50 years of entertaining and the CD ‘You’ll Never Know’ comprised of 12 original songs – 4 remakes of their million selling hits included – is currently being promoted.

Last year, new Imperial Robert DeBlanc came on board. DeBlanc adds a brilliant debonair twist to the composition. While Ernest Wright, Sammy Strain and Clarence Collins go way back and add a good natured feel to the band, whether ribbing Gourdine or supporting his impassioned pleas, the tall slender DeBlanc with his chiselled features and super-smooth dance steps, completely rounds off this traditional line-up.

The next group, in its earlier line-up, made history with songs that have now become classics, due to tight harmonies, imaginative arrangements and contributions from an amazing array of New York and New Orleans based songwriters. Allen Toussaint ('Under the Boardwalk'), Carole King/Gerry Goffin (‘Up On the Roof’), Mort Shuman/Doc Pomus (‘This Magic Moment’, ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’) and Stoller and Leiber(‘On Broadway,’ ‘Stand By Me’) are just a few examples.

The first classic Drifters ensemble was formed by vocalist Clyde McPhatter, who had been fired by his group the Dominoes, and encouraged to form a new group by Atlantic Record mogul Ahmet Ertegun, in the early 50s.

The first classic version of the line-up was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as “The Drifters” or “The Original Drifters.” The “Second Drifters” featured vocalist Ben E. King and was separately inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as “Ben E. King and the Drifters.” But, despite numerous rearrangements, thirteen chart hits resulted from the original line-up, and the use of strings and other smart arranging techniques marked many of these now standards. 'Rolling Stone' ranked the group number 81 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Times.

The Bill Pickney’s Drifters, singing ‘Money Honey’ wore glamorous ties. Strains of “boop bop bop boop shop bedop’ served up with snaps woke up any late-night stragglers still left at the lounge. Russell Henry performed the exuberant ‘This Magic Moment’ as the rest instigated handclaps. After begging the request, “save the last dance for me,” singer Vernon, sang lead vocal for ‘Up On the Roof.’

The Drifters reminded us that a sense of place is so important in lyricism. The audience seemed relieved to hear the brisk ‘Under the Boardwalk.’ Still, they went further back in time with ‘Fools Fall in Love’ and rampantly made use of jazz inflection and charming scat syllables.

Brian McIntosh commented, “I was born by the river.” He launched into the gospel-brushed ‘Change Don’t Come’. Singer Vernon again took the stage with the exhilarating ‘Hey Ruby, Ruby.’

When I had met Vernon, earlier in the evening, he had challenged a bunch of twenty-something passengers to see which songs they recognized. I have to admit, I hadn’t yet heard this incendiary song. It was performed with explosive energy and was reflective of major soul inspiration and a spot-on guitar solo smoothed out the arrangement.

‘There Goes My Baby’ and ‘On Broadway’ were also well-received and irresistible. A medley of ‘Stand By Me’ (actually written for the group) and ‘The Chain Gang’ (“What’s the sound of the man working on the chain gang?”) followed. The transition between songs was flawless; testimony to the well-rehearsed backing band and a group that throws themselves completely into the eye of this danceable repertoire. “We’re here to please, not to tease,” said one performer. Well, actually, there was a little of both.

The other performers were not group-based, although they enjoyed elaborate orchestration from the house band and individual musicians from their respective camps. Singer Frankie Avalon, dressed in a white tux, black bow tie and black pants, was all smiles. He’s a man who, expect for flecks of grey, has hardly aged. The theme of the popular TV show, 'American' Bandstand' created a lively burst of energy.

“I’ve been cruising ever since Moby Dick was a minnow,” laughed Avalon, whose son, Frankie Jr., feverishly attacked the drum kit directly behind him. He spread tales of growing up in his Italian neighborhood with childhood friends like Bobby Rydell and Bobby Darin, throughout the act, and made light of his early movies such as ‘Beach Blanket Bingo’ and ‘Muscle Beach Party.’ “What story line? What plot?” he asked the appreciative audience.

He also boasted his long-standing marriage, exclaiming, “We have four boys, we have four girls; that’s with one wife!”

Avalon also introduced his son’s good friend Eden Everly, son and nephew of the famous Everly Brothers act, who played guitar and sang several tunes, including ‘Bye, Bye Love’ and ‘Wake up Little Suzie’ with the very effusive performer. Avalon, making a few self-effacing comments which the audience ate up, also, several times, brushed his hand across his surprisingly full head of hair. Several women dressed in tiaras and prom dresses laughed at his gestures. Avalon sang ‘Beauty School Drop Out’ from the “highest grossing musical of all time” ‘Grease’ in which he played a teen angel.

His keyboardist and arranger, Ray Konnetsky, kept the band fully engaged even as Avalon targeted humorous innuendos his way. “I love to squeeze her, I love to tease her,” were some of the fascinating phrases sung in Avalon’s first hit - 1957's ‘Dina.’

Then, the 1958 lyricism of “You’re kind of naughty, you’re kind of nice” brought back Avalon’s proclivity towards mirth. Lyrics, also, like “When a girl changes from bobby socks to stockings/She’s old enough to give her heart away…” are also touching reminders that this era was fruitful in coming of age songs.

Avalon also paid tribute to the handsome teen idol Ricky Nelson as he interpreted ‘Hello Mary Lou, Goodbye Heart’ and to his good friend Elvis Presley: ‘Jailhouse Rock’ and the Carl Perkins composed ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’ Glimpses of his past were also reflected as he reminisced about Darin and their early days: their room at the Century Hotel was so small, “even the mice were hunchbacked.” Avalon upped the rock and roll ante singing ‘Mack the Knife’, Bill Haley’s ‘Rock Around the Clock’ and his encore ‘Old King of Rock and Roll.’

He even requested and garnered audience participation during the ‘Mickey Mouse’ theme song – the last number one song that ended the 50's decade – and a pan around the crowded room revealed lots of knowing nods of recognition.

The glamorous ladies in the first rows, donning red corsages, diamond bracelets and tiaras and sipping drinks garnished with pineapple chunks, maraschino cherries and tiny umbrellas, warmly smiled during a standing ovation as Avalon reluctantly left the stage.

Singer Bobby Rydell, famous for his role as Hugo Peabody in the American musical ‘Bye Bye Birdie’, has a voice that has not only withstood the test of time, but remains unbelievably rich and sonorous. In fact, during the filming of ‘Birdie’, where his character sang alongside star Ann Margret, the producers wrote additional material after discovering his on-screen magnetism first-hand.

Rydell, like Avalon, also hailing from a neighborhood in “Phillie” where Italian immigrant families were the mainstay of the community, told some jokes about colourful characters back in the day. “We were both born and raised in Philadelphia. You got my hubcaps,” he jested at one point, spelling out the working-class feel he experienced.

In between these anecdotes, Rydell sang some songs that made full use of his extensive range. ‘Volare’ – his second gold record in ‘Jersey City’ is an upbeat classic, loaded with swing, and a ‘Birdie’ medley including the famed ‘Got a Lot of Living to Do’, replete with classic dance moves, was immensely entertaining. Rydell’s voice is flexible – he’s able to jut from jazz to ballad on a dime. His version of ‘Goody Goody’ is fun and as catchy as a fly ball at Yankee stadium.

Introduced by Andy Levine, Sixthman’s coordinator, as the “sock hopping, doo wopping Bobby Rydell,” he lived up to the moniker. ‘Downtown’, penned by Tony Hatch, was especially written for Bobby. He got some titters from the audience as he reminisced about the ‘45’ discs that sputtered around the phonograph’s spindle – “Sometimes they fell, sometimes they didn’t,” he smiled.

Another great tune ‘Sway’ recorded by the Flamingos and widely covered currently showed-off more of Rydell’s excellent ear for jazz and exquisite timing. The ballad ‘Forget Him’ spun more in the way of deep emotion.

His heartfelt tribute to Bobby Darrin was smooth sailing. Just a flick of the wrist or demure shrug of the shoulders during his rendition of ‘Mack the Knife’ or ‘Splish Splash’ or his jovial burring into the microphone enhanced with a slight growl brought back to life these astonishing songs.

Seated next to me, on a circular sofa, were two sisters and a friend from New York City. One sister said that these songs made her remember exactly what she was doing at any given time and that that was the magic. “They don’t write songs like that anymore,” she said wistfully.

Lesley Gore sang in the Candlelight Room – but was later, like Gino, moved to a larger space. The room was absolutely packed that evening. An electric Kurzweil was being played by an exuberant long-haired brunette named Tracy, who also doubled on vocals. Gore appeared wearing a long-sleeved black top and black slacks. A four-piece brass section stood against the wall.

“I don’t call them my ‘oldies, but goodies’ anymore. I call them my ‘classic hits’ she proclaimed. Gore sang a song, written for her when she was sixteen years old, by American composer Marvin Hamlisch.

“The whole song was only one minute and thirty seconds,” she said, adding that “I feel like I should give them back 50 cents!” That song, ‘Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows’ is bouncy and lifted up the spirits of the crowd immediately. It also ended up in the animated film ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ reaching a whole new generation.

Gore then performed ‘The Look of Love’ (not the Dusty Springfield ‘hit’) and the riveting ‘She’s A Fool.’ She recounted how, as a young girl, she watched shows like 'American Bandstand' and is now thrilled to perform with acts seen back then; Avalon, Rydell…

In 1963 Gore met Quincy Jones at a NY party, and as luck would have it, a demo of her piano and vocal tracks, ended up on the acclaimed producer’s desk. “Do you remember that song (‘It’s My Party’)? I sure hope you do!” Gore queried the audience.

‘It’s My Party’ was recorded in late March of 1963, on a Saturday, released on a Monday and heard on station WNCA on a Friday. “Don’t mess with a New Jersey girl,” Gore laughed.

Jones encouraged Gore to find another song quickly for the “B” side. ‘Judy’s Turn to Cry’ was that one and her performance embued a bouncy beat equaling that of the ‘A’ side.

Then, Gore engaged in an abrupt about face to sing the dark ‘I Who Have Nothing.’ This is a gripping ballad and Tracy Stark brandished some lovely runs in-between phrases.

As a prequel to the next song, Gore explained that she started writing songs “rather late” – but it didn’t seem to matter when this skill transpired. A hush came across the room as the petite slender blonde artist sat down at the electric piano and sang the coming of age ‘Out Here on My Own’ co-written with her brother Michael for the movie ‘Fame.’ “I think of it as a sequel to ‘You Don’t Own Me’ she admitted.

A contrasting medley of classic rock and roll hits: ‘Great Balls of Fire’, for example, were performed in an off-kilter jazzy style. Stark’s cleverly inserted glissandos, mini-runs and expressive harmonies embellished these classics. Gore’s version of ‘Sea Cruise’ was a surprise and the ever poppy ‘That’s the Way Boys Are’ and Hamlisch hit, ‘California Nights’ drove up the nostalgia barometer even more feverishly; a kind of jewellery box keyboard and burlesque brass added more flourish.

Gore touched on the talent of songwriter Ellie Greenwich who wrote: ‘Maybe I Know.’ The lyrics serve as a heavy contrast to the anthemic ‘You Don’t Own Me,’ her brilliant hit, and what served as a much-loved encore.

The teen narrative “Maybe I know that he’s been cheating, but what can I do” showed the other side of the teenaged brain. Gore, one of the more expressive female artists of the early 60s, was instrumental when examining the many sides of growing up.

I honestly held my breath before her launch into ‘You Don’t Own Me’ and didn’t exhale until the last note. It is a searing ballad, often viewed as an anthem to the 60's American Feminist Movement. Dark major/minor chord change shifts, a plunging bass line and Gore’s stunning emotional depth pull together for a glorious well-crafted and emotionally cathartic song. “I couldn’t leave without singing this one for you,” she smiled, during the band’s intro. I’m so happy she didn’t.

Though, the music over the four days was, in my mind, pure heaven, my nine-year old daughter had mixed feelings. She loved the over-all joking around on stage between the Drifters and the Platters, something she had never seen at current musical events where performers rarely say more than a few well-rehearsed words to their audience. She couldn’t quite get why Rydell kept talking about Italian people between songs, was mesmerized by Avalon, who she had remembered solely from his cameo on ‘Grease’, (although she rolled her eyes at me when he launched into the "Mickey Mouse song"), – after all she was approaching “double-digit” and didn’t have time for such kid stuff.

She couldn’t understand why ‘You Don’t Own Me’ had such appeal to the feminist movement – “too many chords” she said, though, from the corner of my eye, I noticed she couldn’t resist dancing to ‘It’s My Party’ in her seat.

And, my concern that she would be an oddity onboard proved wrong, too. In fact, several times on the elevator, people, three times her age, would bend down and ask how she felt about the music. Finally, after about the fourth time, with her eyes cast shyly at the floor, she sighed, apologetically, “You know, I’m really not from that era!”

But, Madeline was really blown-away by the ETA Gino Monopoli. Surrounded by swarms of ladies piled-high around the Jacuzzi, he plunged into ‘Jailhouse Rock.’ Then, this green-eyed Elvis clone, climbed into the audience, waving his sweat-drenched blue scarf. A brunette clambered to his side and reached for the cloth. But, Monopoli, politely, kept walking.

“Sorry, ma’am, It’s not for you…,” he said, under his breath. And then, it happened. The world-weary nine-year old, suffering from nostalgic ennui, felt Monopoli’s hand place the aqua-marine cloth, quickly, but gently, around her neck.

Her freckled-face illuminated against the dark sky and her voice actually squealed. Days later, as she left to go back to school, I heard her scurry around in the upper reaches of her luggage, sighing with relief when her hand grabbed the precious scarf.

And, no, Madi was not the only child onboard. Several times we bumped into another child, travelling with her grandparents. She fussed over her poodle skirt and cashmere sweater and tried to stay awake during a rendition of ‘Runaround Sue’ – one of the waiters was dressed in a red wig and performed an exotic dance for the diners that evening.

Most of the dinner companions were talkative and enjoying their retirement years. One woman, an artist, currently volunteers her time at a sanctuary in which former celebrity chimpanzees now reside. One man, who claims he is a “closet cowboy”, attends ‘Gunsmoke’ conventions, and numerous cruisers nodded in appreciation, on deck, when familiar songs drifted by. “That’s MY music,” said one man, clutching a Mai Tai.

Residents from the early “Philly” days who took turns “Avalon-spotting” were encyclopedias of knowledge about the actual locations of songs like the ‘Bristol Stomp.’

The New York sisters, slung on a sofa one night, were grateful to hear about ‘Palisades Park' and other references to places they enjoyed in their youth.

“Born Too Late” spent many happy hours getting her hair just right for the prom, but didn’t seem too disappointed that a couple, at least fifty years older, ran off with the title of prom king and queen. But, she looked so gorgeous and genuinely “50s”, dolled-up in her bright poodle skirt, saddle shoes, bobby socks and blonde pony tail, a day later, that she transported everyone around her to their former high-school.

One man, with Elvis side-burns, a pluming Pompadour and denim, rolled-up trousers, seemed to turn up at random tables, again and again, much to the amusement of the younger set.

Even Madeline grew slowly attached to this generation. After finding a stray hula hoop in the library, she entertained some sales ladies. Then, looking at the clock, I pleaded with her to dry off from the water slide, so I could catch some more of Lesley’s act.

Once, in the lounge, she managed to grab an autograph from Gore and, after sipping a Mango smoothie, decided going back in time was not such a bad thing after all, even if you have to hang out with a bunch of older people, and hear stories about Italian people that you’ve never even met. Above all, who else is going home with “the scarf?”

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Commenting On: Florida, 13/5/2010...17/5/2010 - Malt Shop Memories Cruise

ie London, England

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19201 Posted By: Lisa (Chicago)

Hi Winnie,

Oh, yes. I remember that very well. You guys added a spectacular sparkle to that afternoon. Thanks for giving it your all!


19198 Posted By: Lisa (Chicago)

Thank you both for reading!
Beverly, I do know the correct title to that Drifter's song...sorry to have let that one slip by. Maybe I shouldn't be "twisting the night away" and listening to 50s music while typing late at night.


19197 Posted By: Winnie (Florida)

Your article brought back the cruise like it was yesterday - brilliantly written! Don't know if you had the chance to be out on the Lido Deck Friday afternoon but I was one of the "soda jerks" - we enjoyed our 15 minutes of fame as it seemed everyone wanted to have their photograph taken with us. The whole trip was such an enjoyable experience that is near impossible to put into words - but you did it! Our fellow "cruisers" comprised a wide range of ages but for four days everyone was 16 again!

19193 Posted By: KAREN (USA MARYLAND)


19192 Posted By: Beverly Rhett (Bronx, New York)

Having met the charming, beautiful and bubbly "Born Too Late" myself, I can say that she seemed to thoroughly herself on this cruise! Not knowing her age, I could only surmise from her youthful appearance that she was not from that era! I am years older than she, but was also not a teen in the fifties. I am a sixties-era "baby boomer" who was raised listening to this music. I am also a frequent cruiser; retired school teacher. This cruise was by far, one of the most enjoyable for my sister and I. Two corrections about this article: The Drifter's song that was identified as "Where Is My Baby" should read as, "There Goes My Baby" and, Leslie Gore paid tribute to songwriter Ellie Greenwich, not Ellie Gretsch.

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