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Review and photos by Mary AndrewsRock legend Darlene Love is not the typical music legend since she spent many years singing on multi-million selling records without neither getting credit as the singer nor getting royalties from the record sales. All of this was thanks to record producer, Phil Spector’s decision to list the group, The Crystals as the singers instead of Darlene Love. Records such as, "He’s A Rebel" and "Today I Met The Boy I’m Gonna Marry" were made by Darlene Love’s magical voice.
This was not a rock revival show that is seen so often these days. Ms. Love looks and sounds great! She is 73 years old now, but she has a youth and vitality that is much younger than her years. Her voice is as powerful as it was in the 1960’s, which is more than what can be said for a lot of ‘living legends’ performing these days.
She started the show with "He’s Sure The Boy I Love." This was one of those songs that Phil Spector gave credit to the Crystals even though the vocals were from Denise. It was a rousing start to a show that was filled with hits that Darlene either sang lead or background with her group the Blossoms. She sang background for Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, Cher, Tom Jones, U2, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, The Righteous Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, Dionne Warwick, and the list goes on. Every song in the show was a song that Ms. Love had a professional connection and Darlene gave the audience personal stories that surrounded making the music.
Prior to singing "Da Doo Ron Run," Ms. Love addressed her professional relationship with Mr. Spector. "I had not signed my contract with Mr. Spector yet, right before we sang this song. I told him I was not singing this song until I had a contract. Not that contracts meant anything back then. He still screwed me after I signed the contract! Anyway the Blossoms, and I and my sister Edna, Cher and Sonny were all singing background on the record. When it came to singing the lead on the record, I said ‘I’m just not going to do it. You are going to do the same thing to me that you have done on all the other songs.’ I left the studio and did not record this song. Well, he got on the phone and begged the Crystals to come to California and record the song. We still perform the song because we really do enjoy doing and our audiences loves it."
Ms. Love was not going to end the show before introducing her own background singers. Many of the duets during the show were done with the very talented Milton Vann. He specializes in gospel music in his solo career. She introduced "her baby" Ms. Baritone. And finally, Ula Hedwig, one of the first Bette Midler "Harlettes." All were in the front position with Love during the song "Marvelous."
The last song was another Spector production, "River Deep." Karma is a beautiful thing depending on your perspective. From Darlene’s perspective, she is finally getting her just rewards. She was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. She got an Oscar this year for the documentary film, "20 Feet From Stardom." As Ms. Love said, "I’m here and Mr. Spector is in jail."
1. He's Sure the Boy I Love
2. Wait Til My Bobby Gets Home
3. If You Believe
4. (Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry
5. Ain't That Peculiar (Marvin Gaye cover)
6. You're All I Need to Get By / Ain't No Mountain High Enough
(Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell cover)
7. What's Going On (Marvin Gaye cover)
8. Da Doo Ron Ron (The Crystals song)
9. A Fine, Fine Boy
10. Killing Me Softly With His Song / Where Is the Love
(Roberta Flack cover)
11. (You're My) Soul and Inspiration
(The Righteous Brothers cover)
13. He's a Rebel (The Crystals song)
14. Lean On Me (Bill Withers cover)
15. River Deep, Mountain High
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