Live Performance Review
Show: The Bobby Show
Venue: The Wellington Street Theatre
Where: Kingston, Ontario
When: May 22, 2010
Watch out Michael Bublé! Smooth, suave, sophisticated, 60ish Michael K. Myers is a charismatic crooner, who after spending 40 years playing music might just have hit his stride and caught a wave to glory with his brilliantly conceived and orchestrated The Bobby Show!
The Bobby Show debuted last night to a sold out room at The Wellington Street Theatre and left an audience full of fans of the great “Bobby” singers of the late 50’s and early 60’s smiling from ear to ear and showing their appreciation for a superb night of entertainment with a standing ovation.
Written by Kingston, Ontario songwriter and performer Michael K. Myers who sang lead vocals and played guitar for 95% of the show, and joined by his seasoned band The Real Gone Cats: Tim Hallman (music director, keyboards), Gary Barratt (drums, percussion), and Bob Arlidge (electric bass, stand-up bass) – The Bobby Show is a night of nostalgic hits from “Bobby” singers Bobby Vee, Bobby Darin, Bobby Helms, Bobby Day, Bobby Sherman, Bobby Vinton, Bobby Curtola, Bobby Goldsboro, and Bobby Rydell that will appeal to not only my parents’ generation, but mine as well.
Myers, whose musical inspirations include Burt Bacharach, Lennon & McCartney, and Rodgers and Hart has experience performing music in almost every genre including rock ’n ’roll, country & western, jazz and pop. He’s a skillful guitarist, witty and warm public speaker, and his tenor voice is clear, powerful and as delicious to the ears as Baileys to the tongue.
The Bobby Show opened with Myers performing two of the last of the Bobby singers, Bobby Sherman’s hits, including Julie, Do You Love Me? Myers had obviously done his research as he punctuated the show with a brief career recollection of each of the Bobby singers. I didn’t know that Bobby Sherman, who I definitely remembered from my childhood, had given up music in the 1970s and become a cop in Los Angeles. The show was filled with interesting tidbits like that and about 30 infectious hits of a bygone era in music that was largely underrated.
Myers used a few props for his show to accompany his enthusiasm and great sense of humour and changed ties for several Bobbys, from the groovy paisley tie he wore for Sherman’s songs to a bolo for Bobby Helms, a skinny black tie for Bobby Day, and a cardigan for Bobby Vee.
Myers and The Real Gone Cats performed Fraulein and My Special Angel by Bobby Helms, as well as his 120 million copy seller, Jingle Bell Rock, even though it was slightly out of season on an exceptionally warm May evening.
Bobby Day was the only African-American Bobby who used to perform with bands The Satellites and The Hollywood Flames and had success with songs like Buzz Buzz Buzz, Little Bitty Pretty One, and Rockin’ Robin.
The audience tapped their toes, swayed in their seats and hummed or sang along while Bobby Vee took his place in the spotlight with Devil Or Angel and the Carole King/Gerry Goffin penned classics Take Good Care Of My Baby and Run To Him. Of particularly interesting note, keyboardist Tim Hallman once played keyboards for Bobby Vee, as did the little known Bob Zimmerman (who later became Dylan). Myers also covered The Night Has A Thousand Eyes and Wild One.
I caught myself grinning like a Cheshire cat throughout the show and thinking about how much my Mom would love it and wishing that everyone I know over 50 had been there.
We got to hear wonderful renditions of Bobby Rydell’s Forget Him, Sway With Me, and Volare which placed third in the famous Eurovision song contest in 1960.
There was a brief intermission and we were treated with Canadian Bobby singer, Bobby Curtola’s 1962 Gold selling Fortune Teller, as well as Aladdin, Hitchhiker, and Three Rows Over. A Member of the Order of Canada as well as a former representative for Coca Cola, Bobby Curtola is a Canadian legend I had not been familiar with.
One of the most memorable Bobbys has got to be Bobby Vinton whose hits Roses Are Red, Blue On Blue, Blue Velvet, and Melody of Love were expertly performed by Myers and The Real Gone Cats. Myers held up a white board with the Polish lyrics to Melody of Love on it for the audience to sing along and memories of the Polish Prince flooded the room.
Next Myers, who hopes to tour The Bobby Show in small theatres across Canada, offered the audience a box of tissues before sitting down to play acoustic guitar for the classic Bobby Goldsboro tearjerker, Honey.
My favourite part of the whole show came at the end when Myers paid tribute to the late, great Bobby Darin, as Myers’ voice compliments his music perfectly. He covered the playful Splish Splash, Dream Lover, Things (which Darin had written for his one time girlfriend, Connie Francis), Once Upon A Time, If I Were A Carpenter, and my favourites: Beyond The Sea and Mack The Knife, both superbly rendered by Michael K. Myers.
The band had to come back after their standing ovation and we were gifted with Bobby Freeman’s Do You Wanna Dance?
Did I?! You bet! If The Bobby Show doesn’t put a spark in your shoes, I don’t know what will. Encore, encore!!