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Rockefeller Pops Series opens with hits from the '60s, '70s, and '80s
Friday, October 19, 2012

The Hit Men
The Hit Men, six talented singers/musicians, will perform pop hits from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s in concert on Saturday, Oct. 20 in King Concert Hall at SUNY Fredonia to open the DFT Communications Pops Series at Rockefeller Arts Center.

Tickets are available through the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center at 673-3501 or fredonia.edu/tickets. Tickets are $25 ($20 for students). 

The ’60s, ’70s and ’80s were a golden era for songwriting as acts like Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Tommy James and The Shondells and others created beloved hits that were woven into America’s consciousness.

Now, some of the singers/musicians who were instrumental in the success of these great songs have come together to form a performing group known as The Hit Men. This six-piece group is touring the world and will open the DFT Communications Pops Series at SUNY Fredonia on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in King Concert Hall at Rockefeller Arts Center.

Tickets are available through the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center at 673-3501 or fredonia.edu/tickets. Tickets are $25 ($20 for students). 

The concert is sponsored by WDOE 1410 AM and KIX Country 96.5 as part of the 2012-13 Lake Shore Savings Season.

The Hit Men are comprised of six musicians who have been described as “amazing performers, superior vocalists, great arrangers and creative composers.” The group includes original performing members of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and Tommy James and the Shondells and two founding members of The Critters.

The band members have also played with Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, Carly Simon and other mega-star acts.

As The Hit Men, the group relives the magic they created on world stages and in recording studios years ago, bringing audiences a concert featuring hit after hit – including Four Seasons songs like “Oh What a Night,” “Who Loves You,” “Marianne,” “Silence is Golden,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll” and other tunes made even more famous by Broadway’s “Jersey Boys.”

And they also perform other memorable hits that they helped make famous – including “Mony, Mony,” “Hanky Panky,” “Peace Train,” “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” “You’re So Vain,” “You Belong To Me,” “Mr. Dieingly Sad” and “Younger Girl.”

During their performance, The Hit Men also share great back stories and anecdotes from their days in recording studios and on the concert circuit.

The Hit Men are:

  • Gerry Polci – vocalist and drummer for Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the 1970s and for Barry Manilow in the 1980s. He was the original lead vocal in the Seasons’ biggest hit, “Oh What a Night.”
     
  • Lee Shapiro – vocalist and keyboardist for Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the 1970s, for Tommy James and The Shondells in the 1980s and for Barry Manilow in the 1980s.
     
  • Don Ciccone – vocalist and guitarist for Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the 1970s and Tommy James and The Shondells in the 1980s. He co-founded The Critters in the 1960s.
     
  • Jimmy Ryan – vocalist and guitarist for Carly Simon, Jim Croce and Cat Stevens in 1970s, Rod Stewart in the1980s, Elton John and Kiki Dee and Paul McCartney in 1990s. He co-founded The Critters with Ciccone in the 1960s.
     
  • Larry Gates – vocalist and bass guitarist for Desmond Child in the 1980s, Bon Jovi in the 1980s and Carole King in the 1990s.
     
  • Russ Velazquez – vocals, guitar and percussion for Sting, Carole King, the Ramones, LL Cool J, Luther Vandross, Korn and Paula Abdul. He is an Emmy-nominated composer and arranger for his work on “Sesame Street.”

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