Familiar tunes have 'em dancing in their seats at Arts Centre

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The Masters of Motown is based in Virginia Beach and has performed all over the country for 30 years.

By MARIANNE THOMASSON
marianne@newnan.com
Starting with a tribute to the Temptations (“Oh What a Night”) and ending with the iconic “Shout” by the Isley Brothers, the Masters of Motown performed at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts in Newnan on Sunday.
In the early 1960s, some of the most popular music was born in the Motor City, better known simply as Motown. Masters of Motown is a celebration of these artists, their music and their style. The show featured bold costumes and fully choreographed tributes to both male and female groups of the era. They were backed by a band of seasoned musicians who have been performing together for decades.
Mixing harmony and the “smooth moves” of the time, a tribute to the Supremes (“Stop! In the Name of Love”) the Lady Masters also performed “Can’t Hurry Love” and “Baby Love.”
The tribute to the Tops featured “Reach Out,” “Same Old Song,” “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch,” and “Ain’t No Woman Like the One I Got.”
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas were honored with “Dancing in the Street,” “Jimmy Mac” and “Heat Wave.
“What’s Going On?” and “You’re all I need to get by” by Marvin Gaye were performed.
Thelma Houston (Whitney’s mom) was featured through “Don’t Leave Me This Way.”
A tribute to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles included “Going to A Go-Go,” “Tracks of My Tears” and “You Better Shop Around.”
“My Guy” was performed in honor of Mary Wells and a tribute to Gladys Night and the Pips featured “Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “Neither One of Us Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.”
Donning Afro wigs (with an elderly white guy in the band wearing a white Afro), the singers tipped their hats to the Jackson Five, performing “Give Me Just One More Chance.”
Based in Virginia Beach, the Masters of Motown has performed across the country in venues ranging from community theaters and universities to performing arts venues and concert halls.
Members of the group are John Hodges, Dario Outlaw, Ronald Smith, Deneen (Lady D), Shinee Cruise and Joyce Bowers. Members of the TFC Band are Jermaine Newsome (keyboard), Oscar Waters (base), Darrell Ballard (guitar) and Al Hundley (drums).
The next public show at the Centre of Performing and Visual Arts will be “Red: A Tribute by Tom Mullica.” This show is the only Red Skelton tribute in America authorized by the Red Skelton estate and Lothian Skelton. It is now in its eighth season and will be held Sunday, Jan. 27 at 3 p.m.
Note: Assisting with this story was Lynda Jacka Cunard.



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