The current members of each group have carried the vocal torch of the original quartets for four decades, including recent PBS specials.
THE TOKENS began as the Linc-Tones in 1955 (with Neil Sedaka as an original member). Renamed The Tokens in 1960, Mitch and Phil Margo took over the group. The next year, the four boys from Brooklyn recorded “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” for RCA. The song (originally a Zulu folk song called “Mbube,” Anglicized to “Wimoweh”) soared up the charts to become the number one hit in the nation. To date it has sold 15 million copies throughout the world. Mitch and Phil, joined by Jay Leslie, Noah Margo and Mike Johnson, now form the quintet so familiar to radio listeners and concert-goers worldwide. Rock pioneers, The Tokens were among the first to successfully use the falsetto lead voice, influencing groups from the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys to Led Zeppelin and Rush. They have also produced hit records for The Chiffons (“He's So Fine,” “One Fine Day”), The Happenings (“See You In September,” “I Got Rhythm”) and Tony Orlando and Dawn (“Knock Three Times,” “Tie A Yellow Ribbon”).
In 1957 THE DIAMONDS released an instant hit called “Little Darlin’” – dubbed “the National Anthem of Rock and Roll.” To date it has sold 20 million copies. The original Diamond members left by 1961. In 1980 the rights to The Diamonds name and unique vocal arrangements were turned over to Gary Owens, the quartet’s charismatic leader since 1973. Through the years, the group has performed on soundtracks (American Graffiti, Happy Days), with symphony orchestras, in England, Ireland, Brazil, Chile, Korea and Japan, and for arts centers, casinos, conventions and nightclubs.
Ray Solley, Executive Director of the Tower Theatre Foundation, remarked: “It’s going to be a night of memories and marvelous music. These are songs you can understand and actually sing the words to—today, tomorrow, even 20 years from now!”
Special dinner deals the night of the show are available at 10 Below restaurant in the Oxford Hotel. Performance sponsors for The Tokens and The Diamonds are Steve and Cynde Magidson.
The nonprofit Tower Theatre Foundation owns and operates the historic stage in downtown Bend. The Foundation’s mission is to be the leading performing arts organization, providing cultural and education programs that make an essential contribution to Central Oregon’s lifestyle and strengthen the community. Membership, program information and individual and group tickets are available at the box office (835 NW Wall), by phone (541-317-0700) or online (www.towertheatre.org). Details on events are also at facebook.com/TheTowerTheatre.
What: The Tokens and The Diamonds
When: Saturday, Feb. 1 – 7:30 pm
Where: Tower Theatre - 835 NW Wall Street - Bend, Oregon
Tickets: $40 / $45 / $50
Plus $1 Historic Theatre Preservation Fee
541-317-0700 or TowerTheatre.org