Hardyston concert

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    HARDYSTON-Many people were saying that the township had saved the best concert for last. Concertgoers of all ages got high on harmony when the Class of '57 of Harmony High played the last concert of the summer season at the Hardyston Sports and Recreation Complex on Saturday, Aug. 6. The complex is located on Wheatsworth Road, near the new municipal center-police station, which is scheduled to open in October. Barbara Stewart, who identified herself as a lyricist and poet, says the ‘50s are her "bag." "I wrote the lyrics for a song that was in the top 300 country tunes in 1957. The 50s are my time and tonight I'm going to dance," Stewart said. While the audience was unfolding lawn chairs and spreading picnic suppers on the green, Charles Gordon, a 1957 Newton High graduate, said he had come to reminisce. "High school is all good memories for me, and I love the music from that time," he said. The Class of 57 plays a mixture of doo-wap and classic rock that evokes that first magical decade when rock was new and songs told stories. The band's logo features the fin of a ‘57 Chevy, and the musicians sing the songs you might have heard on the car radio if your dad had been trusting enough to hand you the keys. Maxine Mayfield, enthroned in her wheelchair and beaming with delight, declared her affection for "oldies." "This band is great. I love it," she said. Honoring early 50's rocker Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, the band wowed the audience with their interpretation of Maestro's hit, "My Juanita," and they later belted out Jerry Lee Lewis' 1958 classic, "Great Balls of Fire." Their rendition of Bill Haley's "Shake, Rattle and Roll" brought jitterbug enthusiasts to the dance floor. The band also tempted the more sedate with some sentimental ballads that encourage long-married lovers to dance cheek to cheek. Eighteen years ago, Tom and Eddy founded "The Class of ‘57." The group members, who are known by their stage names, say that harmonization always has been at the forefront the band's repertoire. They cite the Drifters, the Jive Five, the Coasters, and the Duprees as powerful influences on their musical style. Tom, leads the band on a 1965 Gibson ES, and sometimes sings back-up vocals. Eddy has always sung lead. He remarks that people say he sounds more like "Maestro" than "Maestro" himself. Eddy also plays various percussion instruments. Tom and Eddy grew up in great Doo-Wop cities, Eddy in Brooklyn and Tom in Newark. They say they learned harmony by singing a cappella on the street corners of their respective neighborhoods Other group members are Chuck on bass guitar; Mike music director, keyboardist, and bass-baritone; Steve on drums; and Buddy on keyboard.