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Centerstage presents musical tribute to British Invasion
In 1963, a 15-year-old girl, Marsha Albert, saw a report on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite about the “Beatlemania” phenomenon going on in the UK.
Marsha was so taken by the music that she wrote a letter to a local disc jockey named Carroll James and asked him “Why can’t we have music like that here in America?” The deejay got a copy of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” from a British flight attendant, and on Dec. 17, played it on the U.S. airwaves for the first time. A month later “I Want to Hold Your Hand” reached number one on the Cash Box chart and the following week it was number one on Billboard. Thus began the British invasion of the American music scene.
The Brits brought a new style of music that today might be called either blues-based rock or guitar-driven rock/pop. Though it was a new sound in the U.S., it was rooted in earlier American rock ’n’ roll and the rhythm and blues genre. The latter had been mainly rejected and ignored when performed by black American artists in the 1950s.
It wasn’t just the Beatles that “invaded” and dominated the music charts in the USA. Some of the more well know British artists and bands that followed were the Animals, the Dave Clark Five, Donovan, Herman’s Hermits, Petula Clark, the Kinks, Tom Jones, the Rolling Stones, the Moody Blues and Dusty Springfield.
Dusty Springfield, having launched a solo career, became the first non-Beatle act during the invasion to have a major U.S. hit with “I Only Want to Be With You.” She soon followed up with several other hits, becoming what Allmusic described as “the finest white soul singer of her era.”
Opening on May 13 and running through June 5, Centerstage Theatre of Federal Way is presenting “I’m Into Something Good,” a musical tribute to the great British bands and artists of the 1960s. This high energy, high octane musical was created by David Duvall and Alan Bryce and is directed by Alan Bryce. The cast includes two of the stars from last year’s smash hit “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” Stacie Calkins and Jesie Smith.
Check it out
Shows run May 13 through June 5 (Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.). Tickets are $25 for adults and are available at (253) 661-1444 or www.centerstagetheatre.com.