The story of the girl group sound is also a unique New York story, in which young writers, producers, and musicians from all walks of life collaborated to create a style that celebrated American teenage dreams, in songs that combined raw emotional urgency and sophisticated musical production. College girls, church girls, high school prodigies and secretaries from Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan became sensations overnight. Kids everywhere responded to their music, sending the girl groups to the top of the charts, dominating the airwaves for several years and defining the era between early rock and the British invasion. Keep in mind the girl group sound was created by a fully integrated collective in the pre-Civil Rights era, and all involved formed tight bonds of personal and professional friendship.
While generations of music fans can sing girl group songs by heart, many of these great singers aren’t known by name. On July 30th, Lincoln Center Out of Doors and the Ponderosa Stomp will present She’s Got the Power, a celebration of the Girl Group sound and a salute to the women behind the unforgettable hits.
Bill Bragin, Director of Public Programming at Lincoln Center, explains, “Our multi-year partnership with The Ponderosa Stomp is very much focused on welcoming under-appreciated popular music artists into the cultural canon. We’re thrilled to celebrate these powerful female artists, who have had such a lasting impact on American popular music, at Lincoln Center, where their art stands alongside world class orchestras, opera divas, Tony-Award winners and ballet companies. ”
An afternoon symposium dubbed Girl Talk will present moderators Lauren Onkey of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, journalist Alison Fensterstock and Sheryl Farber (producer of One Kiss Leads to Another and radio dj) discussing the women’s histories and lives on the road and in the studio, with a special panel devoted to the legacy of the late Ellie Greenwich, who’ll also be honored with a musical tribute that evening. An Interview with Lesley Gore and a panel with the Exciters and the Angels will also be presented.
Jill Sternheimer, Associate Producer of Lincoln Center Out of Doors, says “As we’ve been pulling the day together, I’ve spent hours on the phone with these ladies and I’m constantly blown away by their stories. Not only how everyone’s careers were intertwined, but about their connections to so many of the other architects of rock and roll, from the Beatles to Jimi Hendrix to Joey Ramone and so many more. We’re excited that they will have a chance to share some of this history with Lincoln Center’s audiences, and that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be able to preserve these important cultural oral histories.”
Film Archivist extraordinaire Joe Lauro will be showing rare film clips of the girl groups in action during intermissions, completing the 360-degree look at this unforgettable window in musical time. Archival films are courtesy of Joe Lauro, Historic Films Archive, LLC.
Ronnie Spector (Leader of the Quintessential Girl Group The Ronettes), Lesley Gore, La La Brooks (formerly of the Crystals), Arlene Smith (former lead singer of the Chantels), Barbara Harris (of the Toys) Margaret Ross (of the Cookies), Maxine Brown, Brenda Reid and Lillian Walker Moss (of The Exciters), Peggy Santiglia Davison and Jiggs Sirico (of The Angels®), Beverly Warren (of the Raindrops), Nanette Licori (of the Delrons), Baby Washington and Toni Wine will breathe life into unforgettable songs with the backing of the Boyfriends, led by musical director Jeremy Chatzky.
All performances are FREE; no tickets required.
All artists, events and times subject to change.
A symposium moderated by Sheryl Farber, Alison Fensterstock, and Lauren Onkey, including interviews with Lesley Gore, The Angels®, and The Exciters, and a segment celebrating Ellie Greenwich’s life and legacy. Film archivist Joe Lauro will screen vintage footage of the girl group era in action.
Featuring LaLa Brooks (formerly of The Crystals) and Lesley Gore With Arlene Smith (former lead singer of The Chantels), Baby Washington, Barbara Harris (of The Toys), Beverly Warren, Brenda Reid and Lillian Walker (of The Exciters), Louise Murray (of The Jaynetts), Margaret Ross (of The Cookies), Maxine Brown, Nanette Licori (of Reparata and the Delrons), Peggy Santiglia Davison and Jiggs Sirico (of The Angels®) Backed by The Boyfriends, Jeremy Chatzky, musical director.
Inaugurated in 1971, Lincoln Center Out of Doors has grown into one of the largest free performance festivals in the U.S. Over its 41-year history, Out of Doors has commissioned nearly 95 works from composers and choreographers and presented hundreds of major dance companies, renowned world-music artists, and legendary jazz, folk, gospel, blues and rock musicians, many under the auspices of its popular “Roots of American Music” mini-festival, and poets and storytellers as part of the annual “La Casita.” It has highlighted the rich cultural diversity of New York City with performances by established ensembles and up-and-coming groups and partners with NYC community and cultural groups as well as national and international arts organizations.
The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation (PSF) is a 501(c) (3), not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to celebrating the legacy, revitalizing the careers and preserving the history of American music and musicians.
The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation works to acknowledge, pay tribute to, and teach the cultural significance of the unsung heroes and heroines of rock-n-roll, rhythm & blues and other forms of American roots music – while they are still alive. We provide both a voice and a stage to overlooked sidemen, session musicians and other influential pioneers whose contributions have shaped American culture for over 50 years.
Early music forms, such as blues, soul, rockabilly, swamp pop, funk and New Orleans R&B, are the building blocks of rock and roll, hip hop and other contemporary music styles. Many of us sing along to songs made popular by musicians as varied as Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, the Rolling Stones, the Ramones, and the Velvet Underground. But sometimes the most unforgettable parts of a song come from the behind the scenes architects, not the face on the album cover.
Without the Ponderosas Stomp Foundation, some of the great musical styles might go completely unrecognized, and older musicians in their golden years might be deprived a chance to show why they are so important.
- Deke Dickerson, Musician
Yet many of these musicians aren't recognized for their contributions to contemporary popular culture.
With many of these unsung heroes aging, it is essential to honor and capture their pioneering cultural contributions for generations to come. And, it is with this sense of urgency and profound respect for the individuals and their music that the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation continues its work to:
The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation achieves its mission through the presentation of unique and varied programming, ranging from music education initiatives in public schools and museums to an oral history project to the signature annual concert event, The Ponderosa Stomp. The results are long-term, with many Stomp performers going on to record new music and book gigs at local, national and international events.
Originally named MK Charities, Inc, the PSF was started by rock n' roll aficionados and members of the Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau, who considered it their mission to rediscover America's overlooked musical pioneers of the blues, soul, rockabilly, swamp pop, funk and New Orleans R&B who wrote, produced, arranged and played on songs that are embedded in our consciousness, though the artists' names may not be.
Since its inception in 2001, we have put on over 70 shows employing more than 500 musical legends and given a forgotten generation of musicians a platform to perform – and reeducate – the public about their pioneering cultural contributions.