Holidays set to perform at Vandergrift's Casino Theatre
On July 25, the Casino Theatre in Vandergrift will host the Pittsburgh oldies band The Holidays. The 90-minute show will highlight the best music from the 1950s, '60s, '70s, Motown and R&B.
“Washington Township High School will hold their general high-school reunion, and they are also highlighting the class of '64 as they celebrate their 50th reunion,” says Marilee Kessler, vice president of the Casino Theatre board of directors. “They wanted some entertainment for the evening, and we thought The Holidays would be great.
This will be the second time The Holidays have performed at the Casino.
More than 50 years ago, five young men from Clairton had a dream of entertaining. The Holidays debuted in 1958. They enjoyed regional success until 1962 when the band split up, with members leaving to raise families and fulfill military obligations.
The band re-formed with new members in 1995. Sam Ferrella joined as their new front man, singing tenor and lead. He also has promoted and managed the band since 1999.
The Holidays were invited to perform in 2001 for WQED's “The Sound of Pittsburgh.” The band has opened for acts such as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, The Vogues, The Marcels, and Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners.
“The audience can expect a show with great harmonies, high energy and lots of great music from doo-wop and rock 'n' roll to Motown and disco,” Ferrella says. “We look forward to performing at The Casino again; it's a really nice theater.”
The Casino Theatre opened in 1900 and is Southwestern Pennsylvania's oldest operating theater.
“It's on the National Historic Register, and we operate solely with volunteers with the goal of preserving the Casino. The ticket proceeds will benefit the theater restoration and equipment fund,” Kessler says.
Jerry Mellix, aka, “Southside Jerry” has been performing with The Holidays for more than seven years. “Except for the year I spent fighting in Vietnam, holding a M-16 instead of a sax, I've been performing professionally since 1962.”
Mellix plays sax and offers vocals, too. “Performing with The Holidays is like playing Carnegie Hall with ‘cream of the crop' talent.
“There are too many reasons to list on why I love performing with Sam and The Holidays,” Mellix says. “In this music business of egos that are usually larger than the talent itself, we all get along with each other. We all work together to make the show exciting, and we also dress for each performance reflecting the genre of music played.”
“Our band has five musicians and four singers,” Ferrella says. “We love performing the oldies. This music will last forever.”
Josephine Crooks is the sole female member of the band.
“I enjoy harmonizing, and everyone is great. We are like a family and I feel honored to be a part of this group,” Crooks says.
“Tickets will be available at the door, and the concert is open to the public,” Kessler says. “I want to stress that the public is welcome at this evening concert, and if you don't have tickets then just come on down early. The doors open at 6:30 p.m.”
Joyce Hanz is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra serves up four composers: Greenwood, Rodrigo, Stravinsky and Ravel
- Singer Lisa Fischer still pushing to discover her voice
- Marsha Ambrosius has strong vision of her musical voice
- PSO’s FUSE director widens music audience
- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra pronounces summer season a success
- Pope to release rock album