Icons to take to the State Theatre stage

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

This Friday the State Theatre Center for the Arts will be filled with the sounds of the 1960s when icons, Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits along with Gary Puckett take the stage.

Noone, an original lead singer of Herman's Hermits, has been delighting audiences nearly all his life. He was born in Manchester, England, where he studied voice and acting. The young Noone played “Stanley Fairclough” in the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. Then at the age of 15, he achieved international fame as “Herman,” the lead singer of the legendary 1960s pop band, Herman's Hermits.

“Although I did some acting, I attended a school of music where they also taught acting. I always thought of myself as an entertainer and I think I'm good at it. I've always enjoyed that sort of theatrical live entertainment. I think it's the place to be,” Noone said.

Noone and his group went on to have several classic hits including: “I'm Into Something Good,” “Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter,” “I'm Henry VIII, I Am,” “Can't You Hear My Heartbeat” and “There's A Kind of Hush.” Ultimately, Herman's Hermits sold more than 60 million records. In all, 14 singles and seven albums went gold and they were twice named Cashbox's “Entertainer of the Year.”

Noone said when he and the Hermits perform they have a catalog of more than 300 songs that they can pull from.

“We have a beginning and an end but everything in between is different each night. We play all the ones that were top 20 in America but the rest we decide as we go along. Every show is completely unique. There will be people there Friday night who have seen us perform 300 to 400 times and they will tell you they have never seen two shows the same,” he said.

Both Noone and Puckett said they have performed on the same bill many times over the years and they enjoy working together.

“We are great friends. Even though we are from the same era, we have two very different shows. His songs are all ballads and mine are all pop,” Noone said.

Puckett rose to stardom in the late 1960s, early 1970s as the lead singer of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. The band forged a series of massive chart ballads. Their best known songs included “Woman, Woman,” “Young Girl,” “Lady Willpower”, and “Over You.” Puckett went solo in 1970 and charted with “I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself” and “Keep The Customer Satisfied.”

“I feel fortunate to have worked with a great group of people that have created music that doesn't sound dated and when you hear it on the radio it still sounds current,” Puckett said.

Both men have performed in all kinds of venues and they prefer the more intimate setting — a place like the State Theatre provides compared to when they perform in stadiums.

“I like to be closer to the audience. The State Theatre is going to be one of those great old theaters that was built acoustically right,” Puckett said. “I don't think of myself as performing for people. I am just there to sing the songs the people want to hear and being in a smaller, more intimate environment makes it a lot nicer to do that.”

Noone and Puckett are presented by Rrazz Entertainment. Showtime is at 8 p.m. The State Theatre is located at 27 E. Main St. in Uniontown. Tickets start at $39.50. To purchase tickets call, 724-439-1360 or online at www.statetheatre.info.

State Theatre manager Erica Miller said this is the first time that Puckett will perform at the theater but Noone and Herman's Hermits performed there many years ago.

“Peter and the band were great. Very well received by the crowd. After the show Peter came out to the lobby and graciously signed autographs. He is very nice,” Miller said.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.

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