It was a night-long sing-a-long at the Pearson Lakes Art Center Wednesday when Sting Ray Anthony performed his '50s and '60s show.
The Branson-based entertainer sang many favorites that kept the audience either singing along or swaying in their seats. Known for his Ritchie Valens renditions in the Winter Dance Party show that tours all over the United States, Ray is also an accomplished guitarist and consummate entertainer.
He bantered back and forth with the audience between numbers; many laughs were enjoyed by all.
Anthony brought along a friend of ours including: Marvelous Marvin Short. If you have ever seen Marvelous Marvin perform, you will not forget him. He blows a mean sax but so do many others. It is his outlandish hairstyle that keeps a visual in your head. He is a fun and nice guy and I am glad he came to contribute greatly to the highly entertaining show.
Two fine area musicians backed up the singer on stage that night. Jerry Jones from Spencer played bass guitar and Tyler Pedersen of Spirit Lake was his drummer. Pedersen, who has a terrific voice, was also able to provide stellar back up vocals, along with Short.
We all stood and danced by our seats to "Run Around Sue" and really had a good time with that number.
The audience sang along with great enthusiasm to "Dream Lover," "Let's Dance" and "Peggy Sue."
Ritchie Valens' sister, Connie Valens-Anderson, came to the stage to sing a song with Sting Ray. She chose her family's favorite to please the crowd.
The star was able to showcase his excellent guitar skills by doing the famous instrumental tune "Walk, Don't Run." He did a fantastic job.
For the song "Every Day" Sting Ray used his guitar like a keyboard while Pedersen used his hands on his legs rather than a drum beat. That is the way the song was originally recorded and the sound was exquisite.
The singer's personalized version of the Jim Reeves classic "He'll Have To Go" was one of my favorites of the evening.
Those of us in the seats were asked to request our favorite Elvis songs and the entertainer was not stumped by any of us. He skillfully played everything we asked, much to our delight.
We all stood and danced to the finale "La Bamba" to bring a wonderful evening of fun and wonderful music to its reluctant conclusion.
Hopefully Sting Ray and Marvelous Marvin will visit us again in the future. They have a talent for making us feel good and love the music all over again!