Shalamar are one of the most successful soul groups of all time selling 25 million albums worldwide.
They bring their greatest hits tour to the Assembly Hall, Worthing on Thursday, December 1 (01903 206206 or www.worthingtheatres.co.uk), featuring Howard Hewett, Carolyn Griffey and Jeffrey Daniel.
Soul Train producer Dick Griffey had the idea of a Soul Train singing group and drafted in Jeffrey to start forming the band. Jeffrey was hugely popular with the American public, and it made sense to build on this.
Shalamar went on to have world-wide hits including Night to Remember, There It Is and I Can Make You Feel Good, touring the world and filling arenas and stadiums – a golden era the currently line-up will recall. New singer Carolyn Griffey is daughter of Shalamar founder Dick Griffey, the CEO of SOLAR records.
Together they will be showing just why they have stood the test of time so well. As Jeffrey says, it’s because they put in the hard yards.
“It wasn’t an instant success. For the first and second tours, we primarily toured across the country sometimes to 50 people, sometimes to 25 people, sometimes to a hundred people. We didn’t have MTV back then. You couldn’t just put a video out and instantly became famous. It was all very different then. We had to build it all up meticulously. It wasn’t like you could go into a studio and put together a hit video. But people are doing that now, and they have no experience of being on stage, of what you do if the power goes out, what you do if there is some kind of malfunction. You need that kind of experience as an entertainer. Nothing can replace that kind of experience. That’s how you become an entertainer.”
As Jeffrey suggests, you have got to serve your apprenticeship if you are going to survive as long in the business as the Shalamar name has.
“And then you look back, and you don’t realise where time has gone. But it is just lovely to still be doing what we are doing and the audience are still loving us. You have got to have that connection with the fans. That’s the important thing, and if you don’t have that connection with the fans, then you have got nothing. It’s all about people. Entertainment is a people business whether it is the artist or the DJ or the bouncer or the producer or the people coming in. It is all about the people.”
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