Villages News

Barbara Lewis’ farewell singing performance Friday in Savannah Center was a rocking, sentimental and sometimes tearful blast.

“I feel like I’m dying because I love to sing and I won’t be singing anymore,” Lewis, 74, said. “But I’m so happy to be here tonight with my friends — especially Rocky and the Rollers.”
The show included La La Brooks of the Crystals, Jay Siegel’s Tokens and Brian Hyland. Lewis sang her Top 10 hits from the 1960s: “Baby I’m Yours,” “Hello Stranger” and “Make Me Your Baby.” She got down into an R&B groove on “Shame Shame Shame;” pulled out a harmonica and wailed on a blues riff.

“I’ve known Barbara since I was a teenager singing with the Crystals,” added La La Brooks, 69. “She was like an older sister to me. She watched over me on the road. I was very moved to see Barbara tonight. It was a special moment.”

On stage, Rocky helped honor Lewis with a bouquet of flowers. Seader and all the performers — along with singer Al Morse, the Rollers and DJ Al Brady — came out to salute and serenade Lewis at the end of the concert. They all seemed to shed a few tears joining together to sing: “Goodnight Sweetheart” as Lewis sat and listened.

This was a night to share the love of rock and roll.

Dolores “ La La” Brooks opened up the show with a rousing set. She was with the Crystals back in the 1960s, the first girl group Phil Spector produced.
Brooks, who also appeared on Broadway in the ‘60s’ musical “Hair” started off her set with the Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me.”

“I started with the Crystals when I was 13 years old,” she said. “I was 15 when we had our first hit with Phil Spector.”

She sang another Spector standard, “Be My Baby,” originally done by the Ronettes and then did another classic Crystals’ rocker, “Da do ron ron.”

Then, Brooks closed the set with a rollicking version of “Proud Mary,” straight out of Ike and Tina Turner.

She raced down from the stage, ran across the front isle and made some wild, gyrating dance moves with Villager Vic Dunphy.

“I loved dancing with La La,” Dunphy said. “I couldn’t get down as low as she did, but it was fun.” “He was thrilled to be dancing with La La,” said his wife, Wanda. “He’s always dancing, I can’t stop him.”