Article by Gina Myers

For his next event, Terrence Shells took the advice of his parents. Shells, who runs L.I.F.E. Music Entertainment, is usually known for putting on hip-hop nights featuring DJs and rappers, but this Sunday, April 4, he will be hosting The Stylistics and The Manhattans at The Dow Event Center. His father, who attends classic soul shows all the time, once told him, "If you bring one of those groups to Saginaw, you will have a sell-out show." But it was his mother's comments that sold him on the idea. He explains, "I asked her about The Stylistics, and she said, 'They put on a fantastic show. If you bring them, I'll go!' Now, my mother is not the going out type, so for her to say that, that was all I needed to hear to go ahead with the show."

The Manhattans will be opening the night. The group first garnered attention in 1964 when it won third prize at the Apollo Amateur Night Contest and was subsequently signed to Carnival Records. "I Wanna Be (Your Everything)," written by Winfred "Blue" Lovett, was a national pop and r & b hit in 1965, and the group followed that up with such popular songs as "Follow Your Heart," "Baby I Need You," "When We Are Made As One" and "I Call It Love." Gerald Alston, of the New Imperials, joined the group in 1970 after lead singer George Smith became fatally ill.

The Stylistics originally formed in 1966 and had an early hit with their song "You're a Big Girl Now." Their first album, The Stylistics, included the popular tracks "Stop, Look, Listen to Your Heart," "You Are Everything" and "Betcha By Golly Wow." They followed that album up with another successful album, Round Two. Two original members, Herbert Murell and Airrion,  Love remain with the group today, which continues to tour worldwide and headline the "70's Soul Jam" concerts.

While Shells grew up hearing the music his parents played, he wasn't able to immediately identify the groups' songs when he heard their names, but when he began to search on the internet, he discovered he knew every single song. "The hip-hop generation has been sampling a lot of their music as well, so it keeps these groups relevant with today's music." Because of this cross-generational appeal, Shells is confident that the show will be great. "It's something that everyone can come to and enjoy themselves at." In addition to enjoying the show this Sunday, Shells is currently enjoying the feeling creating and promoting an event like this creates: "Giving something for people to look forward to in Saginaw is the best feeling you can have."

L.I.F.E. Music Entertainment presents The Stylistics and The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston and Blue Lovett at The Dow Event Center Theater, Sunday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster Outlets, Charge-By-Phone 800-745-3000, and The Dow Event Center Box Office. Ticket prices range from $32 to $52.

Special thanks to B.L.U. Entertainment for helping to make this event possible through contributions and support.

© Gina Myers, 2010