Nostalgia washed over the packed auditorium at the building of the Massapequa library recently as The Precisions played a mix of doo wop and Beatles classics.
For an hour and a half the capacity crowd was transported back to a simpler time, causing people to remember, smile, dance, and sing and clap along.
“They were here once before and were very well-received. We’re glad to have them back,” said librarian Lee Gundel. “A lot of people like this music, and we’re glad to have these concerts for people in the neighborhood.”
“It’s been a pleasure to be asked back. We perform at many of the libraries in Nassau and Suffolk. It’s a nice venue for live music,” said Al Frazia, who serves as music director, bass guitarist, lead vocalist and first and second tenor for The Precisions.
The doo wop group originally signed in 1961 by Huntington-based Golden Crest Records and reformed 15 years ago to perform again.
Since 1996 The Precisions have performed across Long Island and the tri-state area. “We perform all over the island, and we do outdoor concerts in Manhattan, too," Frazia said.
We also perform at Patchogue Theater and do summer concerts through all of the towns. "We’ve also gone on the Don K Reed Show, the Doo Wop Shop and WCBS FM."
The group kicked the concert off with Stand by Me by Ben E. King, then had people dreaming of Summer with Under the Boardwalk. Lead vocalist Bob Falco took the lead on both songs, as well as Come Go with Me and Life Is But a Dream. Later, lead vocalist Phil Ferrito took the lead on Runaway.
Rose and John Coster said the concert brought back good memories. “It’s very nostalgic,” they said. “We’ve seen them before right here several months ago, and we like them even more now.”
The band also got the crowd swooning to In the Still of the Night. and later got them moving with Pony Time, The Twist, Dream Baby and Bobby Darin’s Dream Lover.
The band – which includes Falco, Ferrito, Frazia, vocalist/lead rhythm guitarist Frankie Carr, keyboardist Joe Cordani and drummer Robbie Falco – also performed one of its biggest hits: its version of George and Ira Gershwin’s Someone to Watch Over Me from 1962.
Bob Molof and his wife Lita loved the music, which caused them to get up to dance for a bit.
“We’re very much enjoying this. My wife’s been clapping along the whole time,” he said.
Paula Scalise came with her mom, Josephine Candilla, and her friends, Barbara Krysinsky, Rosemarie Capitelli, Pat Mullane and Rose Santaniello.
“I think it’s fabulous. The concert couldn’t be better. They’re playing all different songs we haven’t heard in a while,” Scalise said. She also won a Then and Now CD from The Precisions when she correctly named Roy Orbison as the crooner Falco asked the crowd to identify after describing him as “a singer from Texas with really dark hair and glasses.”
“I’m having such a good time,” said Candilla. “I know all this music because of my daughter.”
The group are all big fans of music from the 1950s and 1960s, and get together to hear it.
“We’ve been friends for five years, and we usually come out for concerts like these,” said Mullane.
All six ladies sat in the front row and clapped and sang along.
“This is all my kind of music. I love doo wop,” said Capitelli.
“I’ve never seen them before, but they’re good. It’s got my body moving,” added Santaniello.
“It’s a good concert,” said Krysinsky.
The band stopped for a 10-minute break and switched gears, and guitars, to give people the authentic Beatles’ sound. “I’m playing a 12-string guitar and Al has one that’s the same as the one Paul McCartney plays,” Carr told the crowd.
Frazia and Carr took the lead for several Beatles classics, including Get Back and Roll over Beethoven, which Frazia explained, “was a song from the last live concert the Beatles gave 41 years ago on top of Apple Records.”
Then Falco and Ferrito returned, sans their white coats, to close out the concert with more doo wop classics such as Donna, Runaround Sue and The Wanderer, which got many to get up and dance in the back of the at-capacity auditorium.
“It’s great. There’s still a lot of people who have a lot of love for this type of music. We see that when we perform almost every weekend,” concluded Frazia. “It really evokes feelings of happiness.”