BSO Pops celebrate 'The Golden Age of Black & White' at Strathmore

By |
Entertainment,Music,Marie Gullard

Don't look for Broadway tunes from BSO Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly to kick off the SuperPops Concert Series at Strathmore on Thursday.

The premiere pops concert of the BSO's new season presents a blast from the midcentury past called "The Golden Age of Black & White." Variety shows, game shows and sitcoms will be saluted, as well as the music from that era of the "hi-fi" and the birth of long-playing recordings.

"There's something about experiencing the '50s that brings a smile to everyone's face and a warm feeling in their heart," Everly said. "Even if you weren't around then, we're going to have a great time because we're all aware of that [era] and we get it -- we get the idea of what ['I Love] Lucy' was all about, what Elvis meant to teenagers at the time."

In television's infancy, there was a search for material to put on. What had been successful on radio in the previous two decades tended to get airplay, as long as it could translate visually. In fact, "I Love Lucy," one of the most popular sitcoms of all time, started in radio with Lucille Ball's "My Favorite Husband." Burns and Allen, Jack Benny and Red Skelton, all made the switch from radio to the small screen, and their shows' soundtracks were tied to their personas. Game shows were another popular entertainment that began on radio, and because they became extremely visual, they flourished on television. Thursday's program will include a tongue-in-cheek parody of that entire genre, as well.

Onstage
'The Golden Age of Black & White'
» Where: Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda
» When: 8 p.m. Thursday
» Info: $30 to $90; 410-783-8000; bsomusic.org

"One of the big hits on the radio was 'Hit Parade,' " Everly said. "I'm so happy that became a TV success because it was all about popular music. If something stayed on the charts more than a week or so, they gave it another performance by another arranger."

One thing pops audiences know about Everly is that he speaks to them between numbers or medleys. "You know me, you can't shut me up," he admitted. He also packs surprise musical punches that leave them in stitches.

"I have to say that audiences enjoy themselves so much," he said. "When there's that level of joy and familiarity, that's the icing on the cake."

View article comments Leave a comment
Author:

Marie Gullard

Special to The Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner