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It is hard to believe but Little Anthony and The Imperials are celebrating 50 years in show business and are still going strong. With the Tropicana Las Vegas a Las Vegas landmark since its inception in 1957, it makes sense that Little Anthony and the Imperials would perform at the Tropicana Las Vegas on Saturday, September 27, to celebrate those 50 years of entertaining Probably one of the reasons that they continue to be successful is the fact that they are the only vocal group originating in the 1950s that still perform with all of their original members.
Currently, Little Anthony and the Imperials’ new CD, “You’ll Never Know,” is available on ITunes and Amazon.com which features 12 original songs and remakes of four of the groups’ biggest selling hits. They have been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and are set to appear on David Letterman and other TV shows later this year.
Jerome Anthony Gourdine, better known as Little Anthony of Little Anthony and The Imperials, has lived in Las Vegas for over five years. He explained their success by saying, “We are NOT an oldies band but performers. We put on a show that everyone can enjoy. We are on stage to sing and entertain.”
Best known for favorites such as “Tears On My Pillow,” “Shimmy, Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop,” “I'm On the Outside Looking In,” “Going Out of My Head” and “Hurt So Bad,” their music has been called a unique blend of doo-wop, soul, and rhythm and blues. “Well, I wouldn’t call any of our music doo-wop,” Gourdine said. “We perform great music now and throughout the years. We do have a unique sound and incorporate many styles.”
Still in his teens, Gourdine met Clarence Collins and Ernest Wright when Collins was looking for a lead singer for his group called The Chesters. Gourdine became the lead singer and after signing their first recording contract with their new name, The Imperials, (trademarked by Collins), they started recording songs that would become big hits. It was Alan Freed, one of the pioneers of playing rock and roll on the radio, who nicknamed the group, “Little Anthony and the Imperials.” The name stuck and that is what they have been known as since the 1950s.
In 1975, most of the original members, including Little Anthony, stopped performing together. Collins with singers continued to perform as The Imperials. It was a reunion show at Madison Square Garden in 1991 that brought the original group back together and they officially reunited in 1992 to perform and record together.
Along with their nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, other awards include the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, induction into the Long Island Hall of Fame as well as the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
Little Anthony and the Imperials appearing at the Tropicana Las Vegas
Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. in the Tiffany Theater.
Tickets priced at $24.95 and $34.95 booth seating, plus applicable taxes and fees.
Tickets available at the Tropicana Box Office, calling 702-739-2222 or online at www.tropicanalv.com