Arts & Culture

Five Minutes With: Doo-wop group leader Myles Savage

Doo-wop groups such as The Platters or The Coasters are forever associated with sock hops, juke boxes and the early rock 'n' roll era. For one day on Hilton Head Island, that will all be coming back.

The Stars from The Temptations, The Platters, The Coasters and The Drifters sing the songs that made their groups famous with two concerts June 18 at the Hilton Head Island High School Visual and Performing Arts Center. The concert also serves as a fundraiser for the American Legion Post 185.

The four members come from different formations of the groups throughout the years. Group leader Myles Savage, for example, sang with a formation of The Platters starting in the '70s.

Savage explains why the music has lived on.

Question. Why does this music live on?

Answer. Doo-wop and the music of the '50s and '60s is such beautiful music. I feel bad for our young people today. I feel this pop and rap is contributing to a lost generation because a lot of it is so violent and demeaning to women. Twenty years from now, are they going to remember any romantic songs? Our songs are like poetry in motion, like "Twilight Time" (by The Platters).

"Heavenly shades of night are falling.

It's twilight time.

Out of the mist your voice is calling.

It's twilight time."

Q. I'm sure some young people know your songs.

A. I do see parents bring their children, and they dance in the aisle. It's fantastic. Isn't something like "Only You" just a wonderful song to sing to a child?

We had a show in Little Rock, Ark., shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit and some of the people who escaped were living in tents just north of where our concert was. So we went up there and did a free concert. I sang "Only You" and realized it has a double meaning.

"Only you can make this world seem right.

Only you can make the darkness bright."

It's a song of hope. It's about uplifting people and bringing joy.

Q. How did the group come together?

A. We had a show out in Las Vegas. We had the Platters, Coasters and Drifters for about 10 years. The Temptations came in. I got together with them and said, "We can do a great service and perpetuation of this music if we consolidate our lead singers." We consulted with a lawyer and we determined we could say "The Stars From ..." so we could use all the names and not infringe on anyone's copyright.

People don't get to hear this music this often. Most oldies stations have converted to '70s and '80s. When we come to town, people come out of the woodwork.