Back at the Pack
The Lettermen return to Packard Music Hall for a Warren Civic Music Association concert on March 13.
The vocal group has performed many concerts in the Mahoning Valley over the years, and founding member Tony Butala, grew up just over the border in Sharon, Pa.
Butala is the one constant in the group’s 56-year history, dating back to its first appearance at the Desert Inn Hotel Resort Showroom in Las Vegas in 1958.
The group initially signed with Warner Bros. Records in 1960, but it was after the Lettermen moved to Capitol Records the following year that its career really blossomed. The trio had six Billboard top 40 hits in the 1960s “The Way You Look Tonight,” “When I Fall in Love,” “Come Back Silly Girl,” “Theme from ‘A Summer Place’,” “Hurt So Bad” and “Goin’ Out of My Head/Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”
The group released 32 consecutive albums that charted in the top 100, and four were certified gold for sales of more than 500,000: “The Lettermen!!! … And Live,” “Goin’ Out of My Head,” “Best of The Lettermen” and “Hurt So Bad.”
Over the years, the Lettermen have toured with George Burns, Jack Benny, Bob Hope and Bill Cosby and performed on bills with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin and Sam Cooke.
In the group’s biography on its website, Butala estimates they have made more than 200 appearances on music, talk and variety television programs.
While Butala is the only one who’s been there from the beginning, Donovan Tea has been in The Lettermen for more than 30 years, and Bobby Poynton is in his second stint with the group, logging more than 1,000 concerts between 1988 and 1995 and rejoining the trio in 2010.
The Lettermen last played Packard Music Hall in 2012, where the group did its Christmas show.
The group will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 13 as part of the WCMA’s 2013-14 subscription series. Single tickets are $35 for adults and $5 for students ages 17 and younger and are available by calling 330-399-4885.