When I Fall In Love
Who doesn't remember the first time they heard that tune by the Lettermen. Or how about "The Way You Look Tonight" or "Come Back Silly Girl". Like a lot of you, I grew up with these guys. In fact, they did a show at my high school back in the early 60's. (I started 1st grade when I was two, I'm not really this old! The Lettermen are celebrating over 49 years in the music industry and this afternoon (Tuesday), Tony Butala, original and founding member of the group, will be joining me on the Puffman Show. I still enjoy The Lettermen music today and hardly a week or two goes by that I don't spin one of their tunes on my afternoon radio program. Just yesterday their version of the Paul Anka standard, "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" was part of my Puffman Musical Trivia contest. Back in the late 50's, most vocal groups had school type names such as Danny & the Juniors, The Four Freshmen and The Four Preps. The Lettermen chose the name "The Lettermen" and wore letter sweaters. By the time those names became passe' in the early sixties, The Lettermen had already had a few hit singles and albums, and were a tremendous success in colleges and nightclubs. Capitol Records, The Lettermen's record label, was reluctant to try to market a new names as The Lettermen wanted, due to the fact that it was already an established world-wide name. The fellows did pack away the sweaters in moth-balls, and fortunately, their fans and the general public have gotten past the sweaters, and the name and image for the last five decades definitely means The Lettermen. I'd got half a mind to ask Butala if his old sweater still fits him(!) but I'll see how the interview goes. I've also heard from a fellow broadcaster friend of mine that Butala is no fan of the singer/songwriter type of entertainer that came into vogue in the late 60's and early 70's and that he does a "mean impersonation" of Dylan. Like a lot of us who grew up in the 60's, these guys were part of "the soundtrack of my life"... whatever that means. I just thought it sounded good in this here blog. I also have some NEW Lettermen CD's that I'll be giving away this afternoon after the interview. I invite you to listen in this afternoon. Butala estimates that the group made some 200 appearances on television shows such as Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" series, "Shindig", and Hullabaloo" and were interviewed and performed on talk shows and variety shows with Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Jack Paar, Milton Berle, Steve Allen, and Dinah Shore. This month as I celebrate 50 years in broadcasting, it is indeed my pleasure to welcome Tony Butala and The Lettermen to the Puffman Show.