When The Lettermen take the stage, it’s a trip down memory lane to a time when three young men in letter sweaters watched their first hit single “The Way You Look Tonight” soar to the top of the charts. For years, fans have taken in their more than 50 albums with popular tunes such as “When I Fall in Love” and “Put Your Head on my Shoulder.” The group has been creating musical memories for more than five decades, as their sweet harmonies and smooth, romantic sound simply never go out of style. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is excited to announce an upcoming Friday night event from a group once described as “best thing that happened to romance since moonlight.”
Non-stop Harmony for 50 Years
There’s just something about the sound of The Lettermen that has enabled them to enjoy generational success. The group, comprised of Tony Butala, Donovan Tea, and Bobby Poynton, has sold out more than 10,000 shows, including international tours to Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, France, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia. As you can note on their official website, “the music of these entertainers transcends all language barriers as it romances the soul, and warms the hearts of millions.” They have a particularly loyal fan following in the Philippines, where audiences appreciate their smooth style. Such Tagalog favorites as “Dahil Sa Iyo” and “Sapagka’t Kami Ay Tao Lamang” have earned them a place in Filipino hearts worldwide.
In the 1960’s, the original singers of the group quickly became one of the top college concert attractions. From Percy Faith’s “Theme from a Summer Place” and Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” to “Our Winter Love” and “Graduation Day,” The Lettermen were constantly winning over audiences with incredible love songs. In 1966, the group came out with “For Christmas This Year,” a love album that remains popular during the holidays. The next year, The Lettermen put together arguably their most loved and request hit: “Goin’ Out of My Head/Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”
Though the group has seen some change over the years, their music has remained much of the same. Even now, The Lettermen continue to release albums and perform hundreds of concerts each year while traveling around the world. It’s safe to say that their beautiful harmony has withstood the test of time.
The Current Members
Today, The Lettermen consist of the following:
- Tony Butala – As the group’s original and founding member, Butala remains the most recognized name of the bunch. He also opened the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and Museum in his hometown of Sharon, Pennsylvania.
- Donovan Tea – The accomplished singer and songwriter from Houston joined the group in 1984. Prior to joining the group, he served as lead singer of The Young Americans, soloist at “The Horn” nightclub in Los Angeles, and solo production singer at The Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas.
- Bobby Poynton – The third member of The Lettermen started out with acting parts on shows such as “Days of Our Lives,” “Jake and the Fatman,” Walker: Texas Rangers,” and others. The music opportunity finally came for Poynton in 1988, when a well-known recording group sought an attractive male vocalist with a tenor voice. Before he knew it, Poynton was the newest member of The Lettermen. He recorded six albums with the group and performed in more than 1,000 concerts. After being away from the group for 15 years, Poynton returned to The Lettermen in 2011.
There’s no doubt that these three men continue to wow audiences with the magic they create on stage.
The Bankhead Theater
Since 2007, the Bankhead has welcomed a wide range of artists and audiences, bringing them together to share the experience of live performance. From symphonies and ballet performances to opera shows and concerts, the Bankhead makes every event special. Rest assured that the extensive seating arrangement can accommodate nearly every patron’s tastes. The state-of-the-art facility was designed with extra attention geared toward acoustics. In fact, the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Chanticleer has praised the Bankhead for its “perfect” acoustics. It’s easy to see why so many artists seeking to make a career transformation choose to make the Bankhead a stop on tour.
LVPAC is set to host The Lettermen Friday, July 21 at 8 p.m. in the Bankhead Theater. Tickets start at $40 with $16 tickets for students or active military personnel.