Hubby and I commemorated our 25th wedding anniversary in November 2015 and just couldn’t figure out how we should celebrate. Until… My sister told me she was going to this classic soul music-filled weekend. I told her it sounded familiar and when I saw the promo video, BAM!! There it was.
The ALL INCLUSIVE Weekend of Parties, Food, Fun, and Entertainment provided by Voice Distributions & The Sessoms Group I’d heard about for years–since ONUTSS days. Yeah, I know. I will soon tell you all about ONUTSS!
This was a wonderful follow-up to the Capital Jazz Super Cruise 2015 as we had just returned from a few weeks earlier. Luckily the organization still had room so we booked the 9th R&B Classic Soul Weekend right away.
We had a lovely time being submerged in music once again! The weekend started on Friday once we arrived in Hershey PA at the Hershey Lodge and checked in, which by the way was the best check-in I’ve ever experienced! When we reached the counter we gave them our names and they, in turn, provided us with an envelope that contained our keys to the room, and to top it off a Hershey chocolate bar. That was it! No credit card hold, registration or anything else. Off to our room, we explore to find a beautiful room with an interior door that led to the outside where there was room for parking and a bench, which was a nice touch but the folks sitting on it 3:00 am had no idea they were interrupting precious sleep right in front of the room’s window .
The Hershey Lodge had an extremely warm and homely feel to it. The staff was friendly and the rooms and building overall were really comfortable. The Hershey Kisses theme was all over the place–from the building’s entrance to the wallpaper in the bathroom!
With such an abundance of people in attendance for this Classic R&B Weekend event, it was amazing that the attendees didn’t take up all of the rooms. There were plenty of families there to enjoy the Hershey Lodge offerings as well.
Friday night entertainment consisted of up and coming artists, comedy, and DJ sets. Seven acts were on tap for Saturday in addition to the banquet and recognition. Since we had a late brunch, we came in at the tail end of the banquet and missed dinner. By the time the last act came on (Tavares) we needed to eat. I looked forward to seeing them but we had to catch the restaurant before midnight closing. Now this part I think the organization could have split the performances between Friday and Saturday. It was really long to sit for seven acts in a row.
And may I say, the band that played for all of the artists, I believe, was outstanding! Wish I could tell you who they were…
One of the hosts, don’t know his name.
I enjoyed Mel’sa’s performance, she engages the audience and as you can see, she wanted to be close to them!
That’s Meli’sa’s fiance in the bowtie
Shirley Jones and The Jones Girls
Shirley still sounds good and the assistant vocalists were right on point! Vonetta or Fonetta Baker (I couldn’t understand which one is her name and googled it but no luck) Anissa Hargrove (the only reason I got her is because she has her own project), and Shontell (couldn’t make out her last name). If anyone knows who these ladies are please let us know. Shirley gave them their shine as they were all soul stirring and well deserved. Check out Anissa “Twinky” Hargrove and listen to a few of Anissa’s Snippets on Soundcloud
The Jones Girls (Shirley Jones, original member)
They blew my mind–and hubby’s too as you will hear, lol. They were in great form although one of them was in a car accident over that weekend and still insisted on performing. I don’t know his name but he is the third one who entered onto the stage with an assistant. They gave us a stellar performance! In my humble opinion, I think the producers should have saved the best for last! But then again, I would have missed all of this GOODNESS!
Eighty years young and his performance was a pleasure to experience for the first time! The organization had five years worth of scheduling conflicts booking Mr. Paul, so indeed it was a blessing to have finally booked him for this event. Sadly, Billy Paul passed away on April 26, 2016
Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes
They were snoozers and performed most of Teddy Pendergrass’ hits; they should have gone on first.
By the time The Emotions hit the stage, it was just about time to hop over to the restaurant and “throw some groceries down my neck”! (LOL, Quote from the movie, Smokey and the Bandit LOL). The little of their performance I caught, they were ok.
Tavares closed the show, and I missed a good portion of their performance. After dinner, I rushed back to the venue and caught the last couple of songs 😦 I missed them perform my song, “Check It Out”!
The 10th Annual Classic R&B Weekend