September 12 | on sale now
McPhillips Station Casino | Mainstage
8:00 pm | $30 & $35 * Buy Tickets
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 passé 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 name as The Lettermen wanted, due to the fact that it was already an established world-wide name.
They 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.
The Lettermen name first appeared in February 1958 on the marquee of the Desert Inn Hotel Resort Showroom in Las Vegas Nevada, where Butala, Mike Barnett and Talmadge Russell performed in the record-shattering revue, "Newcomers of 1928," which starred big band leader Paul Whiteman, silent film comic Buster Keaton, singers Rudy Vallee and Harry Richmond, film star Fifi D’Orsay and the sneezing comedian Billy Gilbert.
The vision of The Lettermen was of three very strong soloists who also had the ability and showmanship to perform and entertain an audience, but who also had the discipline needed to be group singers. The sound they came up with was a sound between the big band vocal groups such as the Modernaires, Pied Pipers, Mills Brothers, Four Freshmen and the early R&B rock groups such as the Ink Spots, Flamingos and the Platters.
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