13 commuinty concertsGreat entertainment. It’s what Community Concerts is known for. This all-volunteer organization has been bringing first-rate productions to Fayetteville since 1935. And well into its 84th season, the streak continues with two of Motown’s biggest groups — The Temptations and The Four Tops. The concert is set for Friday, March 6, at the Crown at 7:30 p.m.

Independently, the groups boast genre-defining hits and fan bases that span generations. Together, they bring an authentic musical experience that has audiences coming back again and again to hear favorites like  “It’s the Same Old Song,” “Something About You,” “Shake Me, Wake Me (When It’s Over),” “Loving You is Sweeter Than Ever” and “I Can’t Help Myself” from the Four Tops and  “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “I Wish It Would Rain” and “Treat Her Like a Lady” from The Temptations.

While the groups found success independently in the Motown era, they came together in 1983 for a television special called “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.” Part of the show featured a battle of the bands between The Four Tops and The Temptations. There was such a great dynamic between the bands that they decided to take their performance on the road, touring off and on together ever since.

Founding member of The Temptations, Otis Williams, noted that even after 60 years, the band still delivers first-rate performances for its fans “For those that have seen us, we will be true to what they know and what we are known for is the high stepping, the sharp clothes and moving in synchronicity. We only know one way to be, and that is the Temptations.”

With six decades of music history behind the band and a bevy of honors to their name, The Temptations are as busy as ever. Williams’ story is the source for the smash-hit Broadway musical, “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” which opened on the Great White Way March 21, 2019, and received 12 Tony nominations and won the “Tony Award for Best Choreography” at the 73rd Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City  on June 10, 2019. On March 24, the audio edition of Williams’ critically acclaimed autobiography, Temptations, written by Williams with The New York Times best-selling writer Patricia Romanowski is set for release as an audiobook. The book was the source for the Emmy-Award Winning television miniseries, “Temptations,” and the current smash hit Broadway musical, “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” with the Tony-winning choreography. “Our journey as told through the lens of my life transcends generations and cultures,” said Williams. “There are so many wonderful things happening. The audiobook, the Broadway play, and we are getting ready to go into the studio and do our anniversary album. We have a lot of irons in the fire.”

Also founded in the 1960s, The Four Tops have influenced a variety of genres, including soul music, rhythm and blues, disco, adult contemporary, doo-wop, jazz and show tunes. Like The Temptations, The Four Tops have earned numerous awards including The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Vocal Group Hall of Fame and Grammy Hall Of Fame. Their music is timeless.

The last concert of the Community Concerts season is The Oakridge Boys. It is set for Thursday, May 21.

Community Concerts is definitely about concerts; it’s part of the group’s mission to bring “the finest in top-notch entertainment to Fayetteville, N.C. and the Fort Bragg/Cumberland County Community.” The organization is just as much about community, though, offering opportunities and programs that benefit many.

The organization founded the Fayetteville Music Hall of Fame in 2008 to honor people who bring musical distinction to the community. From performers to teachers to producers and more, Fayetteville’s music community’s story is celebrated and preserved here.

In 2004, Community Concerts started offering college scholarships to local high school students. Since its inception, the program has awarded 32 scholarships.

Local musicians of all ages benefit from the local artist showcase program, which showcases these performers with selected Community Concerts performances. Recently, Voices of the Heart appeared as an opener for Gladys Knight while children from the Linda Kinlaw School of Dance performed with Martina McBride. Local, emerging country music star Trae Edwards also performed at the Ricky Skaggs show.

Making great music available to as many people as possible embodies the spirit of the Community Concerts’ mission. So it makes sense that the organization would offer free concert opportunities to different groups with benefactors ranging from young children to senior citizens.  In recent seasons, recipients have included the Vision Resource Center, Urban Ministry, The Sunshine Center, members of local fire and police departments, high school theater art classes, members of our military, and many more.

For tickets and information about Community Concerts, visit http://www.community-concerts.com/ or search the event on Capefeartix.com.

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