Some people might consider the number 13 unlucky. But not the staff and sponsors of Fayetteville After 5. They all agree that 13 will be a lucky number, as they prepare to kick-off the 13th Annual Fayetteville After 5 Concert Series on May 20 at 5:30 p.m.
“This is our 13th year of putting on the series, and our third year at Festival Park,” said Michelle Horne, of the Fayetteville Museum of Art. “We also hold it on the third Thursday of every month.”
With a trifecta of threes and a successful equation for the event, Horne and company are looking for this year’s series to be even better than the past 12. And that’s saying a lot.
“The event has always proven very successful, and we plan on following a similar model from the previous years,” she said. “We will still have local bands opening before our featured band. We will continue to have our Young at Art tent, which will allow children to experience art by doing hands-on projects.”
Horne said that having the local musicians open allows the community the opportunity to hear the musicians who play here on a regular basis, but also gives the musicians a chance to expand their fan base. The art tent helps bring a family flavor to the event.
As in years past, there will also be food vendors on hand to feed the body, once the music and the art have fed your soul. Horne said that the museum is still taking applications for vendors, and that she hopes to expand the offerings from last year.
“Last year we added Chick-Fil-A, and we hope to add even more vendors this year,” said Horne. “We hope to have enough variety so that people can bring their families out, eat dinner and spend the evening in the park listening to the music.”
The museum is also still accepting applications from community organizations that wish to participate in the event. She noted that the fi rst event will be held in conjunction with the 31 Days of Glory events going on throughout May, and that she hopes that organizations involved in those events will take the chance to come out and support the community’s military heroes.
While fun and community are what drives the success of Fayetteville After 5, it is also an important fund-raising event for the museum. On an annual basis, the event raises between $15,000 and $18,000 for the museum.
“It is a considerable fund-raiser for us,” said Horne, “but it is a community event fi rst and foremost for us and the other sponsors.”
She noted that the funds raised during the event help the museum to continue its programming in the community.
The event would not be successful without a talented lineup of performers, and this year’s lineup isn’t too shabby. Kicking-off the series is the legendary beach band The Tams.
The Tams were formed in Atlanta, Ga., in 1962. Its members were Joseph Pope and Charles Pope (founders), Horace Key, Floyd Ashton and Robert Lee Smith. In the beginning, they sang and danced as a way of having fun and to escape their circumstances, hoping to make at least a little money. The group began performing in local night spots for $1.25 each. These small wages only allowed for them to purchase matching Tam O’shanter hats to wear while on stage. From this trademark, the legendary Tams name was born.
The Tams hard work, patience and perseverance eventually paid off when they were signed to Arlen Records and had their fi rst Billboard hit in 1962, the single “Untie Me,” which was number 12 on the R&B chart. In 1963, ABC Records signed them and their fi rst album produced a Top 10 hit, “What Kind of Fool.” They began playing throughout the country and a string of hits followed. These included “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy,” “I’ve Been Hurt” and “Hey Girl.” Since then, they have released more than 15 albums and been honored with one Platinum and two Gold records. They have toured and recorded with Jimmy Buffet and performed with such greats as Gladys Knight, Jackie Wilson and many more. They have received the title “Beach Band of the Decade” and have been inducted into the Georgia Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Hall of Fame and the Beach Music Hall of Fame. The Tams are still recording today and have recently released their latest singles “My Main Squeeze” and “This Love Will Last” from their newest CD The Tams Comin’ At Cha’.
The Coconut Groove Band, Suicide Blonde, the Craig Woolard Band and the Chairmen of the Board will round out the series in the coming months.
Beach bands draw huge crowds to the event, and the sponsors hope the lineup will get people into the park and up on their feet dancing.
Sponsors for this year’s series are Harris Wholesale, Up & Coming Weekly, Rock 103, Magic 106.9, Q98 and the Fayetteville Observer.
For more information, visit the museum’s Web site at www. fayettevillemuseumart.org.