Sounds of Success, more commonly known as S.O.S., was first conceived in 1977 in Atlanta, Ga., but they are known nationally, and on Friday, Nov. 1, the band will bring its unique sound to the area as it performs at Givens Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
For a number of years, the band performed under the name Santa Monica. Gaining popularity in their hometown, S.O.S. came onto the national music scene in 1980 when its single “Take Your Time (Do it Right)” sold 2 million copies and went platinum.
The band takes joy in its performances, but is also proud of their work. Even after 32 years of performing music, each member still strives to make every performance the very best it can be. This can clearly be seen in the comment of Mary Davis, the lead vocalist, when asked about the typical concert.
“People should expect nothing but the best,” she said. “We are going to take our time and give them the best show they’ve ever seen.”
Davis’ love of music began very early in life, and based on the funky style of S.O.S, the genres that first inspired her may be surprising.
“As a kid I always liked music. I mostly listened to country and western because I am from Savannah, Ga., and at the time we didn’t have a black radio station. As a result, we mostly listened to country western and rock,” she explained. “I always liked music and knew I wanted to sing. I used to use old Coke bottles or water bottles as a microphone and I listened to all the music and learned all the lyrics to sing along. I joined the Baptist church, and as a member of the choir, I was able to do solos. I saw the responses of the audience and I knew I had a gift from God.”
Membership in a popular band that travels all over the country isn’t all fun and games, however. There are a lot of challenges that all of the members face as they travel and perform. Davis says that one of the biggest challenges is just the wear and tear that they experience as they get on and off the airplanes. These challenges have not deterred them.
Davis explains why they continue to tour, “The most rewarding thing is being able to sing a song that everyone can relate to and bring back a happy memory and bring a smile to peoples face. We enjoy doing what we are doing and enjoy having people relate to our songs and the feed back makes it all worth while. We really appreciate the love and support that our audience has given us over 32 years. We really, really appreciate them.”
Join the fun as The S.O.S. Band performs at the Givens Performing Arts Center on Friday, Nov. 1. Tickets are $25 for adults or $15 for children and students. For more information and tickets, visit www.uncp.edu/gpac/broadway/index.htm.
Photo: The S.O.S Band brings great music to the GPAC.