James Brown may have been the “hardest working man in show business,” but The Lettermen are surely giving him a run for his money. Since 1961, the group in some format or another, has performed more than 100 concerts a year. That tradition carries on today as The Lettermen continue to bring their timeless harmonies to the stage. On Tuesday, Dec. 9, area residents will get a chance to step back in time and relive their youth as The Lettermen make a holiday appearance at the Givens Performing Arts Center at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke as part of the Nostalgia Series.
    {mosimage}The Lettermen, formed in the 1950s by Mike Barnett, Dick Stewart and Tony Butala, sang and recorded music that thrived during that period. When music took a distinct turn in the ‘60s — can anybody say Hendrix and Joplin? — The Lettermen didn’t alter their style; instead, they stayed the course and built a fan base that is legendary. With a 40-year performance career that shows no signs of slowing down, The Lettermen bring their very special style of music to stages all over the world. Their hits include “All I Ask of You,” “Everything I Do (I Do it For You)” and “Unchained Melody.”
    The Lettermen have had 32 consecutive Billboard magazine chart albums, 11 gold records, five Grammy nominations, an Andy Award and a Cleo Award.
    Over the decades, the group has had various lineups, replacing members who left for various reasons with new people to maintain a trio. Tony Butala, who is still a member, has stated that the group ethos is that of three strong soloists that harmonize, and that the group encourages individual singing and songwriting. They are especially noted for their “doo-wop” stylings.
    They pride themselves in welcoming audience member photographs during the show, unlike many recording acts.
    Tickets for the show, which begins at 8 p.m., are adults, $20-$26 and $12 for children or students. For more information, visit the Givens Performing Arts Center Web site at www.uncp.edu/gpac.

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