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Laramie Movie Scope:
The Shirelles: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

Some real golden oldies

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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April 3, updated April 6, 2007 -- “The Shirelles: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” is a new DVD compilation of some fine performances by the classic girl groups, the Shirelles, The Dixie Cups and the Angels. The performances were all filmed live in 1988 at Little Darlin's Rock N' Roll Palace in Kissimmee, Florida.

The bulk of the songs on this 60-minute video are performed by the Shirelles, the pioneering girl group that had its first hit in 1958 and racked up an impressive string of hit songs for the next five years, including “Soldier Boy,” “Foolish Little Girl,” “Dedicated To The One I Love,” “Baby It's You,” “Mama Said (There'd Be Days Like This)” and “Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow?” All of these songs are performed impeccably on the DVD, with the exception of “Soldier Boy,” which is performed as an audience sing-a-long number. The song “Baby It's You” is repeated. The lead singer, Doris Jackson, flashing a million watt smile and a voice undimmed by 30 years of singing, shows an unusual joy of performing and a great stage presence.

Bonus tracks on the DVD include performances by The Angels, “'Til” and “My Boyfriend's Back” and the Dixie Cups (who made it out of New Orleans just in time) big hit, “Chapel of Love” and the old New Orleans jazz standard, “Iko Iko.” The harmony of the Dixie Cups in these performances is flawless, the three voices tightly woven together as one. The sound mixing on all but one (the backup singers volume was too low) of the numbers is very good with the professional backup band's music coming through loud and clear. It really sounds like studio-quality recording. The DVD sound is in two-channel Dolby® Digital. The image is also very sharp. If these performances were captured on video tape rather than film, which does not appear to be the case, it is excellent quality video and the transfer is first-rate. The lighting and camera work in these live concert settings is very professional. The editing of the DVD is a bit sloppy, with some abrupt cuts chopping off a second or two from the beginnings and ends of a couple of the performances.

The nice thing about these performances is that they were done at a time in history when the singers, though middle-aged, were still near the top of their abilities. As singers get older they start to lose some of the range and power their voices had years ago. The singers featured in this DVD still had what it took in 1988 for top-notch performances of their most popular songs. The DVD is region 0 for international play. The executive producers are Kim Lyon and Gary Peet. The Rock N' Roll Palace series was produced by Walter Bowen and A.J. Stanton. The video is being released by MVD Entertainment Group in the US.

The Shirelles are an important group in popular music history, following the Chantels, their unprecedented international and crossover success paved the way for countless groups that followed, like Martha Reeves and Vandellas, the Ronettes, the Marvelettes and the Supremes. They were one of the first black girl groups with a sound that appealed to people of all races. Unlike most girl groups, the Shirelles were not affiliated with Motown records, or with uber-producer Phil Spector. They were instead a New Jersey group affiliated with a New York record label, Scepter Records, owned by Florence Greenberg, the mother of one of the high school friends of the girls in the group. Scepter started out as a very small record company with the Shirelles, and it grew with them, becoming a successful and influential label. The history of Scepter Records, written by Kim Lyon, is included, along with a discography and background information on the Shirelles, as part of the extras on the DVD. This disc rates a B.

Note: After sending e-mail messages to the Shirelles and The Dixie Cups asking them about the dates and identity of the singers featured on this DVD, there seems to be a dispute over the trademark name used on the DVD. It appears that at least two of the original Dixie Cups are featured on the DVD, Barbara and Rosa Lee Hawkins. From photos, I was unable to identify the lead singer for the Shirelles, it turns out she was an original member of the Shirelles, Doris Kenner Jackson (formerly Doris Coley), who died in 2000, 12 years after this performance. The other two singers are not members of the Shirelles. One of two surviving original Shirelle group members, Beverly Lee, currently holds the group's trademark name. Her company, Bevicorp is currently in negotiations with Quantum Leap, the company that produced this DVD over it's use of the Shirelles® name. Bevicorp was unaware of the existence of this DVD until they were contacted by myself and other critics also working on reviews of it. More on this later.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics, theater tickets and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2007 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)