Sedaka got his musical start in the late 1950s as a member of The Tokens. However, he had ventured out on his own long before they recorded their hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Most people would think that it would have been a mistake leaving a group that had such a big hit. Not Sedaka. He pointed during the show that between 1958 and 1963 he had sold over 35 million records!
The man knew what he was doing.
Wearing a black shirt and pants and a blue blazer, Sedaka took to the stage smiling and waving to the crowd as his tight four piece band went into “Bad Blood.” He continued the hits as “Oh! Carol,” “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” and “Where the Boys Are” were all played in succession.
Neil Sedaka is an old school entertainer who tells stories, is engaging, witty, and by the way, still has a great voice.
He noted that “I was the king of the tra-la-la’s and doobie doo’s.” Whenever they needed a lyric, he would throw in a doobie doo and the song “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” was a great example of that.
He also stated that it was a much more simple time back in the late ‘50s but “at least you could understand all of the lyrics!”
After playing a great version of “Calendar Girl” Sedaka said that he stopped singing in 1963 which happened to be the same year The Beatles came on the scene. For twelve years he had several other artists record his music while he was in England playing his earlier hits.
After a long hiatus, Elton John signed Sedaka to his record label and promised him that he would be a star again. Sir Elton was correct because Sedaka’s “Laughter in the Rain” went to number one in 1975.
Not only that, but Sedaka wrote “Love Will Keep Us Together” which also went to #1 for Captain and Tennille that same year and it also won him a Grammy.
Sedaka still writes new music and he said that he finds his inspiration from books, movies and family. He pointed out that he and his wife have been married for 54 years and that he also has “three delicious grandchildren” who call him Papa Neil.
Two of these new songs were played including “You” which was dedicated to all of the fans, and he closed the show with the appropriately titled “I do it for Applause.”