On Saturday, October 23, the Bachelors traveled back to Shelby, NC to watch an historic performance by Cecil P and the White Street Band, the Constellations, David Lee, and Ann Sexton at the Cleveland County Arts Council, one of the final concerts of the local Art of Sound festival.
On the occasion of Ann Sexton and David Lee’s first reunion after over twenty-five years, we Bachelors were finally able to meet Ann in person. She was just as David has described her to us–gracious and lovely. She was thrilled (and even a little teary) with the photos and recordings we shared with her and excited about the upcoming release of Said I Had a Vision.
We were delighted to be able to introduce David as he received the Heritage Bridge Award for lifetime musical contributions to Cleveland County.
Backed by the Constellations, David performed both sides of his 1985 SCOP 45, the uptempo “I Can’t Believe You’re Gone” and the mournful ballad “I’ll Never Get Over Losing You,” which appears on Said I Had a Vision. No one was expecting the dance moves!
Brownie Guest led the Constellations–joined by Bunny Clyde on saxophone and two of original drummer Harold Allen’s sons on vocals and guitar, plus second organist Richard Putnam–in both “If Everybody” and “The Frog,” their two cuts on Vision, plus a number of other classics. This concert represented the first time the original Constellations had performed together in over forty years, and the first time they had ever performed onstage with former Ambassadors rival Bunny Clyde and the younger band members. Brownie offered some percussive cane-thumping for emphasis!
Ann and David were clearly moved to be together again, and their emotional duet on “Love, Love, Love (I Want To Be Loved)” demonstrated that the musical chemistry between them has not diminished with the passing of years.
Ann’s set was fiery, and her seasoned showmanship and interaction with the crowd resulted in both head-bobbing and a few blushes during a dialogue about Jody and “You’ve Been Gone Too Long.”
Thank you to Tommy Forney, the musicians, and the staff of Art of Sound for making this night happen. If you missed it, join us for the free record release party on November 7th at the Don Gibson Theater in Shelby, featuring performances by David Lee, the Constellations, and Joe Brown and the Singing Mellerairs!