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The great sounds of Nat King Cole to be featured at the seventh annual Tyrone-Snyder Public Library Concert

The featured performer at this year’s seventh annual Tyrone-Snyder Township Public Library’s fund raising concert will be none other than one of the original members of the singing group The Marcels, Mr. Walt Maddox.
Walt Maddox started singing as a teenager on the street corners of his Manchester neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s Northside with a group called the Blenders. After a few years of performing in lounges throughout the Pittsburgh area, he joined The Marcels, in May of 1961.
“Walt and I go back a long ways now and I always joke around with him about that date. We always say that he became a Marcel when he was only seven-years-old,” joked library concert chairman, Chuck Banas, who also grew up on the Northside of Pittsburgh. Walt has been with the group ever since as the manager and producer. After a lengthy court battle, an award was made in February of 2004, and Walt is the only individual legally permitted to book the group.
Throughout the years, Walt also performed as a solo act throughout the United States. His “Tribute to Nat King Cole” was one of the high points of his solo career. He performed this show with the Pittsburgh Symphony at Heinz Hall, the Wheeling Symphony at The Capitol Music Hall and the Westmoreland Symphony at The Palace Theater in Greensburg. Walt has also taken this show to St. Thomas, Aruba, Tokyo, Japan and Okinawa, Japan.
Discovering young, new talent has always been important to Walt. He mentored Christina Aguilera in the early stages of her career.
“I think many people would be amazed to know that when Walt first discovered Christina Aguilera, he brought her to the Bull Pen here in Tyrone, and she sang one Friday evening,” said Banas.
Walt also has a recording studio in Pittsburgh called Super M Productions and his own record label known as the Super M label.
George Anderson, entertainment editor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, summed it up best while evaluating Walt’s “Tribute to Nat King Cole”. Anderson stated, “Maddox has been making his mark in local clubs and lounges for years now, ever since he established himself as a single by leaving the Marcels. His understanding of, and obvious affection for the music of Cole makes his tribute something more than the self-serving, exploitational salutes to which Elvis Presley is being posthumously subjected to so often today. Maddox is not imitating Nat. Instead, he is recalling for us some thirty-three of the singer’s best-known songs, ranging from the sprightly jazz-flavored jump tunes like ‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’, ‘Route 66’ and ‘Sweet Lorraine’ from the King Cole trio era, to the big orchestra production numbers like ‘Answer Me, My Love’ and ‘Ballerina’.
“There are even two excursions into soft rock – ‘Midnight Flyer’ and ‘Send for Me’ – from Nat’s last years. Maddox sings them all with the respect and skill they warrant, exuding the same low-key charm and personality that made Cole so durable. It is a classy and nostalgic performance,” concluded Anderson.
“Walt is such a great person. Anyone who gets the opportunity to get to know Walt is definitely much better off for it,” stated Banas.
This sure sounds like a terrific manner in which to close out this year’s seventh annual Tyrone-Snyder Township Library concert. Where else can one find a relaxing evening of great entertainment while at the same time supporting the public library.
Tickets are still available for this year’s show, which is set to begin at 7 p.m. sharp on Saturday evening, April 19 at the Tyrone Area High School auditorium stage. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the following ticket locations: Bressler’s Food Mart & Sports, Kopp Drug and the Tyrone-Snyder Township Public Library in Tyrone. There is a special ticket order line for ordering tickets by telephone. Simply call 682-1017.
There will be a meet and greet held after the show for pictures, autographs and CD purchases from any of the concert entertainers. This is always a fun event of the annual concert series.
Don’t miss next Saturday’s Daily Herald, as a special announcement will be made concerning a surprise for this year’s annual library fund raising event.