MOUNT VERNON — Fans of that “Golden era of rock ’n roll” from the ’50s and ’60s will have the opportunity for a hometown musical treat this Saturday. Headlining the entertainment at the 2010 Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival will be the 40-year veteran group Sha Na Na.
Founding band member and drummer John “Jocko” Marcellino will bring his show of original rock ’n’ roll, rockabilly, doo wop harmony, big band numbers and five-part harmony to the streets of Mount Vernon, fresh off the band’s 40th anniversary tour and release of their 40th anniversary collector’s edition CD, packed full of band favorites over the years.
“We’ve looked at different groups for a couple of years and decided Sha Na Na was a good fit for the criteria we were looking for,” said Pat Crow, president of the Knox County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’ve had similar groups in the past (Herman’s Hermits, Mickey Dolenz, etc.) and were impressed with their general appeal because it is all popular music.”
Getting their start in 1969 in a Columbia University glee club, the band gained popularity very quickly. Their big break came in August that year in just their eighth performance when they were the next to the last act at Woodstock, performing before Jimi Hendrix. “That was a huge break for us,” said Marcellino, who was 19 years old at the time. “We almost instantly became a household name after that.”
Sha Na Na also made the edited video cut of Woodstock, produced by Martin Scorcese.