Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Way You Look Tonight! A Little Mid-Winter Love From THE LETTERMEN At The McCallum

The Way You Look Tonight! A Little Mid-Winter Love From THE LETTERMEN At The McCallum

The McCallum Theatre presents The Lettermen on Sunday, February 24, at 3:00pm. Eighteen international Gold records and scores of top singles, including "The Way You Look Tonight" and "When I Fall in Love," attest to The Lettermen's enduring popularity.The Lettermen Are Tony Butala, Donovan Tea and Bobby Poynton. The vision for The Lettermen was of three strong soloists with the showmanship to entertain an audience, and the discipline needed to be group singers. The sound they came up with was a sound between the big band vocal groups and the early R&B groups.

In 1961, The Lettermen (Tony Butala, Jim Pike and Bob Engemann) were signed to what turned out to be an over twenty-five year contract with Capitol Records. Their first two singles, "The Way You Look Tonight," and "When I Fall In Love," established The Lettermen as the most romantic singing group of the 60s. Their debut album A Song for Young Love hit the Top 10 and became their first of 32 straight Top 40 albums, four of which were certified Gold. The Lettermen's Signature Sound made romantic standards of songs such as "Smile," "Theme From A Summer Place," and "Goin' Out of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You."

The Lettermen toured regularly and made more than 200 appearances on television's top talk and variety shows. They have earned eighteen Gold records internationally; toured in France, Japan, Hong Kong, Mexico, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Thailand; and have sung and recorded in over fourteen languages.

Over the years, the trio has gone through a few personnel changes. Bob left in 1967, replaced by Gary Pike, Jim's younger brother. When Jim left, he was replaced by another brother, Donny Pike. The group stayed with this combination through the 70s and early 80s led by constant member Tony. Today, The Lettermen are Tony Butala, Donovan Tea and Bobby Poynton.

Tony is proud that The Lettermen have been part of Americana, and that as long as there is a Lettermen group, they will be singing quality, positive harmony music that the entire family can enjoy

Tony Butala was singing on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh by the age of eight. Within a few years, he moved to Hollywood and became a member of the Mitchell Boys Choir. In the mid-50s, while attending Hollywood Professional High School, Tony formed The Fourmost with three ex-Mitchell Boy Choir friends and a female classmate. As one of the founding members of The Lettermen, Tony has been the lead singer for The Lettermen since the group's beginnings in 1958. In 1998, after decades of acting as an unofficial clearinghouse for information about vocal groups, Tony fulfilled a long-held dream with the opening of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and Museum in his home town of Sharon, Pennsylvania. More than 100 groups have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and there are hundreds of items of vocal group memorabilia in the museum.

Donovan Tea was born in Houston and started singing professionally at 17, and at 18, became a lead singer for The Young Americans. In 1977, Donovan began performing at The Horn nightclub in Los Angeles and eventually became a solo singer in the production of "Casino de Paris" at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, moving to lead production singer in the revue "Lido de Paris" at the Stardust Hotel for four years. In 1984, he heard of a vacancy in The Lettermen and joined the group. Donovan has remained a continuous member of The Lettermen since he joined the group, making him the longest tenured member next to Tony Butala.

Bobby Poynton headed to Hollywood after graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University. Bobby worked on such shows as "Days of Our Lives," "Scarecrow and Mrs. King," "Touched by an Angel," and "Walker: Texas Ranger." In 1988, he was invited to become the newest member of The Lettermen. He recorded six albums with the group and performed more than one thousand concerts and television shows around the world. Bobby left the group in 1995 to raise his family and also toured with other groups, including doo-wop legends The Diamonds. Bobby is back with The Lettermen and happy to be recreating the magic on stage and in the recording studio.

Tickets for this performance are priced at $68, $48, $38 and $28. Tickets are available at the Theatre's website at www.mccallumtheatre.com or by calling the McCallum Theatre Box Office at (760) 340-2787.


Related Articles View More Palm Springs Stories   Shows

From This Author David Green