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Alley Cats bringing oldies music to Downey
WRITTEN BY :   Henry Veneracion, Staff Writer

DOWNEY – Lovers of 50s and 60s music should be in for a musical treat on Sunday, May 19 when The Alley Cats, a professional a capella doo-wop group that had its start on the campus of Cal State Fullerton in 1987, perform at the Downey Theatre.
The 3 p.m. show, promising to deliver “high-energy, family-style oldies doo-wop fun filled with great harmonies, comedy, engaging stories, and audience participation,” is being presented by the West Coast Performing Arts.
The group’s repertoire includes such oldies favorites as the following (with the original artists in parentheses): “Blue Moon” (The Marcels), “Come Go With Me” (The Del Vikings), “Don’t Be Cruel” (Elvis Presley), “In the Still Of The Night” (The Five Satins), “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” (Frankie Lyman & The Teenagers) and more.
According to Armando Fonseca, co-founder of the group, The Alley Cats have achieved world-wide fame, attributable to its innumerable live performances through the years at performing arts centers, corporate events, fairs, festivals, trade shows, and schools all over (USA, Canada, Mexico), as well as appearances on TV, radio shows, and even for the Clinton administration in the White House in June of 2000.
At one time the opening act for Jay Leno in his Las Vegas shows, they have also landed aboard the aircraft carriers, USS Stennis and USS Constitution, as part of welcome home USO shows for the crew.
The group launched their musical journey in the late 1980s as a featured act in Disneyland’s “Blast to the Past,” which was a salute to the 1950s. According to the promoter West Coast Performing Group’s Mark Curran, their “long-standing relationship with Disney also took them to New York City, where they were featured during the world premiere of Disney’s animated film, Hercules.”
Fonseca sings second tenor while co-founder Royce Reynolds provides the bass vocals. Since then, other members have joined the group. Today their number is twenty, some supplying first tenor, others baritone, etc.
Starting the group was Fonseca’s original idea while attending Fullerton College. He says he has been singing since his kindergarten pajama choir days in Norwalk where he grew up.
Raised in Whittier, Reynolds is said to have started his singing career when he was five and met Fonseca in college as he was taking his first voice class; in addition to his affiliation with The Alley Cats, he has enjoyed other TV/movie gigs during his 26 years with the group.
All of the original (early) members are still performing with the group, with most of the members logging more than ten years each in the group.
With their present number, Fonseca says The Alley Cats can perform multiple shows on the same day.
Fonseca says the group is currently working on a trip to Great Britain and Brazil.
Tickets to see The Alley Cats are $39 general admission; $38 for students, seniors and military; and $36 for kids ages 12 and younger.
Tickets can be purchased online at downeytheatre.com or by calling (562) 861-8211.

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Published: May 9, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 04



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