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Music of the 1970s captivate audiences

The Oklahoma City Philharmonic's 2012-13 pops season opener offers a musical tribute to the 1970s
Published: November 6, 2012
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Jarrett Johnson channeled Stevie Wonder in “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” while N'Kenge scored a hit with Roberta Flack's sultry “Killing Me Softly.” Anne Nicole Beck got some well-earned laughs in Cher's “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.”

When a guy dressed as a cop issued Everly a ticket, the conductor asked if he had been speeding through the Disco Divas medley. The humorous moment quickly segued into the rousing “YMCA,” a huge audience favorite.

The singers appeared in neon colored outfits for a lively ABBA medley while the orchestra illustrated the diversity of the era's film scores, from the touching “Evergreen” and “Brian's Song” to the menacing “Jaws” and the triumphant “Rocky.”

The vocalists nicely captured the tuneful appeal of the Carpenters while Chapter 6 scored big with an a cappella version of Queen's “Bohemian Rhapsody,” complete with instrumental licks imitated by the singers. One final medley of hits from the 1970s incorporated Helen Reddy's “I Am Woman” and Diana Ross' “Ain't No Mountain High Enough” to Melissa Manchester's “Don't Cry Out Loud” and Queen's “We Are the Champions.”

Everly and company proved that while the '70s may have been embarrassing from a fashion standpoint, that era's music had ample redeeming qualities. Dressed in first-rate orchestrations, these tunes made this nostalgic journey back through time enormously appealing.

— Rick Rogers