Lettermen get mellow in Austin
The Lettermen, whose mellow vocal stylings have entertained audiences for five decades, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Austin's Paramount Theatre.
The trio, which includes founding member Tony Butala, went against the musical grain for most of the 1960s, offering a relaxing, reassuring sound amidst the tumult of the rock years. The group's clean-cut look went well with an idealized view of the 1950s.
The Lettermen were formed in 1959 by Butala, Mike Barnett and Dick Stewart, although it was the trio of Butala, Jim Pike and Bob Engemann that finally hit the charts. The group's first hit came in 1961 with "The Way You Look Tonight," which was followed a few months later by "When I Fall in Love."
Then came "Theme from 'A Summer Place'" in the summer of 1965. But it wasn't until 1968 that the Lettermen scored their biggest hit with "Goin' Out of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You," which was on the charts during a time of social, political and musical upheaval.
The current trio of Butala, Donovan Tea and Mark Preston sang together from 1984-1998, and then got together again in 2006. A new album, "New Directions 2010," includes a mix of easy listening and pop standards, including "Come Fly With Me," "Listen to the Music" and "My Funny Valentine/Ain't No Sunshine."
Tickets are $25. A $50 VIP ticket, which includes a private mixer with the Letterman after the concert, is also available. Tickets are available by phone (507) 434-0934 and at the Paramount box office, 125 Fourth Ave. N.E.