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Star-studded 'America Celebrates the Beatles' gala set for Feb. 8

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NYC FAB 50 announced Jan. 9 that “America Celebrates the Beatles,” a gala concert celebrating the music of the Fab Four, will take place Feb. 8 at Manhattan's Town Hall in New York City. The concert is one of the charity events being held as part of the "NYC FAB 50: Celebrating The Music of The Beatles" 50th anniversary celebration.

Tickets for "America Celebrates The Beatles" will go on sale to the public through Ticketmaster next week, and there will be another special pre-sale exclusively for Beatles Examiner readers.

The concert will feature a collection of veteran music legends including Tommy James, Gary DeCarlo of Steam, Melanie, Gene Cornish of the Rascals, Greg Hawkes of the Cars, Ron Dante of the Archies, Fred Schneider of the B-52s, Marshall Crenshaw, Walter Egan, Ian Lloyd of the Stories, John Ford of the Strawbs and Aztec Two-Step.

Also on the bill are singer Beverly Bremers, Randy Jackson of Zebra, Larry Kirwan, 2010 “American Idol” finalist Siobhan Magnus and Richie Scarlet.

Special guest of honor celebrity presenters for the event include actors Charles Grodin and John Gabriel, TV's Dick Cavett, sportscaster Len Berman, news anchorman Marvin Scott, the Amazing Kreskin and others to be announced.

Several of the performers at the concert have some kind of Beatles history. Gary DeCarlo wrote and sang "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" under the band name Steam. The #1 hit replaced the Beatles' "Come Together/"Something" single at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for the week ending Dec. 6, 1969.

Melanie, known for songs including “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” sang with John Lennon on stage at the One-to-One Live in New York City concert at Madison Square Garden in 1972. Gene Cornish, best known guitarist of The Rascals, released a song called “I Wanna Be a Beatle” when he was with the The Unbeatables in 1964.

Greg Hawkes, keyboardist for The Cars, covered Beatles songs when he was with his first band, The Aardvarks, saw The Beatles in 1964 and played keyboards on a record with Paul McCartney. In recent years, he has recorded “The Beatles Uke,” an entire album of Beatles classics played on the ukulele.

The B-52s with Fred Schneider recorded a version of The Beatles “Paperback Writer.” Walter Egan wrote “Hot Summer Nights” which included Nicky Hopkins, who played piano with John Lennon, and Robbie McIntosh, a former member of Paul McCartney's band.Marshall Cranshaw played John Lennon in "Beatlemania" and Buddy Holly in the film "La Bamba." Larry Kirwin is the author of the novel “Liverpool Fantasy,” also staged as a play. Siobhan Magnus sang “Across the Universe” in one of her appearances on “American Idol.”

Rich Pagano of the Fab Faux will be musical director for the concert. Additional performers will be added.

The Town Hall is a Broadway theater located at 123 West 43rd Street, between Sixth Avenue and Broadway in New York City. All net proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Food Bank for New York City.

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