published Friday, October 28th, 2011

Revue at Choo Choo memorializes Motown tonight


What: Old School Revue featuring The Tri-Octaves (Willie Kitchens Jr., Doug Richesin and Michael Rodgers) and The Motond.

When: 8 p.m. today.

Where: Centennial Theater, Chattanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Market St. (venue changed from Tivoli Theatre).

Admission: $15 in advance, $20 at the door; $50 VIP seats with meal.

Phone: 266-1384, ext. 32.


Tonight, the Scenic City is going to sound a bit more like the Motor City with a celebration of classic soul and rhythm-and-blues.

The Old School Revue will feature a nine-piece horn and rhythm section and a trio of vocalists: Michael Rodgers, Doug Richeson and Willie Kitchens Jr.

The two-hour performance will feature more than two dozen songs. Among them will be such Motown favorites as "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," popularized by The Temptations, and "Don't Mess With Bill," by The Marvelettes, as well as soulful classics such as Lou Rawls' "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine."

"[Motown] music being such a legendary, never-dying music, a lot of people, especially my age, still love this music," said Kitchens, 56, who briefly served as a lead singer of The Impressions in 1999 and 2000.

The first Old School Revue performance in Sweetwater, Tenn., earlier this month earned rave reviews, according to Kitchens.

"It was outstanding," he said of the Sweetwater show. "People loved it, so we thought we'd bring it to Chattanooga and maybe take it somewhere else as well.

"Everybody seemed to enjoy the music, and it brought back so many good memories."

The Motown record label was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in 1960. Over the next several decades, it launched the careers of dozens of soulful pop artists, including The Supremes, The Jackson 5 and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

Motown's legacy has survived so long largely because its artists produced songs that were pure and electronically unaltered, Kitchens said.

"You had artists playing the music originally," he said. "They were very meticulous with their playing and their riffs on guitars or whatever they were playing.

"That made the music so original, so memorable."

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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