This site is the most complete story of The Great Pretenders, a lip-sync group out of Belmont, Massachusetts.
From the early 1970’s through the mid-1980’s The Great Pretenders were a Boston-based lip-sync act. They performed their fully choreographed and costumed shows throughout the Boston and Cape Cod areas, at New England colleges and in Miami Beach, Florida, breaking attendance records along the way.
One New Year’s Eve as a joke, a group of friends from Belmont, MA put together some dance steps to “oldies” rock and roll from the late 1950’s/early 1960’s, added grease to their hair, put on jeans and tee shirts for “the look”, pantomimed the words to the songs, and performed this “show” for their friends. Their friends liked it so much they wanted to see it again and again. The rest is, as they say, “history”.
The Great Pretenders performed 3 completely different, fully costumed and choreographed sets nightly. For the first set of “oldies” (late 50’s / early 60’s music), the band dressed alike and performed much like you would have seen The Temptations or Four Tops perform on The Ed Sullivan Show – in front of a “curtain” with synchronized dance steps.
The original group consisted of Robert “Horace” Greeley, Rick “Farmer” Ford, brothers Ricky “the Doctor” Freeman, Billy “Bibby” Freeman, and off stage sound tech and narrator, Bob DiGiovanni.
Agent: Charlie Robidoux
Manager: Jimmy Nolan
Road Crew: Ralph Castiglione (who later joined the group on stage) and Michael “Kingsley” King. When Ralph started performing he was replaced by Tommy Coyle. Tommy Coyle left after about a year when he had the opportunity to realize his life-long dream of becoming a UPS driver/delivery person. He was fired after his first day for losing his clipboard.
Some of the songs performed by The Great Pretenders:
(Song - Artist)
At My Front Door - The Eldorados
Shake, Rattle and Roll - Bill Haley and the Comets
Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley and the Comets
Chantilly Lace – The Big Bopper
Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows – Leslie Gore
Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons segment:
Included the following songs:
Big Girls Don’t Cry
Walk Like A Man
Let’s Hang On
Elvis Presley segment:
Please direct all inquiries and comments to tgp @ thegreatpretenders.org
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