Motown music makes show special

The music of Smokey Robinson, the Isly Brothers, Bobby Darin, Mary Wells, Jackson 5, Martha Reeves and the Vandells, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Barry White, Al Green, Lionel Ritchie and many other performers from the age of Motown music was performed for “The Pride of Motown” minstrel staged by Adena Lions Club members and members of the community for the 67th-annual event held last Friday and Saturday.

There were more than 30 talented singers and performers on the Buckeye West Elementary School stage giving their all in a rousing rendition of 1970-to-1980s songs from the Motown era of Berry Gordy.

For the dress rehearsal presentation, residents from the Sienna Hills Care Facility in Harrisville came to view the presentation and so did I. It was cool having most of the auditorium to myself. I could put my camera case on a chair on one side of me, my reporters notebook on a chair on the other side and prop my feet on the rungs of the chair in front of me without getting dirty looks. I was in great comfort as I observed the show.

The cast of singers, dancers, stunt men, end men — who were mostly the stunt men — and Dan Holt, the new interlocutor, put their soul into the soul music.

Larry Woods came out with a broad tie that had replicas of money on it. It was fitting as he sang “Money (That’s What I Want.)!” JoAnn Connor was belting out “Dancing in the Streets” nicely, and Dean Rutan, a new end man, sang “My Girl.” Dennis and Pam Kinsey sang “It Takes Two.”

I didn’t get to hear Julie Packer sing “I Second that Emotion” as she wasn’t able to make the dress rehearsal. Ken Staley played “Easy” on his guitar from the house band location. Rich Steffl and his fiancee, Rhonda Littleton, sang “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” The end men closed the first act with a comedy skit called the Motown Midriffs.

The Buckeye Local Jazz Band played a musical warm-up and for the intermission. Roger Warren sang and played his sax for “How Sweet it Is,” Cora Taylor sang “My Guy,” and the gals representing the Supremes sang “Baby Love,” “Stop in the Name of Love” and “Come See About Me.”

Dennis Kinsey and Drew Case did a comedy skit as crash test dummies; Tim Reynolds sang “Ooo, Baby, Baby” from the house band location; and Marty Packer sang “Please, Mr. Postman” and had the postman deliver her a letter at the end of the song. Marty came down from the stage and welcomed me before the event started.

“This Old Heart of Mine” was sung by Rob Whinnery. “Upside Down” was sung by Denise Rector, and the end men, with Drew Case, provided comedy to “Do You Love Me?”

President Karl Bowers gave his utmost thanks to all who had helped make the show a success, and the entire group went through a rousing rendition of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” for the finale.

The backup singers and the entire cast wore black slacks and white shirts for the first half. They were dressed in their finest for the second act.

The chorus songs were “I Wish It Would Rain,” “We Wanna’ Say Hello,” “Get Ready,” “I Can’t Get Next to You,” “It’s the Same Old Song,” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugarpie),” “I’ll Be There” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” for their contributions.

Great job, cast and crew. Fantastic as always.


I extend my deepest apologies for leaving a family out of the Boomers story I did on April 18. It was for a member of Peggy Cotton’s family. Omitted was another of her daughters, Marnie Remp, and her husband, Larry; and the three Catholic Central swimmers, Brook, Tyler and Elise.

Peggy was so nice about it but I wasn’t happy with myself.


Our grandson, Matthew, a junior at Worthington Christian High School, survived a concussion at the end of February while practicing baseball. He had to go through a long concussion protocol before making a comeback. Now he has a broken nose from getting hit with his own bunted ball. I recall his dad, Jay, going through a series of many accidents in his growing up years, too.

We had a great time with Jay’s family and the Worthington Warriors on the trip to Myrtle Beach to play tournament games at the Cal Ripken Complex.

If you want to have someone give a funny baseball game narrative, call on Danny Myers, a player on the team. He keeps up a running stream of comments for each player who comes up to bat. When he is batting and on base, it is quiet, because he isn’t in the dugout doing his special announcing.

Jay spied a green turtle about the size of a silver dollar making its way fast on his tiny legs for the baseball greens. Knowing this probably wasn’t the proper place for a little guy to be roaming around, he picked it up and gave it to a young lady who held her hand out. She in turn passed it on to a younger girl who put it in a large plastic cup and planned to take it back to their living quarters for the week. I just hoped she knew what to feed it. Stella Puskarich tells me you have to buy turtle food for a small specimen like that.

We celebrated our Easter in Myrtle Beach. I had an egg hunt, but there was money and a question on a slip of paper in each plastic egg. If you answered the question right, you got to keep the money; if not, it went into the center of the table and was divided between five people at the end. Amber wasn’t happy when she found $10 in her egg but had to turn it in when she did not know the answer to where Yogi Bear lived. She never heard of the Yogi and BooBoo cartoon.

I slathered up really well with sunscreen as I am tired of getting zapped with the freezing wand to remove precancerous spots on tanned skin. A tan looks really nice but getting zapped doesn’t feel that great.

That’s all for this week, folks.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at