Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or cdevlin6@gmu.edu

MOTOWN LEGENDS: THE FOUR TOPS PERFORM MAY 8!

April 15, 2004
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS WELCOMES
THE FOUR TOPS
Saturday, May 8, 2004, 8:00 p.m.
Center for the Arts revisits the heyday of Motown as the group performs its hits including
"Reach Out, I'll Be There," "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),"
"Standing in the Shadows of Love," "Bernadette," "Baby I Need Your Loving," and many more!


Fairfax, Virginia, April 15, 2004ó The Four Tops' story is one of longevity and togetherness: these Motown legends teamed up in high school and spent over four decades without a single personnel change. In between, they became one of the top-tier acts on a label with no shortage of talent, ranking with the Temptations and the Supremes as Motown's most consistent hitmakers. From 1964-1967, the Four Tops recorded some of the Holland-Dozier-Holland team's greatest compositions, including "Reach Out, I'll Be There," "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)," "Standing in the Shadows of Love," "Bernadette," and "Baby I Need Your Loving." Now, the Four Tops make their first appearance at George Mason Universityís Center for the Arts in a concert featuring all their hits on Saturday, May 8 at 8:00 p.m. A pre-performance discussion is held at 7:15 p.m. on the hallís Grand Tier.

The Four Tops began life in 1953 (some accounts say 1954), when all of the members were attending Detroit-area high schools. In 1963, the Four Tops signed with Berry Gordy's new label, the jazz-oriented Workshop subsidiary. They completed a debut LP but Gordy scrapped it and switched their style back to R&B, placing them on Motown with the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team. The moved proved fortuitous as the Four Tops garnered their first hit in 1964 with "Baby I Need Your Loving." Early 1965 brought the follow-up ballad hit "Ask the Lonely," and from then on there was no stopping them. "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" went all the way to number one that spring, and the follow-up "It's the Same Old Song" reached the Top Five. The hits continued into 1966, with "Something About You" "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)," and "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" all coming in succession. The fall of 1966 brought the group's masterpiece in the form of the virtual soul symphony "Reach Out, I'll Be There"; it became their second number one pop hit, and one of Motown's finest singles ever. During this period, the Tops also earned a reputation as one of Motown's best live acts, having previously honed their performances for years before hitting the big time. The Tops also recorded with the post-Diana Ross Supremes, scoring a duet hit with a cover of "River Deep-Mountain High" in 1971.

After a decade away from the label (and several hits including "Ainít No Woman Like the One Iíve Got," and "When She Was My Girl") The Four Tops rejoined Motown in 1983, the year of the company's 25th anniversary, and toured extensively with the Temptations. In 1988, on Arista, they scored a Top 40 hit, the aptly titled "Indestructible." The Four Tops were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and continued to tour. Original member Lawrence Payton died in 1997 and in 1999 Theo Peoples and Ronnie McNeir joined the two remaining founding members, Obie Benson and Duke Fakir to continue the legacy that is The Four Tops.

Tickets for THE FOUR TOPS are $42, $34, $21. FAMILY FRIENDLY! All children, 12 and under, half price! Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason Universityís College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.