42ND ANNUAL UNCF BLACK TIE GALA RECEPTION
Featuring Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes
Sponsored by Valero
This grand affair has featured such nationally known speakers and entertainers as Randy Crawford & Joe Sample, Isaac Hayes, Maya Angelou, Susan L. Taylor, Nancy Wilson, The Four Tops, Roberta Flack, The Stylistics, and The Manhattans. This year, partygoers will enjoy the soulful sounds and smooth dance steps of Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes. College officials also will present the annual Beacon of Hope Award that is given to individuals or organizations that have shown outstanding support to the college over the years. Valero proudly sponsors this event. All proceeds benefit the United Negro College Fund and LeMoyne-Owen College
Tickets are $125 ($1,250 for a table of 10) and may be purchased online or at LeMoyne-Owen College in the Office of Institutional Advancement, 807 Walker Ave. Memphis, TN 38126.
At a time when a college degree is what a high school diploma was to previous generations—the minimum entry-level requirement for almost every well-paying career—UNCF plays a critical role in enabling more than 60,000 students each year to attend college and get the education they need and that the nation needs them to have.
Valero Energy Corporation is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio, and through its subsidiaries, is the world’s largest independent petroleum refiner and marketer. Valero supplies fuel and products that improve people’s lives with 16 refineries and 10 ethanol plants stretching from the U.S. West and Gulf coasts to Canada, United Kingdom and the Caribbean. Well-positioned pipelines and terminals allow Valero to deliver premium-quality clean fuels quickly, responsibly and efficiently. Valero’s diversified product slate supports dozens of industries, from health care and plastics to transportation, beauty products and manufacturing.
ABOUT HAROLD MELVIN'S BLUE NOTES
The group originally known as “The Charlemagnes” was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early 1950s. Members changed the name to Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes in the 1960's. They later went on to record several hits on Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia International label between 1972 and 1976. After the untimely death of its founder and lead singer, Harold Melvin in 1997, the Blue Notes regrouped and went on to perfect something that was already perfected. Their individual charismatic vocal talents and choreographic genius personifies Harold’s teachings and have marked them as “specialists” in the trade. The Blue Notes' soulful talents and years of experience are the formula that delivers intriguing and captivating performances time after time. Their showmanship and professionalism make them extraordinary. Despite group founder and original lead singer Harold Melvin's top billing, the Blue Notes' most famous member was Teddy Pendergrass, their lead singer during the successful years at the Philadelphia International label. Pendergrass joined the group as a drummer in the late 1960's. He was promoted to lead singer in 1970 after the group’s then lead singer, John Atkins, left the group. In 1975, female vocalist Sharon Paige joined Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes. They went on to release one of their most critically acclaimed albums, "Wake Up Everybody". Except for a brief absence in the early 1980's, Paige has toured with the group ever since. Harold Melvin's Blue Note today are just as evocative, alluring and soulful as ever.
About the Blue Notes:
Donnell Gillespie(better known as "Big Daddy") is a Philadelphia native who has been singing with the group since 1990. Harold Melvin took Donnell under his wing in the early 1990s, a move that has elevated "Big Daddy" to one the greatest lead singers of R&B music.
Rufus Thorne or“Fuss" as the ladies call him, also a native Philadelphian, joined the group in the 1980's. Rufus' tenor voice and unique dance style helps to keep the Blue Notes’ signaturestage presence alive.
Anthony Brooks, also known as Tony, hails from Washington D.C. He stepped into the late Harold Melvin's shoes with his smooth dance style and a buttery voice that complements the baritone vocals of Mr. Gillespie.
John Morris had been singing in his hometown of Philadelphia for many years when group members discovered him. John's voice along with his good looks completes the sound of Harold Melvin's Blue Notes.