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WQED and PBS reunite some of the biggest stars of the Pop era

PITTSBURGH, PA - WQED Multimedia Pittsburgh and PBS present “Straight From the Heart: Timeless Music of the 60s and 70s,” hosted by Tony Orlando. The program event premieres nationally on PBS stations across the country in August 2004.

The concert, featuring chart-topping hits by the original superstar artists, is the latest entry in WQED’s immensely popular American Soundtrack series. The show was taped at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, PA. The singers and songs featured in this fun-filled television special are sure to have viewers humming along to some of their favorite tunes.

“WQED is proud to celebrate the diversity of America’s culture and music history through our American Soundtrack programs,” said Robert Petrilli, WQED’s senior vice-president and chief operating officer. “From the legends of Doo Wop, R&B, Folk and Rock, and now the timeless music of 60s and 70s Pop, WQED continues ‘Telling America’s Stories’ with the songs that touched our lives.”

The “Timeless” talent list reads like a miniature time capsule of some of the biggest stars of the era.

“Timeless” starts off with the original Tony Orlando and Dawn (Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson) – their first reunion after more than a decade - performing the tune that became the homecoming theme for many service men and women, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Ole Oak Tree.”

The hugely popular Fifth Dimension, acclaimed for their soaring vocal harmonies, hit the stage next with “Up - Up And Away” and “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In.” Dionne Warwick sings the Burt Bacharach classic “I'll Never Fall In Love Again” and her more recent hit “I'll Never Love This Way Again.” Singer-songwriter B.J. Thomas performs the Academy Award winning “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” along with “I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Hooked On A Feeling.” The velvety voiced Lou Rawls gets the crowd dancing with “Lady Love,” and Debby Boone sings her platinum selling hit “You Light Up My Life.”

Harmony makes a comeback when The Association performs their classic “Never My Love.” The tune was listed as the second most played song in the 20th century - with over 7 million plays - by the BMI music publishing group. Then the dynamic duo, Peaches and Herb, sing “Reunited” – a hit that became number one in the world.

Tony Orlando and Dawn return with a selection of their number one hits that are now American standards, including “Candida,” “Knock Three Times” and “Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose.”

The program concludes as Tony and Dawn are joined onstage by the entire cast for a rousing rendition of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon.”

Whether viewers were growing up or settling down during those tuneful times, “Straight From the Heart: Timeless Music of the 60s and 70s” is sure to unleash a flood of musical memories.

PBS’ American Soundtrack series is preserving American music culture from doo-wop to folk to rock and roll to rhythm and blues. Over 250 groups have either been reunited or have performed for the first time for the tapings. It is the most successful series of fundraising specials in public television history, generating more than $80 million for PBS.

American Soundtrack concert series is a production of WQED Multimedia Pittsburgh, in association with Shout! Factory.

US Airways is the official airline of the American Soundtrack concert series.

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