Every day on the drive to school Douglas Grey’s father would tune the radio to the oldies station. Back then the younger Grey just wanted to reach over and switch to the Top 40 pop channel to catch the latest release from N’Sync or Britney Spears.
These days Grey is a singer and performer in Las Vegas and he’s learned to appreciate the songs from the ’60s that lodged themselves in his ears as a child. He said a lot of shows he sings in use older music because it still holds up and every night he finds himself transported to those early morning car rides.
“When you’re a performer or singer or musician you start to have an appreciation for the lyrics and the songwriting and the melodies and the harmony and the chord structure,” Grey said.
“So you really dive into this music and see how incredible it was even though it was 50 years ago.”
He’s currently on the road with Four by Four, a tribute to the Beatles, Beach Boys, Bee Gees and Motown, which comes to the Port Theatre on April 3. The concert’s organizers previously designed a concert around the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
“So much new music now is just produced in a computer and it’s all electronic and this really takes it back to the basics of this is what great music is, plain and simple, with live instrumentation,” he said.
Grey added that the music in Four by Four continue to be popular decades later due to the quality of the songwriting.
“A great song, no matter what genre or what time period it was written in, is still going to make sense and feel current and move people the way it did when it was first released,” he said.
“So that’s very much what all of these songs that we’re singing bring to the table. They were great when they were written and they stand the test of time.”
Although most of Grey’s audience is composed of those who grew up with the music when it was new, he said he sees children in the crowds as well and he’s often surprised to see them sing along as well.
As someone who grew up during the late-’90s boy band boom, Grey said he enjoys bringing his father’s timeless music to a new generation.
“I don’t know if in 20 or 30 years we’re still going to be jamming out to Hit Me Baby One More Time. I say that, but we might be surprised,” he said with a laugh.
“So I think it’s great any time I see somebody out there that is maybe hearing this for the first time and they might go home and do some research and fall in love with the music just like their parents did.”
WHAT’S ON … Four by Four comes to the Port Theatre on Tuesday, April 3 at 7 p.m. All seats $58.50. Available at the box office.