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The Lettermen to perform with Victoria Symphony Saturday

By APRILL BRANDON
Jan. 11, 2011 at 4:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 10, 2011 at 7:11 p.m.

The Lettermen, who originally formed in 1958, will be performing with the Victoria Symphony this Saturday.

IF YOU GO: What: The Lettermen will perform with the Victoria Symphony

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Victoria College Auditorium, 2200 E. Red River St.

Tickets: $40 each and can by purchased by calling 361-576-4500 or online at www.victoriasymphony.com.

A lot has changed since Tony Butala formed The Lettermen back in 1958. The one thing that hasn't is that the group is still about much more than just singing. They're about entertaining.

"We're entertainers. Today's recording artists have big hits but they don't entertain. They come on stage and sing hit after hit. But I don't call that entertainment," Butala said. "The Lettermen are three guys on stage entertaining. It's more like a mini-Broadway show. We have banter, tell jokes, interact with the audience. There's so much bad news out there, but if for two hours, we can make the audience forget their problems, then we've done our job."

On Saturday, Butala, along with fellow Lettermen Donovan Tea and Mark Preston, will perform with the Victoria Symphony at the Victoria College Auditorium.

The group has more than 70 albums to their name and countless hit singles, such as "Theme From A Summer Place," "Goin' Out of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and "When I Fall In Love."

In addition, The Lettermen have toured with legendary icons such as George Burns, Jack Benny, Bob Hope and Bill Cosby and performed on the same bill with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. The group has also toured and performed all over the world.

"Not too many people have been as blessed I have been. I'm thankful to God everyday," Butala, who is the only original member of the group left, said. "It's been wonderful to be a part of Americana."

Although he's been singing professionally since he was 7, Butala has no intention of slowing down. Saturday's concert is just one of many The Lettermen do each year.

As for what audience members can expect from the performance, the answer is simple.

"They can expect to be entertained. The whole family can, from ages 6 to 96," Butala said. "And what they won't get is three pot-bellied, bald old guys singing old songs. We're going to be having fun, and if we're having fun, the audience will be having fun."

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