Patti Labelle

It was something of a dream come true for any true New Yorker; MICKY DOLENZ playing with NILE RODGERS and his outfit CHIC. As any dance music fan knows, CHIC really ruled the musical roost in the 80s ... not only with their string of hits, including, "Everybody Dance", "Le Freak", "Good Times", and, "I Want Your Love", but, Rodger's sterling productions for SISTER SLEDGE; DAVID BOWIE; MADONNA; DIANA ROSS; GRACE JONES; DEBBIE HARRY; and, DURAN DURAN. His "He's The Greatest Dancer" was/is a personal favorite! But, last night, at his yearly WE ARE FAMILY event, they saluted PATTI LABELLE; DEEPAK CHOPRA; and, Gibson's HENRY JUSZKIEWICZ, at the Hammerstein Ballroom.Once all the business was taken care of, including a raffle presided over by Rodgers; WAFF's NANCY HUNT and SLASH ... the music got started.First off, Patti Labelle came onstage with her LABELLE-sisters SARAH DASH and NONA HENDRX. The performed "Lady Marmalade"(which was originally released in December, 1974) and announced they had officially reformed and a CD would be out later this year. Always a great song, the original was produced by New Orleans' ALLEN TOUSSAINT, this year's version was amazingly powerful ... and, Patti showed she had not lost one iota of vocal power. The other girls were good, but, Patti blew them away.At 63, she is a force of nature.
Then came MICKY DOLENZ, who performed "Last Train To Clarksville", "Pleasant Valley Sunday", and, closed with a rousing "I'm A Believer." We here at TSG are huge fans of the Monkee-man, but, last night he performed at a new peak. I don't know if it was the sterling musicianship all around him, or what ... but, he delivered like never before. Turns out Nile was a major-Monkee fan back in the day, and as he introduced Dolenz, he could hardly contain his enthusiasm. Hey boys, here's a thought: How about a Rodgers/Dolenz project? Hmmmmm ... could be very good indeed.Seen scattered about the lovely Hammerstein, were, Fox News' ROGER FRIEDMAN; GLORIA VANDRBILT; TONY BENNETT; Independent Entertainment's STUART GROSS; Tommy Boy's TOM SILVERMAN; SOPRANO-BOBBY FUNARO; PR Pasha, DAVID SALIDOR; the DAILY NEWS' GEORGE RUSH; and, SUZAN KRESSEL. A terrific evening for a very, very good cause!