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The Flipsydz of rock
The Flipsydz of rock

LAKE LUZERNE - The Flipsydz don't care what people say. They are keeping rock 'n' roll here to stay.

And the four members of this '50s quartet group brought back classic street corner doo-wop Sunday afternoon at Papa's Ice Cream Parlor in Lake Luzerne.

"I formed the group. I was the founder," said Stan Simkins, 64, of Niskayuna.

Simkins said he grew up on the streets of Philadelphia singing in a rock 'n' roll group called Mike and the Angels.

"I used to have a group and we used to get up and sing at dance halls. I was literally 14. That was in 1958, by the way," he said. "As a kid I was into the whole thing. I was a typical doo-wop guy."

But his eyes really twinkled when recalling a particular performance.

"On April 15, 2006, I personally appeared for the opening act for the Comets at the Rampart Casino in Las Vegas."

The Comets, formerly Bill Haley & The Comets, gave the world "Shake Rattle and Roll," and "Rock Around the Clock" in the '50s.

"I saw them live when I was 13 years old," he said.

The vocal pitches of each member range from Tom Torebka singing a low bass to John Ferreri and Pete Aviles in a baritone key and Stan Simkins, a comfortable tenor who keys in and above a soprano falsetto. Each fluidly harmonizes with the others.

"I'm the guy who does all the shrills," he said. "Realistically, I can authentically go from a high tenor falsetto and usually get down to a baritone level."

But besides belting out '50s classics like, "Tears on my Pillow," by Little Anthony & The Imperials and Elvis Presley's "Don't be Cruel," members of The Flipsydz have unlikely day jobs.

Torebka, 38, of Glens Falls, is an Internet technology assistant with Glens Falls National Bank, while Aviles, 58, of Rotterdam, is a union president for the American Federation of Government Employees. Ferreri, 63, of Niskayuna, is also an IT assistant for a bank, and Simkins is a certified public accountant and management consultant.

The group has been touring around the area for two years, but they aren't trying to hit it big, Simkins said.

"We're not expecting to give up our day jobs, but it's more than a hobby," he said.

Although Simkins said he's known these songs for decades, not every member of the group has.

"We had to teach some of the other members. It's not hard to teach, doo-wop," Simkins said, "it's just hard for some people to learn."

The hard part of singing these a capella classics is that most of the lines are rhythms. Like "chang chang ah chang-itty chang shoo bop," from "Grease's," "You're the One That I Want."

"We do it for the love of it, but we're not going to make a living off if it," Simkins said.

So if you like to bop and stroll, The Flipsydz will be performing Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. in front of Scoville Jewelers in Glens Falls for the Glens Falls Classic Car Show and also on Saturday at the Saratoga Hilton and City Center from 5 to 6 p.m. for the GTO National and International Car Rally.

More information about The Flipsydz and upcoming performances is available online at www.theflipsydz.com.

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