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Phenix City hosts Last Blast Beach Party with songs made famous by Tams, Drifters

Phenix City Amphitheater on Saturday offers all the comfort of a beach party — without the annoyance of getting sand in your shoes.

Expect a Last Blast Beach Party where you’ll hear R&B tunes made famous by The Tams and The Drifters, groups that have seen about four decades of popularity.

The performance lineup includes R.L. Smith and His Hard-Hitting Tams, as well as Bennie Anderson and The Drifters.

The acts are current incarnations of the original Tams and Drifters.

“Expect nothing but the best. We do everything to keep the people happy,” said Robert Lee Smith, the original Tams member in R.L. Smith and His Hard-Hitting Tams.

The Tams got their name from a signature wardrobe item: the Tam o’Shanter, or Tam, a Scottish-style cap.

Smith promised the musicians will don Tams on stage in Phenix City, but said the rest of their apparel is a surprise.

The Tams rose to popularity in the ’60s with hits like “Untie Me,” “What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am” and “I’ve Been Hurt.”

“Every concert is different. We do mostly Tams, but we do other songs also,” Smith said, citing possible covers of songs by acts like the Temptations, the Four Tops and the O’Jays.

Anderson, whose act includes some musicians who performed with the original Drifters, said he will entertain fans with Drifters material and musical standards on Saturday. It’s all about pleasing the audience, Anderson said. “They like to sing along,” he explained.

The Drifters are widely known for their ’60s hits, which include songs like “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Up on the Roof” and “On Broadway.”

There’s a strong sense of chemistry between the acts.

Musicians from the lineups are compatible on stage and on tour, according to Smith and Anderson.

“We just enjoy working together,” Anderson said.

Members say both groups have seen not only a loyal base of longtime fans, but also a consistent flow of new listeners.

They often perform their hits at weddings.

“You’d be surprised how many young people buy our CDs now,” Smith said.

Guests are encouraged to wear flip-flops and sunglasses to the show, which will feature a classic car cruise-in.

“Just look forward to a sensational show,” Anderson said.

Haven’t had a summer vacation? You can register at Saturday’s concert to win a trip to Panama City, courtesy of PMB Broadcasting.

Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at 706-571-8516.

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