Maui Arts & Entertainment

“Timeless” Stylistics sing Saturday

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The Stylistics. PC: Courtesy Maui Arts & Cultural Center

Airrion Love said he was amazed when he and other members of The Stylistics walked on stage in Johannesburg, South Africa and saw some 40,000 people in the stadium at night — thousands who knew their songs and sang along as they waved lit candles and lighters.

“That was mind blowing,” Love said. “They knew all the songs.”

As members of The Stylistics continue their journey to perform a concert on Maui Saturday, Sept. 3, Love is looking forward to stirring similar emotions as they sing their memorable top 10 Billboard hits, including “You Make Me Feel Brand New” and “You Are Everything,” “I’m Stone in Love with You,” and “Bet You By Golly Wow.” The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Castle Theatre at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

The Stylistics have seven gold albums and four platinum singles.

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“A radio interviewer said our music is timeless,” Love said. “I feel lucky to have great songs…blessed to have an audience still interested in our music.”

Love’s life has been an amazing blessing as well. Although he wanted to be a singer at an early age, he had settled down to working from 4 p.m. to midnight shift in the computer section of a bank, when their first recorded studio song “You’re A Big Girl Now” became a hit in their hometown of Philadelphia and several other cities.

The song had been written by guitarist Robert “Doc” Douglas and road manager Marty Bryant and produced by Bill Perry, a local record company executive.

The new record company Avco hired hit producer Thom Bell who went on to produce The Stylistics first three albums and brought in songwriter Linda Creed who helped to write more than several songs for the group.

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By the early 1970s, Love had earned enough money to buy a four-bedroom, three-bath house for his family, including his mother and two sisters, in a suburb on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

His mother was his guest to a special dinner, when members of The Stylistics were honored with a brass plaque embedded in the Philly Walk of Fame.

“She was proud of me,” he said. “We were all happy.”

The Stylistics is also a part of the permanent exhibit in the music section at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

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Love and Herb Murrell, part of the original group, will be joined by Jason Sharp and “Bo” Henderson and their band.

For more information including tickets, go to mauiarts.org. The MACC Box Office is not open for window transactions but is open on the night of show for will-call pick up. Online orders utilize print-at-home ticketing to facilitate touchless transactions. Tickets may also be downloaded to electronic devices for scanning upon entry into the venue. The Box Office is available for inquiries by email or phone 808-242-7469 Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Information about The Stylistics can also be viewed at thestylistics.org.

Gary Kubota
Gary Kubota, an associate writer with MauiNow.com, has worked as a staff news writer with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and The Maui News. He lives on Maui. He’s also been an editor/business manager with the Lahaina News. He’s received national and regional journalism awards — a National Press Club Citation of Merit and Walter Cronkite Best In The West, among them.
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