AVON PARK — Darlene Love, who performed and recorded “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” “He’s a Rebel,” “He’s a Fine, Fine Boy,” “Wait Til My Bobby Gets Home,” and “All Alone on Christmas” which was featured in the Home Alone 2: Lost in New York film, performs on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. The Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts at South Florida State College (SFSC) in Avon Park, Fla. hosts the Grammy® Award-winning vocalist’s only holiday appearance in Florida.
Love, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by Bette Midler, has been called “the greatest vocalist of all time” by Rolling Stone Magazine. Rolling Stone also ranked “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” at the top of its list of the greatest rock and roll Christmas songs.
“Love has performed with and backed up artists such as Sam Cooke, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, and U2,” said Cindy Garren, director of Cultural Programs. “She performs a few select Christmas shows each year. And isn’t it marvelous that she agreed to come to Avon Park?”
Love began her professional career singing lead vocals with the girl group The Blossoms and contributed backing vocals behind many of the biggest hits of the 1960s including the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” Shelley Fabares’ “Johnny Angel,” Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “Monster Mash,” Frank Sinatra’s version of “That’s Life,” and the Crystals’ “Da Doo Ron Ron.” She was also part of a trio called Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, who recorded Phil Spector’s version of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” an Oscar-winning song from the 1946 Walt Disney film Song of the South, which got into the Top 10 in 1963.
In 1985, she starred on Broadway in “Leader of the Pack,” a jukebox musical based upon the song written by Ellie Greenwich. Other Broadway performances were Miss Gardner in Stephen King’s “Carrie,” Teen Angel in “Grease,” and Motormouth Maybelle in “Hairspray.” Love was also featured in the Lethal Weapon films as Trish, the wife of Roger Murtaugh. Love was also featured in the Oscar-winning documentary “Twenty Feet from Stardom” for which she won a Grammy® award.
For 29 years, Love appeared on “The David Letterman Show” performing her Christmas hit. Letterman dubbed her “Christmas Queen.” When his show went off the air in 2014, Love began performing her hit on “The View.”
Tickets for the performance are $40, $50, and $60 and are available online at sfscARTS.org, by phone at 863-784-7178, or by visiting the SFSC Box Office at 600 West College Drive in Avon Park.
The performance is sponsored by Joe and Suzanne Wright of V & W Farms and Dr. C.B. and Ranjan Patel. A pre-show dinner is available for $30 per person and includes chicken cordon bleu with savory baked potato, vegetables, and dessert. The dinner, hosted by SFSC Foundation, is served in the SFSC Board Room in Building F on the Highlands Campus, a short stroll from the venue.
SFSC Performing Arts presents over 35 performances at the 1,460 seat Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts. Upcoming performances include: Phil Dirt and The Dozers, The Melton Mustafa Quartet, Manhattan Transfer with the Diva Jazz Orchestra, A Salute to Glen Campbell with Jeff Dayton, The Brothers Four with The Limelighters, The Lviv National Philharmonic of Ukraine, Wings Celtic Dance, and Kathy Mattea. To view videos and the complete schedule, visit sfscARTS.org.