Johnny Woodard Staff writer
September 7, 2013
LAURINBURG — The last of this summer’s Laurinburg After Five concerts was also the biggest, with more than 650 revelers turning up at the Morgan Recreation Complex Friday evening to see chart-topping vocal group “The Tams.”
“Our volunteers reported this being the biggest crowd they’ve ever seen,” said Tonia Stephenson, director of the Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce. “The Tams gave just the kind of performance we were hoping for.”
Known for their chart success in the 1960’s and 70’s, The Tams trekked from Atlanta to Laurinburg for Friday evening’s show.
“I think tonight’s success has a lot to do with the talent we’ve brought in, but also with the support we have gotten from the Tourism Development Authority,” Stephenson said.
The authority got word out about the event all across the region by way of newspaper and radio advertisements, Stephenson said.
“That was a big help toward getting people from outside of Laurinburg to come out and enjoy.”
Stephenson said that the Chamber’s family-friendly focus also seems to be paying off.
“We have gotten huge feedback because there just aren’t many things for families do together. Now parents can come out, bring their lawn chairs and eat, dance and listen while their kids play.”
Many children at the event chose to spend their evening hopping around in two inflatable bounce houses near the stage, while adults swayed to music or relaxed in lounge chairs.
Lumberton residents Alice Storms and Mary Wadrose held their hands aloft and danced as the Tams belted out a tune popular in 1962.
“That was probably the first year we saw (The Tams), back when it was their father singing” Storms said over a wailing saxophone. “I’ve seen them in concert many, many times since then.”
The pair made it to “about half” of Laurinburg After Five’s slate of summer concerts, and they can’t wait to come back next year, they said.
“We love to dance,” Wadrose said. “And when the group is fantastic, like tonight, it’s even better.”
Stephenson expressed similar enthusiasm about Laurinburg After Five.
“This year, my first with the chamber, has been just great,” Stephenson said. “And we could not have done any of this without Murphy Brown’s financial support … or the support of the county parks and recreation staff. They bent over backwards to make sure we had a great facility.”