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Malt Shop Music On The Eurodam

News item: There’s a theme cruise on Holland America’s Eurodam next year called the Malt Shop Memories Cruise.

On our first date, which must be close to 100 years ago, we went to a malt shop…okay, it was called The Chocolate Shop…same thing. But how many of us remember malt shops? Jukeboxes and sodas and counter service and banana cream pie…

It’s probably appropriate the cruise is on a Holland America ship, for demographic reasons. Given the diminishing number of people who know what a malt shop is (or was), it’s definitely appropriate that the cruise is sooner as opposed to later.

Neil SedakaBen E. KingNot just because of the audience's age, either.

One of the scheduled performers on the Eurodam is Neil Sedaka (left). He’s 75. Plus Chubby Checker, who’s 73. Also Sonny Turner (75), one of the lead singers for one of the groups claiming to be The Platters. And Bobby Rydell (72), Little Anthony (73), Lou Christie (71), Frankie Avalon (74), Ben E. King (76, right), Darlene Love (“He’s A Rebel”), who’s old enough (76) to have Toni Braxton play her in a bio pic now in production for the Oprah Winfrey Network.

We’ve seen some of these “old-time” acts in a variety of venues (and, yes, on PBS). We enjoyed Little Anthony and The Imperials at a street show when he was a mere child of 67. Frankie Valli at 70 wowed us at a Las Vegas hotel. As recently as this week, Darlene Love was preparing for her 29th appearance on Letterman and cutting a new album to be released in time for her tour next year!

The cruise is set for November 1, 2015. It’s a 7-day trip from Fort Lauderdale (return) to Eurodamthe southern Caribbean with stops in the Bahamas, Aruba and Curacao. Details can be found at maltshopmemories.com.

For the most part, performing is like riding a bicycle for these “old folks.” They always know how. Maybe the wheels are a little slower, and the notes not quite as high, but who better to play “them” than the originals?

In another time, they would have been playing lawn bowling, not cruise ships. They’d be thrilled to shoot their age on the golf course but most of them are too busy still performing…for music lovers who remember malt shops.

Tomorrow: Some entertainers we've enjoyed on cruise ships

Today at portsandbows.com: What's happened to Caribbean cruises

Norwegian Jewel
7 nights
January 17, 2015
Houston (return): CozumelBelizeRoatan
Inside: $269
Cost per day: $38
www.ncl.com

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