The letter sweaters may only make a brief appearance at each Lettermen performance, but The Lettermen harmony is non-stop. From their first hit in 1961 – – “The Way You Look Tonight” – – through current hits of today, the sound is undeniably Lettermen. 18 Gold Albums worldwide and scores of top singles attest to a popularity that has endured through several generations.
With over 10,000 sold out shows to their credit, The Lettermen are constantly sending valentines to their audiences with each note of every love song. Versatility of group members and personal tastes let each display a variety of musical styles – – adapting through years to include whatever the current trend may be.
International audiences attest to the universal appeal of The Lettermen. Successful tours abroad have included visits to Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia. The music of these true entertainers transcends all language barriers as it romances the soul, and warms the hearts of millions.
Whether singing acapella or backed by an entire symphony orchestra, the Lettermen theme still remains the love song. Lending that well-known harmony to every arrangement, they have proven love ballads have an appeal that knows no boundaries and will continue to stand the test of time for many years to come…
The beautiful voices of the singing trio, The Lettermen, first hit the music charts in 1961 with “The Way You Look Tonight”. Their voices blended as oneand after following that first hit with another chart topper, “When I Fall In Love”, they were voted best vocal group of that year. The original singers: Tony Butala, Jim Pike, and Bob Engemann continued to stay on top with beautiful harmony and love songs, while becoming one of the top college concert attractions of the 1960’s. They brought words to the Percy Faith hit: “Theme From A Summer Place”, revived the classic Charlie Chaplin song: “Smile”, warmed us with “Our Winter Love”, they begged “Come Back Silly Girl”, made everyone’s “Graduation Day” memorable, and came out, in 1966, with one of the most love Holiday albums ever recorded: “For Christmas This Year”. Late 1967 brought about a “Live” album, and perhaps the group’s most loved and requested hit: “Goin’ Out Of My Head / Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”.
In 1967, Engemann left the group and was replaced by Jim’s younger brother, Gary Pike and the magic continued with hits like: “Up, Up and Away” – “Hurt So Bad” – “Shangri-La” – “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” and the John Lennon penned “Love”. In 1973, when Jim left the group, the youngest Pike brother Donny took over, and more magic was made. With hits like: “Cherish / Precious And Few” – “World Without Love” – “If You Feel The Way I Do” – “Feelings” – “What I Did For Love” and Donny’s own “Thank You Girl”, the group proved once again and again that they could continue to be a force in the recording industry.
Through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, and now into the year 2008, THE LETTERMEN continued to release albums and travel the world, performing hundreds of concerts each year. Members who have contributed their wonderful vocal talents to THE LETTERMEN sound include: Don Campeau, Ralph “Chad” Nichols, Ernie Pontiere, Bobby Poynton, and Darren Dowler, among others. Their beautiful harmony is timeless.
The current Lettermen consist of Tony Butala (The group’s founding original member), Donovan Tea (an accomplished singer and songwriter who joined the group in 1984), and Bobby Poynton (who first joined the Lettermen in 1989 and recently returned to the group). Their recording career continues going strong with their latest albums: “Best Of Broadway”, and “Live in the Philippines”. Other releases include “All I Ask Of You” – “Everything I Do (I Do For You)” – “Unchained Melody” – “Wind Beneath My Wings” – “My Heart Will Go On” (from Titanic), and some of Donovan Tea’s own songs, “One More Summer Night” – “When I Look At Children”, and “She’s A Woman.”