Idols rule the Villages this weekend

Fri, 07/13/2007 - 10:23am
By: Emily Baldwin

The Villages Amphitheater will be hoppin’ this Friday and Saturday night as it plays host to two big summer events.

On Friday night, the fourth annual Fayette Idol will pit 50 contestants against each other in two age categories until only two stand as this year’s Fayette Idols.

The contestants will be split into two age categories (5-12 and 13+) and will kick off the night performing for one minute each before a panel of judges. After their inital performance, the judges will whittle down the contestants to five for each age group.

The final ten will perform again, this time singing their selection in its entirety.

Keith Sharp, a professional actor, will serve as the emcee for the event. He has emceed for numerous talent events, telethons and competitions such as beauty pageants.

The judges include Craig Hembree, vocal coach and piano teacher, Heather Lynn, J93.3 radio personality, Chris Snell, Fayette County librarian and vocal coach, and Kelly Butler, a vocal coach.

Performers will not only be judged by their singing ability but will be judged on four categories equally: appearance, stage presence, voice quality and star quality.

The judges will choose one winner from each age category to reign as Fayette Idol. Along with cash and other prizes, the winners will be able to perform the next night at the Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone concert as well as the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony and next year’s Old Courthouse Art Show.

Gates will open for the event at 6 p.m., and the first performance will take place at 7. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at the gate.

Chick-fil-A will be serving concessions and New Vision Community Church will be offering free snowcones.


herman hermits

Herman’s Hermits

Tickets are still available for the remaining 2007 Summer Concert Series concerts. One of this year’s American Idol guest judges, Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, will perform on Saturday night.

Noone is a multi-talented entertainer, who has been delighting audiences nearly all his life and at age 15 achieved international fame as “Herman,” lead singer of the legendary ‘60s pop band Herman’s Hermits.

Noone was born in 1947 in Manchester, England to a semi-pro musician father who was keen that his son should follow in his footsteps. So, he was sent to study singing and acting at the Manchester School of Music and Drama.

In 1963, he joined a Manchester beat group, The Heartbeats, after their vocalist failed to show for a gig. The change to Herman came after the band remarked on Noone's resemblance to the character Sherman in the TV cartoon “The Bullwinkle Show,” although he misheard the name as Herman. So the group, who by now were a popular dance hall and youth club attraction, changed their name to Herman and The Hermits, although it soon became abbreviated to Herman's Hermits.

The band was soon signed by Mickie Most, who got them a deal with EMI's Columbia label. The song, “I'm Into Something Good,” shot up the charts and spent two weeks at number one in September 1964.

In mid-1970, Noone went solo while The Hermits relocated to the U.S. where they signed to RCA and continued as a live act for several years. Noone’s latest release “On The Road” is a compilation of greatest hits recorded live around the world. It includes new material and a guest vocal appearance from daughter Natalie. Noone is currently touring the United States, Canada and Great Britain. He continues to delight fans with his vocal abilities, wit and charm.

Hit singles throughout his career include “I’m Into Something Good,” “Wonderful World,” “Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter,” and “I'm Henry The Eighth (I Am).”

Reserved and lawn seat tickets may be purchased online at or by calling Fayetteville Main Street at 770-719-4173. Advanced tickets are $30 for reserved and $25 for lawn. Cash, check, Visa, Mastercard and American Express are acceptable forms of payment.

Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone is the third of six concerts that will be showcased this summer at the Villages. The remaining concerts are Rich Little on July 21, Dionne Warwick on Aug. 11 and Lonestar on Sept. 8. Tickets are still available for all shows. In addition, several free events are offered including Family Fun Film Night featuring “Charlotte’s Web” on July 27 and God & Country Night on Sept. 9.

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