LEWISTON — Six well-known lead vocalists for popular bands over the past several decades will fill the Franco-American Heritage Center concert hall with memories on Saturday, Feb. 26, when they perform as “The Girls of L/A.”

The performance will bring Bette Sanborne, Bonnie Edwards, Debbie Morin, Jeannie Martin, Kathy Haley and Laurie Sidelinger together on the same stage. This marks the first time they have joined forces to bring their music back for a concert.

These singers have been an important part of Lewiston-Auburn’s vibrant music scene through the years. Their influence goes back to the 1960s, when young people of the Twin Cities crowded Lewiston City Hall for PAL Hop weekend dances.

Haley came up with the idea, and she said her five friends immediately agreed to participate in the event.

“This is going to be a fantastic night of music,” Haley said. “We have all been saying, ‘Why haven’t we done this before?’”

The women recently shared memories of career highlights and spoke of their love for the music they continue to perform.

Sidelinger recalls a long association with the band Horizon, which she joined in 1979. Her local popularity led to an audition for the “Star Search” television show. She gets frequent requests to sing the national anthem at area events and is working with local producer/performer Louis Philippe on a show later this spring.

One of her “dreams come true,” Sidelinger said, was an opportunity to sit on the piano bench with singer/songwriter/recording artist Jim Brinkman and sing his song “Valentine” to his accompaniment.

In Friday’s show, Sidelinger’s songs will include “I Have Nothing,” popularized by Whitney Houston.

For Sanborne, every show offers a chance to touch people’s emotions. “I wish I could bottle up these emotions and just pass it around,” she said.

Sanborne is known for doing impressions of vocal stars, including Cher and Tina Turner, in big production numbers at the Ramada Conference Center. Bands in which she has been featured are Good & Plenty, 7th Heaven, The Movies and Cameleon. She will sing “Get Here” at the FAHC show, as well as a Donna Summer song titled “This Is My Life.”

Martin was the female vocalist fronting The Travelers, the youngest group to play at the PAL Hops in the 1960s. Her signature songs, a part of the upcoming show, include Jefferson Airplane‘s “Somebody To Love” and “The Shoop Shoop Song.”

Martin was the thirst female singer to try out for Nashville’s “You Can Be a Star” TV show in 1988.

Edwards, of the popular band The Practical Cats, will perform her signature song, “Mellow Saxophone.” She was also with the band Shaman and has performed at New York’s Apollo Theater and the House of Blues in Cambridge, Mass., as well as throughout Europe, Canada and the United States.

Morin fronted the band Cheyenne, a top county music band that played throughout New England and opened numerous shows for top stars.

“We all have our fan base through the years and it’s wonderful that this show is also going to bring all of those fans together for this night,” said Morin, who will perform her popular rendition of “Last Dance,” by Donna Summer.

Morin and Haley were with Good & Plenty at the same time. Haley is known for many local appearances at weddings as well as performances of standards with big bands and concerts with pianist Phil House.

After the 7:30 p.m. concert, there will be a party in the lower hall, with a cash bar and an opportunity to dance to recorded music provided by Nick Knowlton.

For tickets, $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, call 689-2000. The Franco-American Heritage Center is at 46 Cedar St.


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