Sixties hit recording artists return to The Mendel Center

Sixties hit recording artists return to The Mendel Center on Mar. 31

Tickets on sale now


If you long for the days when you could understand all the words to every song on the radio, head to The Mendel Center on Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 pm for a concert featuring one of the biggest American hit-makers of the 1960s, Jay and the Americans.


With a staggering 18 charted hits and five Top 10 records, few bands ever reached the heights of Jay and the Americans. The group has been experiencing resurgence in their popularity over the last several years after re-forming with three original members and returning to stages all over the country. 


The group’s career began in 1962 with the hit record “She Cried.”  “Only in America” followed in 1963 and the hits just kept on coming. Jay and the Americans was one of the few American bands to have successful chart records after the arrival of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Their career extended all the way into the 1970s with hits like "Cara Mia," "Some Enchanted Evening," "Let's Lock the Door," "Walkin' in the Rain," and “This Magic Moment.”  One of their biggest hits, “Come a Little Bit Closer,” was just recently in the blockbuster movie Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  While the movie has brought the group newfound fame with a significantly younger legion of fans, their show is still all about memories.


Tips of the hat to fellow artists like Roy Orbison and the Coasters pepper the set list, rounding out an evening dominated by the Americans’ own hits. In 2002, Jay and the Americans were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and they are slated for induction into the East Coast Music Hall of Fame this June, placing them among the greatest vocal groups in Rock and Roll history. 


Joining the Americans will be The Cyrkle, who have reunited for the first time in 50 years with original members Don Dannemann and Mike Losekamp, as well as a few new members, to recreate their million-seller “Red Rubber Ball” (co-written by Paul Simon of Simon & Garfunkel), and “Turn Down Day.” Named The Cyrkle by John Lennon, they went on to tour with The Beatles for 18 stadium concerts including Shea Stadium and Candlestick Park.


Rounding out the bill will be Chris Ruggiero, who is well-known to fans of ‘60s music from his appearance on PBS television’s My Music series. Ruggiero recently completed an album with Charlie Calello, who was responsible for arranging all of the hits for Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons and who previously worked with Barry Manilow, Paul Anka, Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand.


This one-night-only rock and roll reunion promises to be a sing along with songs that poured out of every radio in America during the greatest era of rock and roll ever - the sixties!


Tickets for Stars of the Sixties are on sale at, and through The Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-8700, option 1, from 10 am to 6 pm. The box office is located in the Grand Upton Hall lobby of The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI. Tickets start at $35. Discounts are available for seniors, students and children, veterans, and groups of 10 or more.


About The Mendel Center

The Mendel Center raised the curtain on its first Mainstage season performance in the fall of 1992. Since that time, it has presented Mainstage season performances to more than half a million patrons in the 1,559-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre. Newly renovated Grand Upton Hall, first opened in 1979, is a 14,400-square-foot venue serving the community as the host site for meetings, banquets, trade shows, weddings, and other celebrations. The 234-seat Hanson Theatre is home to the Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Departments as well as a variety of Mendel Center and community events.


The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.


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Mendel Center 2021-2022 Season Sponsors

Stage Side Sponsors: Honor Credit Union, Huntington Bank, JVIS USA, Kruggel Lawton CPAs, Meijer, Silver Beach Pizza, Silver Harbor Brewing Company, Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council, Sturgis Bank, TPC Technologies, Wales Wealth Management Group, Whirlpool Corporation


Platinum Sponsors:Adent’s Landscape Supplies, Inc., Berrien Community Foundation, Brookview Montessori School, Hungerford Nichols, CPAs + Advisors, Imperial Furniture, Insurance Management Services, Pier 33, United Federal Credit Union


Media Partners: 98.3 The Coast, News/Talk 94.9 WSJM, Sunny 101.5, SuperHits 103.7, MailMax, and The Herald Palladium,


Preferred Partner Hotels: The Inn at Harbor Shores and The Boulevard Inn & Bistro