Northeast Times

Will ‘I See You’ in Sellersville? Or lose you to a summer love?

Lead sing­er Bob Mir­anda (left) says he nev­er ima­gined audi­ences would still be ask­ing for the sum­mer song 45 years later.

— The Hap­pen­ings scored their first big hit with ‘See You in Septem­ber.’ They per­form at the Sellers­ville Theatre on Sat­urday.

Start­Frag­ment

They met as young boys in a Pa­ter­son, N.J., high school, and from there went on to form a band and re­cord a song that gained them world­wide at­ten­tion.

“When we star­ted out around 1963 or ’64, we were ori­gin­ally known as The Four Gradu­ates,” said Bob Mir­anda, 70, lead sing­er and one of the ori­gin­al founders of the group now known as The Hap­pen­ings. Fam­ous for their No. 1 seller, See You In Septem­ber, the group is set to ap­pear at the Sellers­ville Theat­er 1894 this Sat­urday.

“We met one night at a dance and ac­tu­ally went in­to the men’s room to try to see how our voices soun­ded to­geth­er, be­cause that’s where all the sing­ers went for the echo,” Mir­anda con­tin­ued. “And ac­tu­ally, we soun­ded pretty darned good, so we de­cided to get to­geth­er, do some re­hears­ing, and see how it went.”

With­in months of get­ting to­geth­er, the group star­ted get­ting some work up in the Cat­skills. They were will­ing to per­form al­most any­where for next to noth­ing just to get ex­pos­ure.

But Mir­anda fi­nally de­cided he needed to get some kind of job in the mu­sic busi­ness, and one day, while walk­ing the streets of Man­hat­tan, found him­self in the of­fice of the singing group known as The Tokens.

“They had a pro­duc­tion com­pany and offered me a staff writ­ing po­s­i­tion for twenty-five dol­lars a week to write songs for their pub­lish­ing com­pany,” Mir­anda ex­plained. ”Even­tu­ally, they put to­geth­er a re­cord com­pany called B.T. Puppy and began look­ing for artists. So I brought in my three oth­er band mem­bers, we au­di­tioned for them, and they signed us to a re­cord con­tract.”

Be­fore put­ting out that first re­cord, the Four Gradu­ates de­cided their name was dated. Mir­anda said they thought about a whole list of names — really bad names — un­til they hit upon The Hap­pen­ings.

“It was a time when the phrase ‘what’s hap­pen­ing’ was a pop­u­lar ex­pres­sion, and so we thought that might make a pretty nice name for us,” Mir­anda said.

And so it was, and so was their second re­cord­ing ses­sion in April 1966, just in time for the sum­mer months.

“The re­cord com­pany de­cided if we could re­lease See You In Septem­ber in time, they would go with it,” Mir­anda said. “We made the dead­line and after its re­lease, it just kept go­ing up the charts, all the way to num­ber one. It was amaz­ing.”

Al­though he nev­er ima­gined the kind of suc­cess that would come his way, Mir­anda said he knew with the re­cord­ing of See You In Septem­ber that the group had a hit on their hands.

“After I heard it, I pretty much knew the song was go­ing to be a hit, al­though I nev­er ima­gined that forty-five years later, audi­ences would still be play­ing it and ask­ing for it wherever we per­form,” Mir­anda said.

See You In Septem­ber was fol­lowed by oth­er hits, like Go Away Little Girl, I Got Rhythm and Mammy, al­though Mir­anda ad­ded mod­estly, “there were also some bombs along the way.”

Today, Mir­anda, who still sings lead vo­cals, ex­plained that they put lots of songs in their act, in­clud­ing their most pop­u­lar, as well as med­leys from suc­cess­ful mu­sic­als and oth­er suc­cess­ful vo­cal­ists.

“We do songs from the Four Sea­sons, the Beach Boys, the Ras­cals. We also do Mo­town as well as our own mu­sic,” Mir­anda ex­plained. “We really try to mix it up as well as do­ing these. It’s really a cross sec­tion of mu­sic.”

In ad­di­tion to singing and tour­ing, Mir­anda con­tin­ues to write mu­sic. And, with any time on his hands, he looks for­ward to per­haps get­ting in­to more pro­duc­tion of oth­er people’s work — “with no plans what­so­ever to ever re­tire!” ••

For show times and tick­et in­form­a­tion, call 215-257-5808.

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