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Live Music Week happens bi-annually at WERS to raise money to keep our station running. We ask if you can pledge your support in order to keep us live on air, bringing you live performances from your favorite musicians. Pledges can be made here.
Tuft’s Beelzebubs are not any ordinary a cappella group. The “Bubs,” as they are sometimes called, have toured the world, been featured on Glee, and have been an institution since 1962. By the 1970s, The Bubs had been doing around eighty-shows a year around the world. They have performed for numerous presidents, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, performed on the David Letterman show, and even performed at Fenway for the Major-League Baseball All-Star game. They’ve also been credited for numerous a cappella innovations including a new style of arranging popular music and vocal percussion in their 1991 album Foster St. They were also featured on NBC’s The Sing-Off, eventually appearing in the show’s finale and taking second place amongst competition from all over the world.
Their aforementioned appearance on Glee saw them provide arrangements and backing vocals for numerous songs throughout the second season, including songs by Maroon 5, Robin Thicke, and Destiny’s Child. Their cover of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” sold over two-hundred thousand copies in its first week, reaching number eight on the Billboard charts and setting a record for the fastest sold single in Glee history. Many of the songs they did have appeared on various Glee compilation CDs, many of which hit high positions on the Billboard charts.
While also appearing on My Sweet 16, 2009 saw The Bubs release their twenty-sixth studio album, Play The Game. The many albums they have released have won numerous awards from various a cappella related publications.
As if that wasn’t enough, The Bubs also have a fundraiser called the Bubs Foundation that was formed in order to “awaken in young people a passion for expression and learning through music.” Since their inception in 1991, they have raised around sixty-thousand dollars for numerous music programs around Boston.
2013 is The Bubs’ fiftieth anniversary so it was fantastic to have them stop in the WERS studios to perform two songs for us. At the moment, the group is made up of John Kwon, Michael Grant, Ethan Wise, Jason Williams, Tom Lavin, Vinny Amaru, Adam Gotbaum, Carl Haber, Jordan Abosch, Justin Sullivan, and Tim Balton.
They started off their set with an acapella version of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Keep The Customer Satisfied.” The jaunty tune perfectly matched The Bubs’ attitude: buoyant and jolly. The various members bounced around while still maintaining a perfect pitch. Its hard to pin-point exactly who is doing what as the group create such a cohesive and organized sound; they really act more like a single entity than a group of individual members. The second song they performed was “Is This Love,” originally by Bob Marley though the group based their cover off of Corrine Bailey Rae’s version.
The Bubs’ next performance is set to take place at the New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall on November 2nd at 7 PM. The group are sure to impress, so be sure to make your way down to the show! If you can’t, at least check out their various Youtube videos that sees them cover various musicians from Phil Collins to The Beatles to Florence and the Machine.