The Fine Art of Heartbreak

When music historians/collector geeks (these are my people) chat about colossal production styles of the 1960s, they always mention Phil Spector and his Wall of Sound. But Teddy Randazzo has yet to get his props — aside from being a singer and songwriter himself, he produced the classic '60s sides by Little Anthony and the Imperials, one of the few outfits to bridge the '50s doo-wop and '60s soul vocal-group styles. If Anthony and his Imperials had not released anything else but the Randazzo-penned and -produced "Hurt So Bad," they would all be guaranteed their place in the pop pantheon — Anthony's vulnerable, pleading voice testifying in the celestial court of heartbreak as drums storm like ocean waves and string sections sigh from the far end of heaven. Little Anthony knows more about the art of melodrama than Lana Turner and Usher put together.

Little Anthony and the Imperials play at 7 p.m. Sunday, December 4, at the Broward County Center for the Performing Arts' Au-Rene Theater, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $35 to $75. Call 954-462-0222.

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Mark Keresman