https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDBgOyEN2OU
Culture

Men Do Amazing, Unplugged Performance Of 'Stand By Me'

June 10th, 2019

To some, the viral video of a group of men performing an (almost) a capella version of “Stand By Me” in Central Park is just another feel-good performance of an American favorite.

But there’s something that keeps people coming back because, in less than two years, the clip has been viewed nearly 8 MILLION times!

It all starts off with the relatively innocuous plucking on an upright bass.

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Screencap via YouTube Source: Screencap via YouTube

The first few notes to Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” ring out and the camera pans back to a group of performers.

Now it’s clear that they’re in New York City’s famous Central Park near the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, which overlook the lake.

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Screencap via YouTube Source: Screencap via YouTube

If you know the area well, you might recognize the band.

“Cover Story” is a doo-wop group famous for performing at the fountain every day in the afternoon.

They perform such well-known hits as The Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” and “My Girl,” Elvis’ “Don’t Be Cruel,” and Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World” to the delight of regular park-goers and tourists all year round.

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Screencap via YouTube Source: Screencap via YouTube

While the band now has six members, only 5 appear in the viral video. Todd is on the bass while Rome leads the vocals on this particular song and the rest of the men sing backup.

But there are a few solos and the high notes these gentlemen can hit are really something to behold!

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Screencap via YouTube Source: Screencap via YouTube

Native New Yorkers know the band well, but as soon as the singing starts, tourists tend to gather around with their smartphones to take photographs and videos.

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Screencap via YouTube Source: Screencap via YouTube

And the park isn’t the only place Cover Story performs – you can hire them for events as well and they’re a popular band for weddings and corporate parties.

At this point, it’s safe to say they’re a NYC institution.

Cover Story is known for its doo-wop remakes – a rhythm and blues style that is easy to love.

Their vocal harmonies are well-suited to the style, which is why they have so many fans (and need no other instruments).

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Screencap via YouTube Source: Screencap via YouTube

The video for “Stand By Me” has no doubt gained so many fans because it’s not only an impressive show but the song itself is one of the most popular hits in American history.

Easily recognizable from its opening notes, it’s been covered over 400 times by different artists and in 2015 King’s original version was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, as a “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” song.

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Wikimedia Commons Source: Wikimedia Commons

The comments on the popular YouTube video range from admiration to memories of seeing the group in person while in the park.

It’s clear that if you saw these men perform and heard their amazing harmonizations, you’d remember them.

Oh, and they’ve even got some moves – or at least lead singer Rome does.

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Screencap via YouTube Source: Screencap via YouTube

Next time you’re in New York City, be sure to stop by the fountain around 2 pm – or even check out their website or Facebook page for a schedule – and catch a performance.

To see the video that almost 8 million people have raved about and hear a stunning rendition of “Stand By Me,” be sure to scroll down below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: tomoyoshi katayama 片山智義 via YouTube, Cover Story Doo-wop

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