PBS (Sat., Aug. 23, 10 p.m. ET)
But here’s something sadder still, sad enough to make me want to cry and retire. Fabian-leading a grand parade of fellow ’50s and ’60s songsters onto a stage in Louisiana—sings Tiger and invites some real folks up to dance the twist. Isn’t that sweet, I think—as if these are middle-agers trying to relive their youth. Then I realize that these old folks aren’t very much older than I am. I panic and pluck out all my gray hairs (premature though they may be). Fabian tells the younger folks in his audience—children of the ’70s and ’80s—that “this is going to be a helluva history lesson for you.” How depressing for us Baby Boomers: We’re history. If you’re old enough to remember Fabian and the twist, this special is bound to give you a severe chronological crisis. But if you can live through that, you’ll be in for one great gas from the past with Chubby (Pony Time, Let’s Twist Again) Checker, who’s still chubby; Little (Tears on My Pillow, Hurts So Bad) Anthony, who still sings sweetly; the Coasters (Poison Ivy, Charlie Brown, Yakety Yak), who are still a kick, and Lesley (It’s My Party) Gore, who doesn’t quite get her act together until she sings a duet with Lou (Lightnin’ Strikes) Christie. Lou’s the one who understands what nostalgia is all about. He comes out grinning at his audience and says: “You thought I was going to be 300 pounds and bald, huh?” Yeah, his hairline is receding. But he still sounds great.