The Villagers are celebrating more than 50 years of performing for Chipola students, alumni and friends throughout the South. Original Villagers – Cliff Ellis of Chipley, Allen Myers of Malone, George Boyer of Port St. Joe, Walter Dover of Quincy and Andy Murray of Chattahoochee – will perform their favorite dance tunes and beach music.
Cliff Ellis, head basketball coach at Coastal Carolina University, has fronted the Villagers ever since they recorded ‘Laugh It Off’ at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals in 1966. The song jumped in the charts after it was played on the Big Bam “Make it or Break It” radio show.
Jim Dooley of WYBT (98.1) Radio in Blountstown still plays the Villagers on his station which features hits of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Dooley will introduce the Villagers at the event. In addition to the Villagers, DJ Matt White will spin some great oldie dance tunes at Endless Summer.
Coach Cliff Ellis, who has led four teams to the NCAA Tournament including Coastal, Auburn and Clemson, said, “It’s no secret that the Villagers had a recording contract and I gave it up in 1968 for coaching. But I had a great journey playing with people like Roy Orbison and Etta James, just some tremendous people. And I learned a lot from it.”
Endless Summer is planned to reunite old Chipola friends and alumni for a relaxing evening to benefit the college’s athletic programs and to raise money for an endowment in honor of Robert Trammell, a former Chipola basketball player and former member of the Florida House of Representatives. Trammell says, “Endless Summer is always a great time, and the Villagers still sound as good as they did when they played in the old Chipola field house in 1966.” Special guest host is Sen. Bill Montford, a Chipola alumnus and Villagers fan.
Tickets are $50 per person with a social hour and barbecue dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tables of eight are available for $400. Summer casual attire is recommended.
For ticket information, call Sue Stanley at 718-2405, or visit www.chipola.edu.