During our Rotary Boca Raton Sunset meeting August 12, 2019 Joseph Mirrione spoke as our Featured Rotarian.  It was no surprise that Joe was able to provide great entertainment as he told us about some of his career experiences.  Still a licensed pharmacist, Joe is now very successfully enjoying his favored occupation as a producer of superb shows highlighting great performers of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  His website is Joseph Mirrione & Praia Entertainment Group.
 
Joe Mirrione grew up on Long Island, listening to the music WCBS-FM, New York’s oldies station.  He became enthralled with the music of the 50s and 60s and, at the age of 15, began a trade publication featuring interviews with artists from the early days of rock and roll.  Over a career spanning 25+ years, Joe has managed artists, been publisher and associate editor of two music publications and released Grammy Award winners’ music on his own record label.  In 2011, he turned his full attention to producing and promoting concert events. 
 
Joe shared some of his experiences with artists highlighting some of the difficulties faced by many of the great singers and singing groups that included those of dark colored skin.  During the 50s, 60s, and still in the 70s, the audiences were separated by color and performers were treated differently as well.  Joe related stories he heard from these performers about mixed color groups that had to stay in two different hotels often in different parts of town.  Many of us who enjoyed recordings or radio broadcasts didn't realize what happened back stage.  But Joe got to know many of these performers personally and hear their experiences directly.  He showed pictures with himself and some of these performers, like the Shirelles, mentioning that Shirley had recently appeared in one of his productions.
 
As Joe continued to reminisce, he reminded us how the lyrics and the music during the 60s especially focused on the protests that were changing our society, pressing us to recognize the disparity among races and monetary classes.  Although significant changes have occurred, we still struggle with the relations among races and financial status.  The point is that the music represents the heart and mind of the artists creating and performing.
 
Joe continued with an anecdote about recently enjoying some time with Dion DiMucci, when Dion was jamming and creating a song based on a comment he overheard while pumping gas: "... well that's what the doctor told me ..."  In this case we note the concern with health and aging in our local environment right here in Boca.  Joe is pictured here with Dion sharing guitar, song and feelings.
 
We thoroughly enjoyed Joe's presentation and expression of the musical period he truly loves to recall through his productions.  He is the creator and producer of the cabaret series Jazz, Bossa & Blues Live (at the Boca Raton Bridge Hotel) as well as several major concert productions including: Pop, Rock & Doo Wopp Live (which feature hit recording artists and pioneers from the first decade of rock and roll),  Stars of the Sixties (which feature hit recording artists of the mid to late 60s) and Back to ’76 (which feature soft-rock hit recording artists of the mid 70s).  These productions comprised more than 65 events presented in the 2017-2018 season, in more than 20 different markets around the country.
 
Although we couldn't get Joe to sing for us at our club meeting, he was a founding member of the a cappella group Younger Dayz, called “one of the best a cappella groups of the nineties” by Classic Urban Harmony and voted the Group of the Year in 1994 by the United in Group Harmony Association.  From 2005 to 2011, Joe recorded with and toured with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Terry Johnson & the Flamingos, performing at some of the most prestigious and legendary venues in the world.  To date, Joe’s recordings have been featured on over 20 compilations, played on radio stations around the globe and featured in TV shows.  
 
We are very fortunate to have Joe as a member of our Rotary Boca Raton Sunset club, not only for his sharing during club meetings, but for his support and participation in our club projects as well as other opportunities he has to serve the community, especially the entertaining productions of musical history.  Thank you Joe!
 
 
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