If rock and roll is revolting and country and western makes you weep, The Southernaires offer a big band blast from the past.
The 15-piece group is kicking off the Thursday Night Live series sponsored by the Havelock Cultural Arts Committee at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.
The Southernaires have played for the last three years as part of the annual August series.
“We play the big band music of the ’40s and ’50s,” said band leader Sam Guthrie, of Morehead City. “We play the music that the big bands played back then, bands like Count Basie, Woody Herman, Jimmy Dorsey and Glenn Miller.
“It’s all dance music. It’s not rock and roll. It’s not country and western. It’s mostly love songs and ballads.”
Guthrie said the group includes five saxophones, four trumpets, three trombones, base and guitar and singer Jancie Hartwell of Wilmington.
Attendees can expect to hear favorites like “Dear Heart,” “Leap Frog,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “Sentimental Journey,” “Under My Skin,” “In the Mood” and “All of Me.”
At one point, the whole band sings the favorite “Hello Dolly.”
“We’re mostly retired musicians, but every one of them are excellent musicians,” Guthrie said. “There’s no ad lib. It’s all reading. They can read anything I put in front of them.”
The group has been together for 20 years.
“With us, you hear the melody and you feel it,” Guthrie said. “You can hear the melody and you can understand what they are saying.”
Performances will follow every Thursday in August from 7 to 9 p.m. All performances are free and open to the public.
The Aug. 14 performance features the band 4everall, an acoustic trio that plays folk as well as popular music.
On Aug. 21, singer Paul Saik, pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church in New Bern, is the scheduled performer.
The series wraps up on Aug. 28 with ballroom dance performances by John and Penny DeFino, who have won multiple awards at the USA Dance National Ballroom Championships.
For more information on Thursday Night Live or the Havelock Cultural Arts Committee, call Helen Emerson at 447-3743.