Singers milk it at the fair

Moo Beams' performance teaches children about the importance of dairy

August 04, 2004|By Jessie Parker | Jessie Parker,SUN STAFF

Milky, Dairy, Spots and Blackie are bringing the sound of "Moo Wop" to the Carroll County 4-H/FFA Fair this week, serenading the crowd with nostalgia while promoting the benefits of dairy.

Four young men in jeans, jean jackets with a logo on the back, black gloves and cow masks make up the a cappella group the Moo Beams. About 50 people watched the performance yesterday, as the singers entertained the crowd of mostly children with attitudes reminiscent of diner-hopping young men of the 1950s.

The importance of getting the recommended three servings of dairy a day was stressed throughout the performance, as the Moo Beams professed their love of milk, cheese and yogurt. They used puns to lighten up the message for the kids in the audience, which they praised as "moo-tastic."

Standing in front of a backdrop of gold stars and shiny blue streamers, the group performed songs parents would be familiar with, albeit with alterations to the lyrics. "My Girl" became "My Cow," and "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" was "Sittin' on a Bale of Hay."

The Moo Beams have been touring the East Coast, and one of the "dairy ladies" at the county fair heard about them and proposed to invite them to the fair, said Eva Fisher, a longtime fair volunteer.

Yesterday, the crowd clapped along to the Moo Beams' rendition of "It's All Right," originally performed by the Impressions. The audience tried to keep cool in front of the fans set up in the front of the tent.

The singer known as Dairy mingled with the audience as he sang the lead part of Billy Joel's "The Longest Time," taking time out to serenade individual women and children. Spots had his solo turn when he began beatboxing between songs, speeding up the pace as onlookers clapped.

The group emphasized that "milk, cheese and yogurt can make you as strong as a bull," before ending their 30-minute performance with "Good Night Sweetheart."

Heather McKay, 8, of Columbia said she enjoyed the performance and that "the sweetheart song" was her favorite. Joshua Titus, 11, of Eldersburg preferred "It's All Right."

"He already drinks milk with every meal," Patsy Titus, 37, said of her son. Her two daughters enjoyed standing and dancing throughout the performance, she said.

Sharon Wingard, 39, of Millers brought her three children to the show -- 9-year-old Hannah, who said she drinks a lot of milk, 7-year-old Sarah and 4-year-old Abigail.

Sarah said her favorite Moo Beam was "the white and black one, Spotty."

Kerry Glendenning, 12, and her 10-year-old sister, Erika, said they liked "The Longest Time" the most. They enjoyed the performance -- even though their mother said they're both allergic to milk.

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