Through more than four decades, 11 hit singles, 15 albums and 6 CDs, The Fleetwoods' Founder, Female Lead Vocalist, Arranger and BMI Million Airs Songwriter, Gretchen Christopher has remained the one constant performer of the trio. Following the success of her solo concerts, in 1982 the group contracted Gretchen to reorganize The Fleetwoods and serve as Manager with "the sole authority to bind the Original and Replacement Fleetwoods by contract for any performance commitment as manager deems appropriate to carry out the business of THE FLEETWOODS."
She expanded the typical Oldies Concert repertoire (top three Hits) to a 20-song show, fully choreographed,fast-paced, complete with dialogue and costume changes. Noted as a "class act,"that quality has been maintained nationally and internationally; from the Hollywood Bowl to Madison Square Garden; from Canada's biggest supper club (drawing 4,000 - double the legal capacity - despite Michael Jackson's opening his Victory Tour just 60 miles away) to the World's Fair in British Columbia: from the Marina del Rey Music Festival to Vegas in the '90s
Of the Originals, Barbara Ellis retired in 1974, Gary Troxel gave his written resignation in 1983 and only Gretchen Christopher is authorized to carry on the name "The Fleetwoods" per their legal Agreement.
She has trained Replacements on both coasts (including one who truly has Fleetwood blood in her veins: Christopher's "cute cousin Karen Cone from Connecticut," >>-->
as first introduced at the World's Fair, Expo 86, and of whom Barbara Ellis says approvingly, "She sounds just like me!").
In Seattle, delighting the NAMA Awards audience by wearing the same gown she'd worn 29 years earlier (on network television when Dick Clark presented the teenagers with their first two Gold Records), dancer-trim, blonde and blue-eyed Gretchen, in 1988, accepted another Gold Record for the trio as
The Fleetwoods were inducted into the Northwest Music HALL OF FAME.
Today, along with a costume from the trio's first tour, The Fleetwoods' multi-million seller Gold Records(now equivalent to multi-Platinum) are prominently exhibited (at the Seattle Center) in the Northwest Passage at the EXPERIENCE MUSIC PROJECT (EMP). For the EMP's grand opening, June of 2000, Gretchen performed "Come Softly To Me" a cappella with audience participation causing an upsurge of engagements for The Fleetwoods' timeless hits and Gretchen's new songs.
Booked together and separately, Gretchen Christopher and The Fleetwoods carry on the name and music, interspersing The Fleetwoods appearances with solo concerts.
To benefit survivors of the September 11, 2001, terrorists attacks on America,
Gretchen dedicated one of her solo concerts to an evening of fundraising. October 13th, (chosen in memory of the birth date, life, love and loss of her niece, Dawn Christopher, 1964 - 2001), Gretchen temporarily transported the audience beyond the tragedies, with grace, spontaneity, gentle humor, and two hours of her new music and Fleetwoods hits, contributing (through the Salvation Army and American Red Cross) all proceeds of her work, "Come Softly To Me" For Peace on Earth.
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