"We appreciate the love we've been given over the years. We like to give the love back."
Bobby Hendricks may have said these words hundreds of times over his nearly 56 years with the Drifters, but he sounds as sincere as if it were Day One.
He brings what is now officially called Bobby Hendricks' Drifters to the Carson Valley Inn tonight singing the songs he's performed with an endless line of other Drifters (including Ben E. King) since 1957.
The songs are etched into the American consciousness "Under the Boardwalk," "There Goes My Baby," "On Broadway," "Up on the Roof" among them. They've all been renewed in the past few years with three PBS specials on the do-wop era, aired during fundraisers.
Hendricks himself came up through the ranks, singing with a group called the Crowns that opened for the Drifters as they were beginning to peak. He played with Fats Domino and Paul Anka, "back when Anka was the only one who had a hit. He could charge $2.50 a show."
From then on, the history of the group gets extended and complicated.
At one time, several groups calling themselves the Drifters played around the country, "like the Platters and the Coasters. They would pop up and disappear. You could go to Las Vegas and find two of them playing there at the same time, but I've got a legal contract now and can use the name."
"When we play, places are usually crowded. It's not a small crowd by any means, and there are so many younger people as the older fans bring their families out.
"We also do a little comedy, and I do a tribute to the troops returning from the Middle East, reflecting on the way we treated the Vietnam vets when they came home with no parades, no anything. We cannot ever let that happen again.
"We have to get this country straight. God has been too good to us for us to be buttheads."
Hendricks performs around 35 shows a year with his Drifters and does some single appearances as well.
"I enjoy every minute of it," he says (7 p.m.; $22; 775-783-6606).
Out and about
Few ceremonies cause as much stress or consume as much time as weddings. This Saturday, however, Thunder Valley is hosting a special event that may help. The casino is joining forces with the Whitney Oaks Golf Club in Rocklin for a luxury bridal showcase.
The amenities at both properties will be featured with complimentary round-trip transportation between them. Multiple displays will be set up on food (certainly cakes), beverages, and activities (1-7 p.m.; $10; thundervalleyresort.com).
It doesn't matter that he still hosts one of the most legendary shows on television, "The Tonight Show," Jay Leno's heart remains in stand-up, and it's impossible to imagine his ever leaving it. His barbed but clean commentary will be featured Saturday at the Silver Legacy (8 p.m.; $67, $83.50; silverlegacy.com).
Mario Cantone, best known to wide audiences as Anthony Marentino on "Sex and the City," is just about as diverse a stand-up as possible, given his mix of comedy with impressions of the likes of Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland and Bruce Springsteen. He's at MontBleu Saturday (9 p.m.; $30, $40; Ticketmaster).
Angeline Quinto's show at Cache Creek on Saturday has been sold out, but it may be possible to get seats for her Sunday afternoon performance. The winner of the Philippines' "Star Power" will appear with guest Ogie Alcasid (4 p.m.; $65, $75, $89; cachecreek.com).
Boomtown, Reno Events Center: Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats, Pat Travers, Saturday. (800) 648-3790.
Cal Neva Resort Frank Sinatra Showroom: Andre Nickatina, Smoov-E, Feb. 16. (800) 233-5551.
Carson Valley Inn Valley Ballroom: Bobby Hendricks Drifters, today. Cabaret Lounge: Chili Sauce, today-Saturday; George Pickard, Sunday-Wednesday; the McBride Brothers, Thursday-Feb. 2. (775) 782-9711.
Eldorado, Reno Showroom: "Magique," Tuesdays-Sundays, through April 14. (800) 648-5966.
Harrah's Lake Tahoe South Shore Room: Foghat, Saturday; Ben Folds Five, Feb. 2. (800) 427-7247.
Harrah's Reno Sammy's Showroom: The Magic of Eli Kerr, Fridays-Saturdays, through Feb. 23. The Stage @ the Zone: Journey Revisited, today-Saturday; Dani Page Band, next Friday-Feb. 2. (800) 427-7247.
Harveys, Lake Tahoe Improv: John Caponera, David Gee, today-Sunday; Bobby Collins, Avi Liberman, Wednesday-Feb. 3. (800) 427-8397.
Horizon, Lake Tahoe Illusion Fusion starring Alex Ramon, Thursdays-Tuesdays. (775) 588-6211.
MontBleu Resort, Lake Tahoe MontBleu Theatre: Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), Feb. 8. (888) 829-7630.
Silver Legacy, Reno Grand Exposition Hall: Jay Leno, today; Styx, next Friday; Lewis Black, Feb. 8. (800) 687-8733.