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Boy band Simply Six retires from After Dark

Oct. 5, 2000

By LARISSA STRAUB

Reporter

The group Simply Six, which has performed for the last four years at After Dark, has become a key feature of the talent show. However, it is hard for some fans to accept that Simply Six will simply leave this year, after much success at Baylor.

Simply Six is made up of just that, six members. Dumas graduate Jim Ball, Dumas senior Ryan Block, Corpus Christi senior Robbie Richards, California senior Steve Smith, Trophy Club senior Eric Thomas and San Antonio graduate Alan Utley make up the group.

Simply Six, put together by Utley, and formerly known as Under Construction and The Black Tie Affair, made their debut at After Dark in 1997. The group sang Billy Joel's hit song, For the Longest Time.

Since then, they have performed at weddings, Chapel-Forum, Welcome Week, Texas A&M University, Common Grounds, faculty events, and often, by the prompting of students, on sidewalks, at restaurants and in apartments.

The question has been raised as to whether Simply Six considers themselves a boy band.

'We are a boy band. Plus, we all sing!' Thomas said.

So being a boy band, each member plays a key role in the typical boy band formula for success. Utley is the brains of the gang, while Thomas (who wants to be the next Babyface) is the sensitive guy in the group. Richards is dubbed the big brother role; Ball is the lead man; Smith is the tough guy; and Block is the lady's man -- though he usually plays the anti-lady's man in the act.

But after singing For the Longest Time one more time at their concluding performance at After Dark, with a video tribute recapping the group's history, the group is saying goodbye to Baylor.

'They represented an era of After Dark from the late 1990s to the millennium. They were a good representation of talent at Baylor,' said Chad Peterson, coordinator of Special Performances.

'Every year their act seemed a little bit bigger and more anticipated. The video was a tribute to their contributions to the program and was well deserved.'

Their formula was simple --singing old school tunes that everyone knew and providing all the background with their own vocals. A CD is in produ

ction for Simply Six. For some fans however, the CD will not be able to replace the real thing.

'I've seen Simply Six all over the place since my freshman year and seeing them go is like saying goodbye to part of my Baylor experience,' said Kristen Saunders, a senior from Cleburne.