Joe Jesus' '50s Night returns to New Bedford for the first time in two years with an exciting announcement of the musical groups playing everything from rock and roll to Motown to rhythm and blues and every other genre that defined a decade.

They'll be playing the classic tunes of Elvis Presley, Nat "King" Cole and so many more, songs playing on the car radio while your grandparents played "Backseat Bingo," an appropriate way of saying that two people were making out in their "tank," or large car.

Just after World War II and through the 1950s, "bee's knees" was the accepted way to say something was very cool, like the list of performers for this year's event, playing from about 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. as '50s Night returns on Thursday, July 21.

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Here's a look at who will be performing:

  • Eddie and the Exciters, a one-of-a-kind cover band, is back playing the hits of the '50s and '60s.
  • The eminent Chops Turner, a SouthCoast luminary, is back by popular request.
  • The Majestics – formerly Absolute – will help you shake, rattle and roll.
  • The Showstoppers Performance Troupe features talented youth in a community-service singing group.
  • A Tribute to Motown: you'll come to a standstill with four gifted performers recreating Motown hits.
  • DJ Johnny Angel, DJ Doug Botelho and DJ Bob Bramwell will spin the golden hits of the '50s and '60s.

Next week, the Joe Jesus' '50s Night Committee will be publishing the updated map, showing the exact locations for all the headliners, plus the Cool Licks ice cream truck, Dorothy Cox serving Del's Lemonade, Whaling City Flowers, face painting, road closures, and most importantly, where the different car clubs will be displaying their beautiful antique cars.

New Bedford's '50s Night Over the Years

Joe Jesus' '50s Night was a longtime staple of New Bedford's summer schedule with 29 straight years until road construction held it off in 2018. It came back in 2019 following Joe's passing, but it missed 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It made a triumphant return in 2022 and is set to become an annual tradition once again. Take a look at '50s Night over the years.