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#1: Italian Doo Wop Groups Author: Biff83Location: Florida PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:17 pm
For me, the period from 1955 to 1964 is the Golden Decade of Rock and Roll and the best music from that period is doo wop. Here are a few doo wop hits from that decade which featured Italian American groups and/or lead singers. Hopefully, these will bring back some memories for a few folks out there old enough--er, I mean, mature enough to remember them.

Edited to update links 03/16/10

There's a Moon Out Tonight by the Capris
"The group originated in Ozone Park, Queens in 1957 when they were teenagers.[1] The original members were Nick Santamaria (aka Nick Santo, lead), Mike Mincelli (first tenor), Frank Reina (second tenor), Vinnie Narcardo (baritone), and John Cassese (bass). They were all around 15 years of age at the time and still in school. Vinnie, Mike, and John all went to John Adams High School, while Nick was a student at Woodrow Wilson and Frank attended Franklin K. Lane. Mike Mincelli, started the group and recruited the members. In the spring/summer of 1958 the final member was recruited and really got things together. They originally called themselves "the Supremes" but soon changed to "The Capris". It is often thought their name came from the island of Capri, since the boys were all Italian, but Nick confirmed in a 1993 interview with Greg Milewski, that they named themselves after the 1950's Lincoln Capri."--wiki

Hushabye by the Mystics
"The Mystics are a singing group which began in Brooklyn, New York, USA in the late 1950s. The group was known as The Overons, a quintet that, when signed to Laurie Records, consisted of Phil Cracolici (b. 1937, lead), Albee Cracolici (b. 1936, baritone), George Galfo (b. 1939, second tenor), Bob Ferrante (b. 1936, first tenor), and Al Contrera (b. 1940, bass). Under the direction of their manager, Jim Gribble, The Overons became The Mystics when each group member wrote a name they liked on a slip of paper, placed the papers in a hat and Al Contrera's choice was drawn."--wiki

You Belong to Me by the Duprees
"The group was founded in the early 1960s in Jersey City, New Jersey by William L. Dickinson High School students Michael Arnone, Joe Santollo, John Salvato, Tom Bialoglow, and lead singer Joey Canzano (later known as Joey Vann). George Paxton, a former big band leader was impressed by the group's style and signed them to his Coed Records label. Their first single "You Belong to Me" had previously been a hit for Jo Stafford in 1952. The Duprees' version was given a big band backing by Paxton and reached the US top ten in 1962."--wiki

I Wonder Why by Dion and the Belmonts
"Dion and the Belmonts were a leading American vocal group of the late 1950s. The group formed when Dion DiMucci joined The Belmonts - Carlo Mastrangelo, Freddie Milano, and Angelo D'Aleo - in late 1957."--wiki

Not doo wop but a great instrumental from 1959. A Ladies' Choice.
Sleep Walk by Santo and Johnny
'Santo & Johnny were an Italian-American rock and roll duo from Brooklyn comprised of brothers Santo Farina and Johnny Farina. They are best known for their instrumental "Sleep Walk" which became a regional hit and eventually reached #1 on the pop charts when it was released nationally."--wiki

Little Star by the Elegants
"This New York doo wop group earned notoriety for their masterpiece "Little Star" in 1958, which topped both R&B and pop charts. They were a White ensemble led by Vito Picone, With Arthur Venosa, Frank Tardogno, Carmen Romano, And James Mochella. All had been in other groups before uniting as The Elgins. They continued recording for Hull, United Artists, Limelight, Photo, IPG, and Laurie through the '50s, '60s and into the '70s, but never had another hit, despite cutting a number of solid ballads. There were two other editions in the mid-'60s, Vito Piccone with the Elegants and Vito & The Elegants."--Ron Wynn, All-Music Guide

16 Candles by the Crests featuring lead singer Johnny Mastrangelo aka Johnny Maestro
"One of the most successful integrated doo-wop groups, The Crests waxed the classic ballad "16 Candles" in 1959. Formed in 1956, they began recording the next year for Joyce, where they inched onto the pop lists with "Sweetest One." Moving to the brand-new Coed logo, Johnny Maestro's (b. May 7, 1940) warm tenor made "16 Candles" a national smash, and pop/R&B hybrids like "The Angels Listened In" and "Step by Step" also did well. Maestro went solo in 1960, scoring the next year with "Model Girl" on Coed, while The Crests attempted to survive on their own. Maestro eventually reclaimed stardom as leader of Brooklyn Bridge, an 11-piece aggregation that hit with "Worst That Could Happen" in 1968."--Bill Dahl, All-Music Guide

Denise by Randy and the Rainbows
"Randy & the Rainbows formed in the Queens section of New York City in 1962. The group included two pairs of siblings, brothers Sal Zero and Mike Zero and brothers Frank Safuto and Dominick "Randy" Safuto. Ken Arcipowski rounded out the quintet. The group evolved from the Dialtones, which in 1959 included the Safutos, Rosalie Calindo, and Eddie Scalla, the Safutos' cousin. After recording during the early '60s for Goldisc, the Safutos hooked up with Arcipowski and the Zeros in 1962 to become Randy & the Rainbows. Backed by the production team that also handled the Tokens, the group put out "Denise" in 1963."

Unchained Melody by Vito and the Salutations with lead singer Vito Balsamo
"Vito & the Salutations is a New York doo wop group from the 1960s, whose first popular recording, "Gloria," was a regional hit. Vito & the Salutations scored a success in 1963 with an up-tempo version of the song "Unchained Melody," which reached number 60 on the Cash Box hit parade and made the top ten in many cities."--wiki

Once In a While by Lenny Cocco and the Chimes
Lenny Cocco - lead
Pat DePrisco - first tenor
Richard Mercado - second tenor
Joseph Croce - baritone
Pat McGuire - bass


Last edited by Biff83 on Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:51 pm; edited 5 times in total

#2: Re: Italian Doo Wop Groups Author: tjbrnLocation: North Carolina PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:33 pm
There was another group, The Gaylords, to whom I listened on radio stations out of Philadelphia, PA. They had a few hits, which generally included lyrics sung in both Italian and English. I used to have 45's of some of their records, and I believe some of their records were also played on Bandstand, which I watched even before Dick Clark replaced Bob Horn as the Host/DJ of the show. Here's some info on the Gaylords:
Also don't forget Bobby Rydell whose pop version of Volare was a big hit for him. Of course, I'm old enough to have watched Perry Como on TV and Julius LaRosa on the Arthur Godfrey show!

#3: Re: Italian Doo Wop Groups Author: Biff83Location: Florida PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:50 pm
You Can Call by the Delmonicos featuring Joe Cariati on lead vocals. Superb doo wop ballad.

Until You another Delmonicos' record

"The Delmonicos were originally formed in Manhattan in 1959. In their early years they performed in clubs such as the Copacabana, Peppermint Lounge and Camelot. In 1963 they recorded a couple of 45's and enjoyed considerable local success singing in the style of the classic 1950's NYC groups."

Never Let You Go by the Five Discs featuring John Carbone on lead vocals with Charlie DiBella, Paul Albano, and Tony Basile.

Doo Wop all night long.


#4: Re: Italian Doo Wop Groups Author: TopazAngelLocation: Michigan PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 6:26 pm
Just a correction: Johnny Maestro's date of birth is May 7, 1939. The info posted just contains a typo for the date. At the age of 70, Maestro's voice is as strong and vibrant as it was over fifty years ago. Bravo Maestro!

Topaz, one of Johnny's Angels at JohnnyMaestroFans on Yahoo

#5: Re: Italian Doo Wop Groups Author: Biff83Location: Florida PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:10 pm
Morse Code of Love by the Capris

Again by the Mystics

Donna The Prima Donna, Italian version by Dion

Baby, It's You by Gianni Jalenti

I Will Follow Him, Italian version by Petula Clark


#6: Re: Italian Doo Wop Groups Author: choprjohnLocation: Florida PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:58 pm
Soooo many memories. I listened to this music as a kid...It was new then...NOT Thanx Biff....P.S. Check out The Demensions version of Over The Rainbow, while not strictly an Italian doo wop group, their lead singer Johnnie Dell is & has a geat voice. This is one of my all time favorite doo wop songs, the last 3 or 4 notes at the end are killer...Johnnie

#7: Re: Italian Doo Wop Groups Author: Biff83Location: Florida PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:58 pm
Thanks, Johnnie

Looks like this was another Italian Doo Wop group. The Dell family's real name was Del Giudice. Great stuff.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by the Demensions

A Tear Fell by the Demensions lead by Marisa Martelli


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