In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Dion & The Belmonts (named for a neighborhood street - Belmont Avenue), one of the defining vocal groups of the late 1950's, members were Dion DiMucci - lead, Fred Milano and Angelo D'Aleo on tenor, and Carlo Mastroangelo on bass. At first Dion and The Belmonts were separate entities although they both recorded for the small independent Mohawk label - Dion with "The Chosen Few" and "Out In Colorado" and The Belmonts with "Teenage Clementine" and "Santa Margarita" none of which were hits. They then signed with Laurie Records and now together recorded "I Wonder Why" which became a big hit. They had several other hits such as "When You Wish Upon A Star" and "Where Or When" but in 19601 they parted ways with Dion DiMucci going on to successful solo career.
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Review: The Belmonts, Daniel Elliott, Fred Milano, Warren Gradus and Angelo D'Aleo, are a Doo-Wop group that goes way backŠas we can tell from the Sonny Bono outfits they're sporting on the cover. An unusual mix hereŠ'Annual Animal Christmas Ball' will delight the younger set, a folky, inspirational 'Miracle on the Hill,' and a lilting 'The Child Divine.' 'Our First Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.' is pure streetcorner doo-wop. Then we have the rousing minor-keyed Hanukkah carol, 'The 8 Days of Hanukkah.' 'A Lot Like Santa Claus' spills the beans on the bearded one's true identity. Our favorite cut is the traditional 'Mary Had a Baby.' The cd closes, as will the year, with 'Old 365' a sweet song to the year gone by and the 'new kid on the block.' A unique holiday collection by some talented guys!
Songlist: The Annual Animal Christmas Ball, Miracle On The Hill, The Child Divine, Our First Year As Mr and Mrs, The Eight Days Of Hanukkah, A Lot Like Santa Claus, Mary Had A Baby, Old 365 (The New Year's Song)
Review: Acappella is the spelling of the classical a cappella when it refers to doo-wop and later to rock 'n roll. It evolved in the late '40s and by the late fifties had emerged into popular culture from the street corners, hallways, alleys and bathrooms where great echoes could be heard. The practitioners usually presented themselves to producers as acappella groups and then were relegated to background singing and stepped on by instrumentation. The Belmonts were named for Belmont Avenue in the Bronx, their hometown. Joining Dion in 1957 to create 'I Wonder Why' which went to #22, they continued as Dion And The Belmonts until 1960 when Dion went solo. In that collaborative period they had two #5 hits, 'Where Or When' and the cloying 'Teenager In Love.' After Dion's departure they had a couple of minor hits in the early '60s but had to wait to create this legacy to doo-wop music until 1972. It is, indubitably, a masterpiece.
Songlist: That's My Desire, Da Doo Ron Ron, Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever, Where On When, My Sweet Lord, Rock And Roll Lullabye, We Belong Together, Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye), Street Corner Symphony