Airdate – Feb 06, 2022
Between 1958 and 1960 a street corner harmony group from the Bronx in New York City had nine of their releases make it onto the Billboard Hot 100.
The group was flying high. Unfortunately, so was their lead singer who had to check into hospital for heroin addiction. The subsequent combination of personal, musical, and financial differences with fellow members led to this talented artist leaving the group and going solo in October of 1960.
The group originally featured four Italian lads who soon became the darlings of doo wop in the late 50’s. They were originally known as Dion and The Belmonts with the “Belmont” moniker inspired by a Belmont Avenue sign in the Bronx.
Included in their nine releases on Billboard were such classics as “I Wonder Why,” “A Teenager In Love,” and a beautiful remake of “Where Or When.”
Prior to Dion leaving the group, they came out with their second album in 1960, “Wish Upon A Star,” which really captures the nature of early New York vocal group Rock & Roll. It is more doo wop oriented and features some extraordinary covers of “Swinging On A Star,” “Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words),” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” and, of course, “When You Wish Upon A Star.” Also included is a rendition of Cole Porter’s 1937 “In The Still Of The Night,” which is not to be confused with the Five Satins’ 1956 smash hit of the same name..
“When You Wish Upon A Star” and “In The Still Of The Night” were the last two charted releases for the group with Dion on lead.
Too bad. Some speculate that more singles from that album could have made the pop charts if Dion had not left the group and promotion continued in full swing. A good example of this is the fifth cut on the A side of the album, a beautiful ballad that has the group describing “My Day,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song: