Who was/is Johnny Amelio ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
The most famous performer on the Blue Moon label is the wild and frantic rocker Johnny Amelio along with The Downbeats. John Amelio was born in 1939 in San Jose, CA. He graduated from high school in 1957, the same year when The Downbeats were formed in Hollister, CA. Johnny Amelio and saxist Joe Serrano played in a high school dance band called The Band-O-Liers along with Bill Paradis and Delbert Contival on trumpet and Bill Lanning on drums. Inspired by the sounds of the still new rock and roll music of the day, they decided to form their own band. They recruited guitarist Grover York and Johnny Amelio took over the lead vocal. Bill Paradis hit the 88s and was the leader of the band. Delbert Contival and Joe Serrano became the saxophone section and Bill Lanning hit the drums. The Downbeats quickly became an instant local success with the help of Johnny's stage presence and the band's tight musicianship. The band would do a half hour set without Johnny, then bring him onstage to the cheers and screams of the local girls. The group played at many local venues and traveled all around Monterey and Santa Cruz counties performing to large audiences.
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