Who was/is The Del-Satins ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Dion with The Del-Satins
Dion (with The Del-Satins)
In late summer of 1960, Dion DiMucci and The Belmonts (Carlo Mastrangelo, Angelo D'Aleo, and Freddie Milano) split up after two years as the pride of New York's Bronx borough thanks to their hits for the Laurie label. I Wonder Why, aboard our 1958 edition of 'Street Corner Symphonies,' and No One Knows were followed by A Teenager In Love in '59 and the lush Where Or When in 1960.
But The Belmonts preferred smoother pursuits, while their former lead singer was more into rock and roll. Dion went solo, hitting in the fall of '60 with Lonely Teenager. He needed a new group to really sparkle. It didn't take long for The Del-Satins (lead Stan Zizka, first tenor Les Cauchi, second tenor Bobby Faila, and brothers Fred and Tom Ferrara as baritone and bass) to fill the bill. They hailed from Manhattan and came together in 1958, their name paying tribute to The Dells and Five Satins. They'd just had a single on George Goldner's End label, Zizka's I'll Pray For You, when manager Jim Gribble brought the group to Laurie.
"When Dion and The Belmonts split, there were some sounds I wanted to use, and I decided to get another group," says Dion. "They were the first group I auditioned. And I really liked 'em. They were good. In fact, I got more hits with them than I did with Dion and The Belmonts."
Ernie Maresca, soon a hitmaker himself with 1962's rowdy Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out) for Danny Kessler's Seville imprint, was Dion's collaborator on Runaround Sue. "Ernie Maresca, who was a partner of mine in the Bronx, actually really encouraged me to write. 'Cause he was writing before I was. So he kind of brought that out in me," says DiMucci. "He lived across the street. We featured ourselves like street corner poets." Runaround Sue was the first song Dion tackled with The Del-Satins. "They thought I was insane with the parts I gave them for 'The Wanderer' and 'Runaround Sue,'" he says. "They never heard anything like that. They tell me 'til this day: 'We thought you were crazy!'
"'Runaround Sue' was created at a neighborhood party. I used to hand out parts. Even if guys didn't know how to sing, I used to give 'em something simple. I used to give them like a mantra. And I had my guitar, and if they could follow the chords, I could get a song going for 45 minutes. That's what 'Runaround Sue' basically was. It was like a spontaneous kind of stream of consciousness song. But when I put it into a (two)-and-a-half minute song, put some lyrics to it, put a bridge, we had a song."
With saxist Buddy Lucas riffing alongside the uncredited Del-Satins, Dion's Glen Stuart-arranged Runaround Sue was a pop chart-topper in October of '61 (Runaway Girl was the flip). His next Laurie release, the swaggering The Wanderer, stopped at #2. More Top 10 hits ensued in 1962: Lovers Who Wander, Little Diane, Love Came To Me. A switch to Columbia Records saw him sandwiched major 1963 hit revivals of The Drifters' Ruby Baby and Drip Drop around his own Donna the Prima Donna, named after his sister. The Del-Satins backed him on all of them while cutting their own string of 45s for Laurie, notably their rousing '62 East Coast hit Teardrops Follow Me and the '63 Columbia release Feelin' No Pain (where they lost the hyphen: Del Satins).
Returning to Laurie, Dion reinvented himself as a folkie and had a '68 gold record with Abraham, Martin And John. More recently, he's been investigating his blues roots. After several personnel changes, The Del Satins joined forces with Johnny Maestro in Brooklyn Bridge, whose Worst That Could Happen was a 1969 million-seller. Fred Ferrara died of a heart attack on October 21, 2011.
Various - Street Corner Symphonies Vol.14, 1962 The Complete Story Of Doo Wop
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