ELEGANTS: A Knight With The Elegants
All Songs Written By Al Brown and Groups. Thornett Music BMI
In 1957 Al Brown became heavily involved in the N.Y.C. Group Harmony Sound of ”Do Wop". He was approached by a new record company "Joyce" and was asked to provide material and groups so they could be released on this new label. Al recorded several masters of which the following were picked by Joyce, although many of these sides were unreleased until now.
With the exception of ”Bad Motorcycle” by the Storey Sisters sold to Cameo Records and the unreleased 104-A "You Make Me Feel This Way” by an unknown single artist (Too Bluesy for this LP), here are all the tapes Joyce Records purchased.
Probably the most famous of these tapes are the 4 sides done by The Crests. Two of these sides were missing and this makes me believe they were sold to Times Square Records now owned by Relic Records. These same two sides appear on Lost Nite records, recently they surfaced on Collectables and appeared on Music Tone - owned by Andy Leonetti, who sold me the Joyce Tapes. The two sides "My Juanita” and “Sweetest One" most definatly belong on this album. So, if I stepped on someone’s toes I apologize.
“Bad Motorcycle" was released on the Peak Label as was the Starlites “Missing You” and ”Kiss Me Baby" although it was assigned a Joyce release number. The two sides by the ”Love Notes” were assigned a stange release number 1928-A &, B and these sides surfaced in error with The Starlites Labels on them and today are considered collectable treasures.
The ”Love Notes” tunes were written with Al by group member Wesley Hazzard who explained why they were also called the "5 Sounds” and backed Russ Riely on the Aljon Release “Tonight Must Live On”. Other sides recorded for Joyce but rejected at the time, due to the fact they had too much product, rather then it being bad material are: “Dolores” by The Crescents and ”My Greatest Thrill” and “Joanie” by The Starlites - (Available on the Relic L.P. ”Golden Groups Vol. 17")
“Pen Pal” was again recorded in 1964 by Johnny Cassell and appears on Al Brown's 1964 Lp ”Dyno Sounds”. Al would rerecord many songs and his affiliation with these groups would last throughout the years (See Crystal Ball Lp #116 Al Brown's New York Sound Vol. 1).
In many cases the above sides have studio chatter and corrections to help bring back the actual 1957 recording session atmosphere. This Album is sole property of Crystal Ball Records who purchased the Joyce Tapes from their current owner Andy Leonetti. Also Thanks to the cooperation of The Great Mr. Al Brown who's help was invaluable in putting this package together.
Crystal Ball Records is a Division of Crystal Ball Productions which is a subsidiary of ADEDKEN INC. I am pleased to make these tapes available to you the collector, over 27 years ago and still sounding better then ever. Thank you AL BROWN
Article properties: ELEGANTS: A Knight With The Elegants
|Elegants, The - A Knight With The Elegants LP 1|
|01||Rama Lama Ding Dong||ELEGANTS|| |
|02||Woo Woo Train||ELEGANTS|| |
|03||Little Boy Blue||ELEGANTS|| |
|04||Blue Berry Hill||ELEGANTS|| |
|05||The Lion Sleeps Tonight||ELEGANTS|| |
|07||The Wanderer||ELEGANTS|| |
|08||Little Star||ELEGANTS|| |
|09||Please Believe Me||ELEGANTS|| |
|10||Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow||ELEGANTS|| |
|11||Peggy Sue||ELEGANTS|| |
|12||See Saw||ELEGANTS|| |
|13||Getting Dizzy||ELEGANTS|| |
|14||Peace Of Mind||ELEGANTS|| |
|15||Out Of Sight Out Of Mind||ELEGANTS|| |
Just as New York was ground zero for black vocal groups, now a battalion of Italian-American aggregations from the same metropolis followed their lead. The Elegants hailed from Staten Island; lead singer Vito Picone and baritone Carman Romano had been members of Pat Cordel and The Crescents, whose 1956 kiddie sound single Darling Come Back, which Vito wrote, came out on the Club label.
When that ended without an encore, Vito and Carman found first tenor Artie Venosa, second tenor Frank Tardogno, and bass Jimmy Moschella to form The Elegants in 1957, taking their name from a liquor ad ("Schenley, the whiskey of elegance"). Vito and Artie brainstormed the mid-tempo Little Star as a nursery rhyme takeoff and talked Bea Kaslin of Hull and Mascot Records into recording their creation in April of 1958 along with the rocking flip Getting Dizzy (all five members penned it).
Kaslin had a habit of passing promising masters along to better-established concerns for national consumption. Instead of contacting her usual source, Leonard Chess (he'd picked up The Monotones' Book Of Love and The Pastels' Been So Long from her), Bea handed the record to ABC-Paramount, which put it out in June on its Apt (for American Paramount Theaters) subsidiary. That did the trick for The Elegants' debut: that August Little Star was the number one pop platter in the U.S. and followed suit on the R&B side.
Which makes it all the more amazing that The Elegants never cracked the Hot 100 again, despite their attractive encore Please Believe Me, taken at much the same mid-tempo clip as their smash, later in the year and a Tardogno-led True Love Affair in early '59. Kaslin put out The Elegants' Little Boy Blue on her Hull label in 1960, but that didn't regenerate their momentum. Neither did a pair of 1960 United Artists releases, nor the one-off Tiny Cloud for ABC the next year. A car wreck sidelined Vito; when he came back, he and The Elegants went their separate ways. At Laurie Records, Picone and his retooled Elegants sang on The Barbarians' 1966 rock hit Moulty. Vito later segued into the personal management biz. .
- Bill Dahl -
Various - Vol.10, Street Corner Symphonies 1958
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