NICK SANTAMARIA, LEAD SINGER OF THE CAPRIS, PASSES AWAY

It is sad to report that Nick Santamaria, lead singer of the great Doo-Wop/Pop group THE CAPRIS has passed away on December 30, 2010 at the age of 69.  He had been suffering from cancer for a number of year.  Nick was the original lead singe of The Capris.  He left the group in the 1960 to become a New York City Police Officer.  He would later rejoin the group and remain until 2007.  Our thoughts are with his family and those who were close to him.

I’m sure he has joined the heavenly choir and is adding his wonderful voice to that stellar line-up.  Thanks for all the great music Nick. 

Till the next time—Joe

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THE LAST #1 HIT SONGS OF THE YEAR–1955-1959 “THE ROCK ERA” PART 1

Hello,  As the old year is winding down and a new year is just around the corner, I would like to take you back to the infant years of Rock & Roll, 1955-1959 and present to you the songs that were #1 on the last Billboard Charts of each of those wonderful years in music the “1950’s”.

THE LAST #1’S OF 1955–DECEMBER 31, 1955—POP CHART–SIXTEEN TONS-TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD  R&B CHART–HANDS OFF-JAY McSHANN  C&W CHART–SIXTEEN TONS-TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD

THE LAST #1’S OF 1956–DECEMBER 29. 1956—POP CHART–SINGING THE BLUES-GUY MITCHELL  R&B CHART–BLUEBERRY HILL-FATS DOMINO  C&W CHART–SINGING THE BLUES-MARTY ROBBINS

THE LAST #1’S OF 1957–DECEMBER 30, 1957—POP CHART–APRIL LOVE-PAT BOONE  R&B CHART–YOU SEND ME-SAM COOKE  C&W CHART–MY SPECIAL ANGEL-BOBBY HELMS

THE LAST #1’S OF 1958–DECEMBER 29, 1958—POP CHART–THE CHIPMUNK SONG-THE CHIPMUNKS  R&B CHART–LONELY TEARDROPS-JACKIE WILSON  C&W CHART–CITY LIGHTS-RAY PRICE

THE LAST #1’S OF 1959 THE LAST BILLBOARD #1 HITS OF THE DECADE–DECEMBER 28, 1959—POP CHART–WHY-FRANKIE AVALON  R&B CHART–THE CLOUDS-THE SPACEMEN  C&W CHART–EL PASO-MARTY ROBBINS

THOSE ARE THE HITS THAT WERE #1 AT THE END OF THEIR RESPECTIVE YEARS…THE BEGINNING OF THE “GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”.  CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR, PART 2, THE FIRST #1 SONGS OF THE YEAR.

Till the next time—Joe

BRIAN HYLAND–“SEALED WITH A KISS”

Hello,  Brian Hyland was born on November 12, 1943 in Queens, New York.  He became a teen idol, pop singer at the age of 16 in 1960.  Brian first hit the Billboard Hot 100 in July of 1960 with the summer classic, “ITSY BITSY TEENIE WEENIE YELLOW POLKADOT BIKINI”.  The records first appeared on the chart on the Leader Records label and then was picked up by the larger Kapp Records.  Brian’s first hit was a big hit going all the way to the top of the Hot 100 at #1.  It remained on the chart for 15 weeks.  The girl’s voice on the record is Trudy Parker, good trivia question.

Brian charted 5 more Hot 100 between 1960 and June of 1962.  That is when his next big hit entered the Billboard chart.  “SEALED WITH A KISS” on ABC-Paramount Records began its run on June 6, 1962.  The song remained on the chart for 14 weeks and climbed the Hot 100 to #3 a position it held for 2 weeks.  “Sealed With A Kiss” was written by Peter Udell and Gary Geld.  It was actually recorded in 1960 by The Four Voices but did not chart on the Hot 100.  Brian Hyland’s version also charted on the UK Singles Chart, at #3.  It was re-released in the UK in 1975 and became a hit again, charting at #7 on the UK Singles Chart.

The song became a hit again in 1968 for Gary Lewis and The Playboys (#19) and Bobby Vinton also had a Top 40 hit with his version in 1972(#19).  Brian would not have another Top 10 hit single record until 1970 when his version of “GYPSY WOMAN”, became a #3 hit.  Brian’s recording is still an oldies radio favorite, a summer classic that continues to tell lovers everywhere that, though we gotta say goodbye for the summer, I’ll send you all my love, everyday in a letter, “Sealed With A Kiss”.

Till the next time—Joe

TRIVIA TEASER-225

Hi,  The answer to yesterday’s question is:  “FROM A JACK TO A KING” by Ned Miller became a #6 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963 and remained on the chart for 13 weeks.

Today’s Trivia Teaser question is:  What Bobby Rydell hit single record is from the movie “Because They’re Young” starring James Darren and Tuesday Weld?

Leave your answer in the comment box or check back tomorrow for the answer.

Till the next time—Joe

TRIVIA TEASER-224

Hi,  The answer to yesterday’s Trivia Teaser question is: Lobo’s biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100 is his 1972 recording of “I’D LOVE YOU TO WANT ME”, a #2 hit and a million selling single record.

Today’s question is:  Country singer/sonwriter Ned Miller had a Billboard Hot 100, Top 10 hit in 1963.  Can you name the song that entered the Billboard Hot 100 on December 29, 1962 and remained on the chart for 13 weeks?

Leave your answer in the comment box or check back tomorrow for the answer.

Till the next time—Joe

TOP 10 SINGLES–WEEK OF 12/26/59–THE LAST CHART OF THE 1950’S

Hello,  Welcome to Joe Troiano’s Blog.  Thank You for making this year so special.  Today’s post is a list of the Top 10 Singles of December 26, 1959, the last singles chart of the decade of the 1950’s.  Rock and Roll was definitely here to stay.  The first four years of the rock era produced some of the biggest rock hits ever.  There were new names on the music charts, names like Elvis, Little Richard, Bobby Darin, Dion, Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Bobby Rydell, Chuck Berry, you get the message.  A new era with a host of new artists that sang the songs the teenage record buying public ate up.  As the 1950’s drew to a close these were the Top 10 hits on, The Billboard Hot 100, and The Cash Box Top 100 Singles charts…week ending December 26, 1959.

THE BILLBOARD HOT 100

1-WHY-FRANKIE AVALON-CHANCELLOR                                                               

2-EL PASO-MARTY ROBBINS-COLUMBIA

3-THE BIG HURT-MISS TONI FISHER-SIGNET

4-IT’S TIME TO CRY-PAUL ANKA-ABC PARAMOUNT

5-WAY DOWN YONDER IN NEW ORLEANS-FREDDY CANNON-SWAN

6-HEARTACHES BY THE NUMBER-GUY MITCHELL-COLUMBIA

7-AMONG MY SOUVENIRS-CONNIE FRANCIS-MGM

8-MACK THE KNIFE-BOBBY DARIN-ATCO

9-HOUND DOG MAN-FABIAN-CHANCELLOR

10-PRETTY BLUE EYES-STEVE LAWRENCE-ABC PARAMOUNT

THE CASH BOX TOP 100 SINGLES

1-HEARTACHES BY THE NUMBER-GUY MITCHELL-COLUMBIA

2-WHY-FRANKIE AVALON-CHANCELLOR

3-THE BIG HURT-MISS TONI FISHER-SIGNET

4-UH! UH!-NUTTY SQUIRRELS-HANOVER

5-MACK THE KNIFE-BOBBY DARIN-ATCO

6-WE GOT LOVE-BOBBY RYDELL-CAMEO

7-EL PASO-MARTY ROBBINS-COLUMBIA

8-IT’S TIME TO CRY-PAUL ANKA-ABC PARAMOUNT

9-WAY DOWN YONDER IN NEW ORLEANS-FREDDY CANNON-SWAN

10-OH! CAROL-NEIL SEDAKA-RCA VICTOR

Note the different chart positions of some of the top hits between the two charts.  Hope you enjoyed this look back in rock history.  There are more charts to come in the next couple of days.  The beginning of the year charts and the end of the years charts, for the years of 1955-1959.  “HAPPY NEW YEAR”

Till the next time—Joe

THE JESTERS–“THE PLEA”

Hello,  The Jesters are a doo-wop group from Harlem, New York.  Members included, Adam Jackson, Lenny McKay, Noel Grant, Leo Vincent and Jimmy Smith.  They were students at Cooper Junior High School in Harlem.  They were discovered by Paul Winley at an amateur night contest at the Apollo Theater.  He signed them to his Winley Records label.

The Jesters were known for putting two great sides on a single record.  There “B” sides often rivaled the top side or as known, the “A” side.  Their first three recordings for Winley were arranged by Davey Clowney, better known as Dave “Baby” Cortez.  Their first Billboard pop hit came in July of 1957.  “SO STRANGE” backed with “LOVE NO ONE BUT YOU” entered the Top 100 at #100 and did not chart any higher.  The next time The Jesters reached the Top 100 was in March of 1958.  “THE PLEA” did better, charting at #74.  The only other single record of The Jesters to reach the chart was “THE WIND” in June of 1960.  The single reached the Billboard Bubbling Under The Hot 100 chart ant #110.

The Jesters were a popular New York band and Paul Winley came up with the idea of making a compilation album with their brother group The Paragons.  The album had a gang cover and featured vocal duels inspired by doo-wop street corner singing, which was huge in New York and group singing battles that were featured at live competitions.  The album entitled “The Paragons Meet The Jesters” became the most commercially successful doo-wop compilation ever released.

Although The Jesters did not have the big national hits some of the other doo-wop groups had, they were considered one of the best of their era.  A fine singing group that has earned their spot as one of the finest doo-wop groups from the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”.

Till the next time—Joe