THE MELLO-KINGS–“TONITE, TONITE”

Hello,  The Mello-Kings were a teen doo-wop group from Mount Vernon, New York.  Members included Bob Scholl-lead, Jerry Scholl, Eddie Quinn, Neil Arena and Larry Esposito.  They were originally known as The Mellotones but changed their name to The Mello-Kings since there was another group that recorded on Gee Records with the same name.

The groups only hit, never climbed to the top of the charts in the US, yet their one hit is still considered one of the most popular group harmony recordings of the “Golden Era of Rock and Roll”.  “TONITE, TONITE” made its Billboard Top 100 debut on August 19, 1957 on the legendary “Harold Records” label in New York.  The first pressings of the record list The Mellotones as the artists, that’s before the name change.  The record charted at #77 and remained on the Top 100 for 10 weeks.  The same record would be reissued in  1961 and chart again on the Hot 100 for 1 week at #95.  The group would not chart another Hot 100 hit.

The Mello-Kings appeared in revival shows in the late 1960’s and early 70’s.  Lead singer Bob Scholl was killed in a boating accident in 1975 at the age of 30.  In 1977 Jerry Scholl started The Mello-Kings up again.

Their story is even more impressive than most one-hit artists.  Their record didn’t go to the top of the chart, so why after all these years do we still hear “Tonite, Tonite” on oldies radio and why is it always listed with the top doo-wop hits of all time.  The answer is very simple, “BECAUSE THESE GUYS COULD FLAT OUT SING and BECAUSE THEIR HIT IS THAT GOOD”.  A classic from an era where great vocal groups roamed the earth.  An era we call “THE GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”.

Till the next time—Joe

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4 thoughts on “THE MELLO-KINGS–“TONITE, TONITE”

  1. When I heard that song on the radio in the NY?NJ area where I lived, it gave me chills as it does now as I type this post. I could spend an hour easily telling of what emotions it triggers in my memory. Long live the Senior Class of Rock & Roll!

    • Hi Tom, Amen to that Tom, that era will always stand on the quality of the vocals, and we did not have the great recording equipment they have today, but oh!!! what a sound. If you get a chance write a few lines and I’ll be glad to post them Tom. I know my readers would enjoy it. Joe

  2. I saw them sing this song in 1957 at a junior high school in White Plains ny. I was 16.There was another group just formed from White Plains and they sang also (The Rays).Broke up I guess.Had a song called “around the corner in my heart”.

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