Hello, The Videls were a pop vocal group from Providence, Rhode Island. Members included, Pete Anders, Vinnie Poncia and Norman Marzano. They got together in the late 1950s cutting some records on the local Rhody Records label. One of their songs, MISTER LONELY, caught the attention of record producer and song writer Joe Sherman, who had his own JDS Records in New York City.
MISTER LONELY made its national debut on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 13, 1960 on JDS Records. The single, a rock ballad about a really sad guy, without friends, became a summer hit for The Videls. The record charted on the Hot 100 at #73, remaining on the chart for 3 weeks. The song has remained popular over the years and is a favorite on both oldies and doo-wop radio. Other singles followed but none of them made the national charts. After a few singles The Videls disbanded.
Anders and Poncia were signed to Hill And Range Music as songwriters and met Phil Spector. They helped write hits such as DO I LOVE YOU and (The Best Part Of) BREAKING UP for The Ronettes. In 1965 Anders and Poncia signed with Red Bird Records. Red Bird was a new label started by songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. In February of 1965, as the Trade Winds, they charted their first hit for the label, NEW YORK’S A LONELY TOWN, a tale of a California guy stuck in the New York winter. The single peaked at #32 and remained on the Hot 100 for 8 weeks.
Red Bird Records closed later in 1965. Anders and Poncia signed with a new label at the time, Kama Sutra Records. They charted a hit in September of 66′ with MIND EXCURSION. The single charted at #51 and remained on the Hot 100 for 9 weeks. In December of 1966 they were back on the Billboard Hot 100, this time as The Innocence. Their first record was THERE’S GOT TO BE A WORD, the single became their second Top 40 hit, charting at #34. In March of 1967 they were back on the chart for one last time. This time with a song from 1944, their up-dated version of MAIRZY DOATS charted at #75.
After their days on Kama Sutra the duo went on to other projects. As The Videls their…MISTER LONELY…started a career that would take Peter Anders and Vinnie Poncia, to various record labels, as a hit song writing team, a hit duo as The Trade Winds and The Innocence. They also did the backing vocals on the 1910 Fruitgum Co.’s 1,2,3, RED LIGHT on Buddah Records in 1968, a record that would sell over 1 million copies and chart at #5 on the Hot 100. Call them The Videls, The Trade Winds or The Innocence…the fact is that Peter Anders and Vinnie Poncia have had a fabulous career in the pop music business and as members of the “GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”.
Till the next time—Joe