Hello, The Chaperones are a pop doo-wop group from Long Island, New York. They were formed from two separate Long Island groups. Tony Amato, who was lead singer of the Fabulous Exquisites, was talking with another group that needed a lead singer. He joined the group that included members, Roy Marchesano, Tommy Ronka, Nick Salvato and Dave Kelly. They were originally called the Sharptones and then the Fairlanes, but changed their name to The Chaperones because of the proms and dances that were so popular at that time.
A favorite of Tony Amato at the time was The Elegants. Their sound was reflected in the style of The Chaperones. The group was signed by Josie Records in 1959. The group’s first recording for Josie Records was…CRUISE TO THE MOON. By the time the single was released in 1960, Dave Kelly had left the group and was replaced by bass singer, Rich Messina. After the success of CRUISE TO THE MOON the group performed on a regular basis in the New York area. They performed at Murray the K’s shows in the New York area and at Bruce Morrow shows, performing with The Earls, The Five Discs and performed at Palisades Park with The Five Satins. They also backed Paul Anka on one of his shows.
Tommy Ronka’s friend Lee Adrian needed backing vocalists for his recording. So while The Chaperones were waiting for their record to be released they recorded BARBARA, LET’S GO STEADY with Lee Adrian. BARBARA, LET’S GO STEADY was released before CRUISE TO THE MOON and credit on the label was given to Lee Adrian, but actually it was the groups first single release.
The Chaperones next single was SHINING STAR in 1962, a song that was a cross between The Elegants LITTLE STAR and The Mystics HUSHABYE. The record was a nice up-tempo tune but it did not have the success of CRUISE TO THE MOON. They would then back Lou Jordan on PARADISE FOR TWO in 1961 on Josie Records, but did not receive credit on the record. The groups last record for Josie was a 1963 re-make of the 1958 Chandeliers tune, BLUEBERRY SWEET backed with MAN FROM THE MOON, two more great sides, but the single failed to chart.
Following SHINING STAR Tommy Ronca left for Las Vegas where he performed and produced shows. Tony Amato and Nick Salvato kept the group going for a number of years until Tony Amato passed away in 1990. Roy Marchesano passed away in 1997. Original members, Tommy Ronca and Nick Salvato reformed the group. Today The Chaperones continue to thrill their fans where ever they appear. Original Chaperone, Nick Salvato performs with an accapella group on occasion. His new Chaperone’s line-up includes, Nick, Stevie Dunham, Ken Phillips, David Dannemiller and Skyler Jewell.
Original Chaperone Tommy Ronca performs at Las Vegas conventions and Hotel private parties…Original Chaperone Tommy Ronca’s group includes members…Danny Rome, Phil Rico, Johnny Contino, Jerry Garner and Tommy Ronca. They continue to thrill their fans with the great music that made The Chaperone’s one of New York’s finest.
Till the next time—Joe