Angelo D’Aleo, Freddie Milano and Carlo Mastrangelo were in their mid-teen when they signed to record a single on Mohawk Records. The group was signed with the understanding that they would back Dion on his next recording session.
The Belmonts recorded…TEENAGE CLEMENTINE / SANTA MARGHERITA (Mohawk 106). Irv Spice owner of Mohawk Records had no feel for “rock and roll” or the talented Belmonts. The record did not chart.
Dion as the story goes, liked Carlo Mastrangelo’s new ballad, WE WENT AWAY (Mohawk 107) and quickly recorded it as the first single for the newly-formed…Dion & The Belmonts. The flip-side of the record was…TAG ALONG. Hugo Montenegro directed the recording session. WE WENT AWAY was recorded in December of 1957. The record did not receive much radio air-play and did not chart.
A few months later Irv Spice gave Gene and Bob Schwartz the contract of Dion & The Belmonts. They left Spice to form their own label…Laurie Records. Spice kept his new group, Lonnie and the Carollons for his Mohawk label. It turned out to be a good move for Dion & The Belmonts…at Laurie Records they were able to pursue their rock and roll and doo-wop sound. Their first charted hit in May of 1958…I WONDER WHY (Laurie 3013) was the perfect showcase for their outstanding talent…DJ’s played the record over and over…making it one of the great sounds of the late 1950s. That classic recording was just the beginning of the many hits to come for both Dion & The Belmonts, both together and solo.
Till the next time—Joe