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Mo' Music Monday: "The Wanderer ... Dion DiMucci!"

Posted on August 3, 2020 at 11:20 AM

G'Day Ginchers,

Time for Mo' Music Monday and a trip to the Bronx, Belmont avenue to be exact ... the Wanderer ... Mr. Dion DiMucci!  A teen idol, another great performer who is recongnized by just a first name like, Frank, Cher, Dino ... today we are talkin' ... Dion!  in 1957 Dion auditioned for Bob & Gene Schwartz of Mohawk Records and they asked Dion to record a record called "The Chosen Few" with a group called the Timberlanes and even though Dion was not pleased with the style of music, he recorded it and it became a regional hit.  It did give Dion a chance to appear on the American Bandstand show which was truly a great move, especially since the kids at the show began to scream during his appearance.  Dion now had a taste of the limelite but was not pleased with the backup group called the Timberlanes ... soooo, Dion went back to the old neighborhood, Belmont, and recruited his friends Carlo Mastrangelo, Fred Milano and Angelo D'Aleo forming the Belmonts and he as the lead singer.  They landed a deal with the new Laurie Records releasing "I Wonder Why" and the rest is Rock n' Roll History.  They had a string of hits that included, "Run Around Sue", "Ruby Baby", "Lovers Who Wander" and the list goes on.  Dion was on the "Winter Dance Party" tour that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper and was offered a seat on the plane which he refused since the cost of the seat was $36 which was equivilent to a months rent that his parents were paying back home.  Dion went on passing through many music genres; Rock, R&B, Christian, Blues and Pop and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.  I had the pleasure of perfoming with Dion a few times and even did an interview with Dion for 3WS when I was part of the team.  The man still had his street corner, old school attitude, which I truly loved.  He still enjoys singing a cappella and old doowop classics, which he is definately one of.  One particular concert at the Point in Pittsburgh, we were on the bill with Dion and he was supposed to take the dingy across the river to 3 Rivers Stadium to sing the National Anthem, Dion invited us (Johnny Angel and the Halos) to go with him ... the Pirates were playing the Montreal Expos so, Dion sang the National Anthem and we (Halos) sang O'Canada ... it was a true experience.  Over the years he has remained a main stay in Rock n' Roll and will always be known as the WANDERER ... Dion DiMucci!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


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