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Dion and the Belmonts was a leading American vocal group of the late 1950s. The group formed when Dion DiMucci joined The Belmonts - Carlo Mastrangelo, Freddie Milano, and Angelo D'Aleo - in late 1957.

Contents

History

After an unsuccessful first single, the group was signed to Laurie Records. Their breakthrough came when "I Wonder Why" made #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the group appeared for the first time on American Bandstand. They followed it with the ballads "No One Knows" (#19) and "Don’t Pity Me" (#40).

This success won Dion and the Belmonts their first major tour in late 1958, with The Coasters, Buddy Holly and Bobby Darin, and this was followed up by the "Winter Dance Party" tour with Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. On 2 February 1959, after playing at the Surf Ballroom, Dion decided that he could not afford the $36 cost of a flight to the next venue. The plane crashed; Holly, Valens, The Big Bopper, and the pilot were killed on 3 February 1959, shortly after midnight. However, the tour continued, with Jimmy Clanton and Bobby Vee being added to the bill as replacements.

In March 1959, Dion and the Belmonts’ next single, "A Teenager in Love", was released, making #5 in the Billboard Hot 100 and #28 in the UK Singles Chart, and this was followed by an album, Presenting Dion and the Belmonts. Their biggest hit, "Where or When", was released in November 1959, and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, in early 1960, Dion checked into a hospital for heroin addiction, a problem he had had since his mid-teens. Other singles released for the group that year were less successful. In addition, there were musical and financial disputes between Dion and members of the Belmonts. In October 1960, Dion decided to quit for a solo career. The Belmonts also continued to release records, but with less success.

Dion and the Belmonts reunited in 1966 for the unsuccessful album Together Again on ABC Records, and again in 1972 for a one-off show at Madison Square Garden, recorded and released as a live album.

In 2000 Dion and the Belmonts were inducted in The Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

Discography

Albums

Dion and the Belmonts released two albums during their heyday:

  • Presenting Dion & The Belmonts (1959)
  • Wish Upon a Star (1960)

There were later compilations, some of which also included the separate hits of The Belmonts, and some of which also included the separate hits of Dion along with the Dion and The Belmonts. These two original releases of Dion and The Belmonts are the most collectable.

Dion and the Belmonts also appeared together on:

  • Together Again (1966)
  • Reunion : Live At Madison Square Garden (recorded 1972, released 1973)

Singles

Year Single U.S. label Billboard Hot 100 UK Singles Chart
Oct 1957 "We Went Away" / "Tag Along" Mohawk 105 - -
Apr 1958 "I Wonder Why" / "Teen Angel" Laurie 3013 22 -
Aug 1958 "No One Knows" / "I Can't Go On (Rosalie)" Laurie 3015 19 -
Dec 1958 "Don't Pity Me" / "Just You" Laurie 3021 40 -
Mar 1959 "A Teenager in Love" / "I've Cried Before" Laurie 3027 5 28
Aug 1959 "Every Little Thing I Do" / "A Lover's Prayer" Laurie 3035 48 -
Nov 1959 "Where or When" / "That's My Desire" Laurie 3044 3 -
Apr 1960 "When You Wish upon a Star" / "Wonderful Girl" Laurie 3052 30 -
Jun 1960 "In the Still of the Night" / "A Funny Feeling" Laurie 3059 38 -
Oct 1966 "My Girl The Month of May" / "Berimbau" ABC 10868 - -
Jan 1967 "Movin' Man" / "For Bobbie" ABC 10896 - -

See also

External links








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