• The Astra-Lites
    The Astra-Lites /  The Exotics : Gene Novell, Jerry Abramson, Lenny Melnick & Art Gatti

    The Astra-Lites (Queens, New York)


    Personnel :

    Gene Novel  (Lead)

    Jerry Abramson (Second Tenor)

    Art Gatti (First Tenor/Falsetto)

    Stu Abramson (Bass)


    Discography :
    Singles :
    1961 - Space Hop / It Was A Bomb (Tribute 101)
    1961 - Let's Have A Doo Wop Christmas
    1961 - Happy Holidays


    Biography :

    In 1959, From Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village, Lenny Melnick & Art Gatti are part of Nicky and the Bell Flairs, with Curtis James and the lead, Nick Angelili. The following year the group consists of Lenny Melnick (Baritone/Bass), Art Gatti (First Tenor/Falsetto), Jerry Abramson (Second Tenor) and Gene Novell (Lead). With two new members the group changes name : The Exotics.

    The Astra-Lites
    Nicky & the Bell Flairs :  Curtis James, Lenny Melnick, Art Gatti & Nick Angelili

    The Exotics sang in churches, parks, building basements, subway arcades, subway station platforms and subway trains and begin to occur proffessionally. At this time, Lenny Melnick is replaced by Stu Abramson and the group changes name again, The Astra-Lites. The group have the same manager that Paul Simon had way back then. hey recorded "Space Hop" and "It Was A Bomb" in Feb 1961 at The Brill Building in 1961. "Space Hop" features legendary guitarist Charlie Byrd on guitar and Art Gatti on vocals.

    The Astra-Lites
    The Astra-Lites /  The Exotics

    The Record was released by Tribute records owned by Eddie Heller on West 53d Street, NYC. They Astra-Lites recorded two others songs : "Let's Have A Doo Wop Christmas" and "Happy Holidays". The Group recorded under other names and backed up on numerous hit records. Group was featured on Dick clark's American bandstand.

    The Astra-Lites    The Astra-Lites 

     Charlie Byrd                                                                                      The Astra-Lites            

    The Brill Building, in the early ‘60s, contained everything needed by a young talented singer or songwriter. There you could write a song or make the rounds of publishers until someone bought it. Then you could go to another floor and get a quick arrangement and lead sheet for $10; get some copies made at the duplication office; book an hour at a demo studio; hire some of the musicians and singers that hung around; and finally cut a demo of the song. Then you could take it around the building to the record companies, publishers, artists’ managers or even the artists themselves. If you made a deal, there were radio promoters available to sell the record- all this under one roof.


    Songs :
    (updated by Hans-Joachim) 

    Let's Have A Doo Wop Christmas                       Space Hop                 

    It Was A Bomb


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