• The Bell-Tones aka Belltones (2)
    (L to R) Alvin H. Brandon, Billy Lee, Joseph Raguso, Richie Pettagano and Paul Fernandez

    The Bell-Tones (Yonkers, New York)
    aka Belltones (2)


    Personnel :

    Alvin H. Brandon (lead)

    Paul Fernandez

    Billy Lee

    Richie Pettagano

    Joseph Raguso


    Discography :

    The Bell-Tones
    1958 - The Merrengue / I Love You  (Scatt 1609/1610)

    The Belltones (2)
    1958 - The Merrengue / I Love You  (J&S 1609/1610)


    Biography :

    Zelma "Zell" Sanders is a Bronx-based songwriter and producer who owned and operated J&S, Dice, Scatt, Zell's and other record labels. A powerful matriarch, she controlled her recording artists, sometimes firing them on the spot if they broke her rules. Before entering the record business she was employed as a security guard, while writing songs on the side. She was working for the Police Athletic League in Harlem's 23rd Precinct. She saw the talent; it was there on the street. They all got to know Zell as the lady who went around grabbing groups. "Do you sing?", she'd ask them. "Come on up to my house." Zelma Sanders also had a particular fondness for female singers.

    The Bell-Tones aka Belltones (2)    The Bell-Tones aka Belltones (2)
                                                                                                                  Zelma "Zell" Sanders

    In 1958, Zelma Sanders managed The Bell-Tones and wrote two songs for them, "The Merrengue" and "I Love You". The vocal group from Yonkers High School consists of Alvin H. Brandon, Paul Fernandez, Billy Lee, Richie Pettagano and Joseph Raguso. Before the release of their record, The boys have appeared at local dance spots, on television in Washington. D.C. and have made an Army show at Fort Belvoir, Va. Zell Sanders’ Scatt label released the single in April 1958, before one of her other labels, J&S, did the same shortly after, but under the name Belltones.


    Songs :

       I Love You                                       The Merrengue


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