• Billy & The Essentials (1) aka The Heatwaves aka The Panics (2) aka The Styles (5)


    Billy & The Essentials (1) (Philadelphia)
    aka The Heatwaves aka The Panics (2 )aka The Styles (5)

    (with Hans-Joachim)

    Personnel :

    Billy Carlucci (Lead)

    Mike Lenihan (First Tenor)

    Johnny Caulfield (Second Tenor)

    Pete Torres (Falsetto)

    Phil D'Antonio (Baritone)


    Little Billy & the Essentials (1)
    1962 - The Dance Is Over / Steady Girl (Landa 691/ Jaimie 1229)

    Billy & the Essentials (1)

    Singles :
    1962 - Over The Weekend / Maybe You'll Be There (Jaimie 1239)
    1963 - Last Dance / Yes Sir, That's My Baby (Mercury 72210)
    1963 - Young At Heart / Lonely Weekend (Mercury 72217)
    1965 - The Actor / Remember Me, Baby (Cameo 344)
    1966 - Babalu's Wedding Day / My Way Of Saying (Smash 2045)
    1966 - Baby, Go Away / Don't Cry (Sing Along With The Music) (Smash 2071)
    1967 - I Wrote A Song / Oh, What A Feeling (SSS International 706)
    1981 - Resolutions / You're so fine (Crystal Ball 145)

    Unreleased :
    N/A - Let's pretend
    N/A - Mr Lucky
    N/A - Our Rendez vous
    N/A - Let's go together
    N/A - Soul Stomp
    N/A - Born to be together
    N/A - Canadian Sunset
    N/A - Cinderella (with the Sherry's)

    The Heatwaves
    1965 - I'll Do My Crying Tomorrow / Nowhere To Go (Josie 941)

    The Panics (2)
    1966 - Beans / Show Her You Care (Swan 4247)

    The Styles (5)
    1966 - Hush, Little Girl / I Do Love You (Swan 4258)


    Lead singer Billy Carlucci began harmonizing at Bartrum High School in Philly , joining voices with , among others, Patti La Belle. As he was learning phrasing and timing from some of the older black singers of the school, he was lucky to run into Jamie staff producer John Madara who also wrote and produced Danny and the Juniors.

    The Crystals

    Billy would form a group in high school, the Crystals, and would achieve success as the Essentials, a name they picked from the dictionary. Carluccci pulled together a group consisting of Pete Torres (falsetto), Phil D'Antonio (baritone) , Johnny caulfield (second tenor), and Mike Lenihan (first tenor) dubbing them Little Billy & the Essentials.


    They cut some demos and traveled to New York City making the rounds of the record companies the same way hundreds of groups before them and after them would. Eventually, Landa records, a division of Jamie / Guyden ( although that was unknown to the group at the time)…said yes and signed the boys to a contract. Carlucci picks up the story from there, "I picked :The Dance is Over" for our first tune. It was an obscure flip from a Shirelles record which I always enjoyed.

    Billy & The Essentials (1) aka The Heatwaves aka The Panics (2) aka The Styles (5) 

    Front Row : Tony & The Raindrops - Second Row : Billy & The Essentials

    We got re-aquainted Madara at the Gold record Shop over on 60th street near Market and since they were affiliated with Landa they drove us and Maureen Gray up to New York City to record". The session at Bell Sound failed to produce anything commercial and the group was put on the back burner.


    Enter one Danny Driscoll. Formerly employed by RCA, he jumped over to Jamie/Guyden as national promotions director and contacted the group. The first day Billy recalls he comes to us and says, I've heard good things about you guys. So play me your record. We did and he flipped.

    Two days later the record was seeing new life on Jerry Blaine's shows on WCAM with the big R&B station WIBG following suit soon after. "The Dance Is Over" actually hit the #10 spot locally and plans were being made by Driscoll to shop the group around to the major Mercury label. At this point Driscoll dies. Shot dead. No details known. The group offered up two more single releases, both mediocre and eventually wound up on Smash, a subsidiary of Mercury.

    Their re-make of the Eternal's "Bbabalu's Wedding Day" effectively ended the career of Billy & the Essentials. Carlucci kept his hand in the business and to date has sung, written and produced over 500 songs under a gaggle of names.  In 1965/1966, Billy & The Essentials  recorded  under the names of The Heatwaves,The Panics or The Styles.





    The Dance Is Over                   Steady GirL                  Maybe You'll Be There

    Over The Weekend                     Last Dance                 Yes Sir, That's My Baby

    Young At Heart                   Lonely Weekends                       The Actor

     Remember Me, Baby          Babalu's Wedding Day          My Way Of Saying








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