• The Blen-Dells
    Ralph Grizzanti, Pat Santacroce, Rich Gullone, Al Chelik, Joe Lavery

    The Blen-Dells (Carbondale, PA.)


    Personnel :

    Rich Gullone (Lead)

    Joseph L. Lavery (Second Tenor)

    Alexander "Jack" Chelik (First Tenor)

    Pat Santacroce (Baritone)

    Ralph Grizzanti (Bass)


    Discography :

    Single :
    1961 - Say You're Mine / Forever (Bella 608)
    1961 - Angel Love
    1961 - The Chiropractor Twist


    Biography :

    Joseph L. Lavery and Ralph Grizzanti began doing vocals of popular songs during assembly programs at Benjamin Franklin High School in Carbondale. They were later joined by Rich Gullone  and usually a fourth singer. They were known as the Sensations, later the Populaires. In the late months of 1959, the three students Joseph L. Lavery, Ralph Grizzanti and Rich Gullone was joined by Pat Santacroce and Alexander "Jack" Chelik of Mayfield, both attending Lakeland. Ralph sang Bass, Jack first tenor, Joe second Tenor, Pat Baritone, and Richie was the lead singer.

    The Blen-Dells    The Blen-Dells
          Joseph L. Lavery, Alexander "Jack" Cheli and  Ralph Grizzanti                          Top to Bottom: Pat , Ralph , Rich , Al ,Joe

    The Bien-Dells were formed, performed locally. Rehearsals were held in the rear of tony's Grocery Store in Lackawanna avenue in Mayfield, using a donated piano. Later the piano was lowered into the basement  of the Tony's residence where rehearsals continued preparing for shows. After months of practice, the group put together  show of doo-wop's greatest hits from the Five Satins, the Platters, the Coasters, the Monotones, Danny & the Juniors, the Elegants and Duion & The Belmonts. The group started to perform at local events such as Lake Bandstand at Lake Wallenpaupack and at Newton Lake.

    The Blen-Dells

    Finally, after year of practice the Bien-Dells journeyed to NYC for a recording session at Bell Sound Studios.  Max Feinstein of the Skitch Henderson/Tonight Show organised the session with featured Milt Hinton on Bass (worked with Duke Ellington and Count Basie), Art Narotti on Vibes, chimes and percussion, O.C. Johnson on drums, Tony Newsome on tenor sax, Al Caiola on guitar (Worked with Steve Lawrence and Eddy Gorme) and Bert Keys on organ. Four songs were recorded "Say You're Mine", "Forever" (The two that were chosen and released as the two sides of a 45 RPM on Bella Records) "Angel Love" and "The Chiropractor Twist".

    The Blen-Dells    The Blen-Dells
    In Studio                                                                                                          

    While the record did not do as well outside of Northeastern  Pennsylvania, the band went on to perform with a number of prominent acts, such as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, the Regents, the Skyliners and the Dovells and two unknown groups at the time, the Temptations and the Supremes.  "Forever" made WARM's Top 10.  In promotion of their record in 1962 they appeared on the Channel 16 WNEP's TV Bandstand. The group appeared on TV shows and record hops. The group separated in 1963 but were reunited in early 1991.

    Songs :

    Say You're Mine                                      Forever        


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