• The Excellents (1)  (Bronx, New York)
    aka The Excellons

    Personnel :

    John Kuse (Lead / Second Tenor)

    George Kuse (First Tenor)

    Phil Sanchez (Falsetto)

    Joel Feldman (Baritone)

    Denis Kestenbaum (Lead / Baritone)

    Chuck Epstein (Bass) 


    Discography :

    The Excellents (1)
    1961 - Love No One But You / When The Red Red Robin... (Mermaid 106)
    1962 - Coney Island Baby / You Baby You (Blast 205)

    The Excellents (2) aka The Ultimates (Second group)
    1963 - I Hear a Rhapsody / Why Did You Laugh (Blast 207)

    Unreleased :
    1961 - Geraldine (Blast)
    1961 - Gloria (Blast)
    1961 - White Cliffs of Dover (Blast)
    1963 - Lorraine (Cousins)
    1963 - She's Not Coming Home (Cousins)
    1963 - Biggest Mistake of My Life  (Cousins)

    The Excellons
    1964 - Sunday Kind of Love / Helene (Your Wish Came True) (Old Timer/Bobby  601)


    Biography :

    Starting out as "The Premiers","The Excellents" were first formed in early 1960. The members consisted of John Kuse-Lead and Second Tenor; George Kuse-First Tenor; Phil Sanchez-Falsetto; Joel Feldman-Baritone; Denis Kestenbaum-Lead/Baritone and Chuck Epstein-Bass. All members came from The Bronx, New York. In June 1961, they recorded "Red Red Robin" and "Love No One But You" for the Sinclair Record Corporation.

    Denis Kestenbaum, George Kuse, Joe Feldman, Phil Sanchez, Chuck Epstein, John Kuse

    These two sides were released on Mermaid Records(a division of Sinclair Record Corp..) in late June 1961. The record received no promotion and was aired by DJ Slim Rose on his Time Square radio show heard only in the New York area. "The Excellents" signature song, "Coney Island Baby" was arranged at the time thought to be the flipside of their next release.


    They had already planned on their own uptempo cover of "The Cleftones" smash hit "You Baby You" to be the 'A' side. "You Baby You" and "Coney Island Baby" were recorded in February 1962 for Blast Records (a division of Sinclair Record Corp.) and released in April 1962. 

    Denis Kestenbaum,George Kuse, John Kuse, Joel Feldman, Phil Sanchez and Chuck Epstein.

    Sinclair Records started promoting "Coney Island Baby" and, it won DJ, Murray the K's 'Boss Record of the Week' contest. With prominent local concerts and a rising reputation, the Excellents looked set for a promising career until record business skulduggery intervened. Booked for an appearance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand television programme, their record company refused to pay their travelling fees.

    The Ultimates                                                                                                                                         

    When they learned that the group simply could not afford to travel to Philadelphia, the label instead sent a Brooklyn group, The Ultimates ( Envoy Records )who recorded "I Hear a Rhapsody" / "Why Did You Laugh"under the name of the Excellents .

    Justifiably devastated at this turn of events, the Excellents never recorded again. In 1964, Bobby Miller, owner of Bobby and Oldtimer Record Labels, purchased and released demos "Sunday Kind of Love" and "Helene" as the Excellons.

    Songs :

    The Excellents (1)

    Love No One But You           When The Red Red Robin...        Coney Island Baby

    You Baby You                           Geraldine                           Lorraine

    She's Not Coming Home      Biggest Mistake of My Life

    The Excellons

    Sunday Kind of Love / Helene...

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