•  The Four Dates

    The Four Dates (Philadelphia, PA)


    Personnel :

    Johnny October (Ottobre) (Lead)

    Eddie Gentile (Tenor)

    Pat Marioni (Baritone)

    Ernie Spano (Bass)


    Discography :

    The Four Dates
    1957 - I'm Happy / Eloise (Chancellor 1014)
    1958 - I Say Babe / Hey, Roly Poly (Chancellor 1019)
    1958 - Teenage Neighbor / Feel Good (Chancellor 1027)

    Frankie Avalon (bb The Four Dates)
    1958 - Gingerbread / Blue Betty (Chancellor 1021)
    1958 - I'll Wait For You (Chancellor 1026)
    1959 - A Boy Without A Girl (Chancellor 1036)

    Fabian (bb The Four Dates)
    1958 - Be My Steady Date / Lilly Lou (Chancellor 1024)
    1958 - I'm A Man / (Chancellor 1029)


    Biography :

    The Four Dates began in high school in 1956 as the Mel-Tones, playing many local nightspots. Ironically, they did a show in nearby New Jersey during which Frankie Avalon backed them on Trumpet. Of course, the Irony was due to the fact that in a few short years, they would back Avalon as the Four Dates. It was about that time that Johnny Ottobre (October) joined, replacing one of the original members from High School. Ottobre was buddies whith the owners of the new Chancellor label in Philadelphia. One of the owners did not care for their name.


    Because each member was born in June, the name Four Dates was Created and they were off to a New York studio to record "I'm happy" and "Eloise"in 1957. Without any label credit, They provided backing vocals for Frankie Avalon on his "Gingerbread". In the Meantime, their "I'm happy" was doing well, and they were asked to appear on Dick Clark's Saturday night ABC Show.Although they received no royalties for any of their three Chancellor recordings.


    Johnny October                                                                                         

     They were treated very well by label management. Wardrobes changes, good hotel accommodations, meals, gas and so on, were all provided.  Their second Chancellor effort, "Hey Roly Poly" (A tune penned by Jerry Ragavoy) and "I say Babe", was released in 1958. It was also at this time that they started backing both Avalon and Fabian at live Appearances.  The Third Chancellor disc of the Four Dates was Teenage Neighbor / I Feel Good, also released in 1958.   

    Frankie Avalon                                                                                                         Fabian      

      But Chancellor management was heavily concentrating on Frankie Avalon & Fabian, and thus no promotion dollars were allocated to any Four Dates discs. Following the third release, Ottobre disappeared. He and Spano would later join the Four J's in the early 1960s, who by then were know as the Fabulous Four. Following the group's breakup, the remaining members backed up Avalon in 1958 and 1959.


    Songs :

    The Four Dates

    I'm Happy                                I Say Babe                           Teenage Neighbor

    Eloise                                    Feel Good                           Hey, Roly Poly

    Fabian (bb The Four Dates)

    Be My Steady Date                            Lilly Lou                               I'm A Man        

    Frankie Avalon (bb The Four Dates)

    I'll Wait For You                    A Boy Without A Girl


    1 comment

    Follow this section's article RSS flux
    Follow this section's comments RSS flux