• The Belvederes (6)

    The Belvederes (6) (Jersey City, NJ.)

    Personnel :

    Al Washington

    Alfred Jackson

    Larry Beckett

    Frederick Brown


    Discography :

    1962 - Why Do You Treat Me This Way / Lost Love (Poplar 114)

    Biography :

    Poplar, founded in New York City in 1962 by Stan Seifer, generally featured doo wop-styled groups, but backed them with often surprisingly sharp early rock arrangements that avoided being derivative by adding in little percussion touches, unusual basslines, and touches of horns. Poplar Recorded the Belvederes in 1962. The Belvederes were an older group from Jersey City comprised of four members: Al Washington, Alfred Jackson, Larry Beckett and Frederick Brown. The group recorded two splendid titles "Why Do You Treat Me This Way" b/w "Lost Love". Both titles are written by the four members of the group. Unfortunately it seems that this is their only record.

    Songs :

    Why Do You Treat Me This Way                         Lost Love              


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  • The Unitones
    Sal Roberto

    The Unitones (Middletown, Connecticut)

    Personnel :

    Joe Marino (Lead)

    Vin Carta (Bass)

    Mike Garafolo (Tenor)

    Sal Roberto (Baritone)

    Discography :

    Singles :
    1959 - Judy / The Sound (Candy 005)
    Unreleased :
    1959 - Land By The Sea (Candy)
    1959 - Lorraine (Candy)


    The Unitones formes as a group in November 1957. All member are from Middletown. The four members, Joe Marino, Vin Carta, Mike Garafolo and Sal Roberto started singing on a Middletown High School basketball bus ride home from an away game. All the singers played basketball for Middletown High. Accompaniment at the Quartet's performances was Frank Baratta (Piano) and Joe Zimmitti (Drums). One of the classmates of the group was the daughter of Mickey Maroni, who later founded M-Z Records. Maroni's daughter listen to the group rehearse, and she persuaded her father to hear the Unitones. Maroni agreed to manage the group, and arranged for them perform at many locations all over Connecticut and Western Massachusetts in 1957, 1958 and 1959. The Group often appears at Mountain Park in Holyoke, Massachusetts. They sang on the same stage t a park in Bridgeport with a young Neil Sedaka in 1957. Maroni arranged for the group to record their single for Candy records. When they recorded, The Unitones utilised the talents of four friends who where members of the High School band, a saxophonist, trumpeter, guitarist and bassist.Frank Baratta and Joe Marino wrote the group's four songs, recorded in New York City in February 1959. Candy released only "Judy" b/w "The Sound".

    Songs :
    (updated by Hans-Joachim) 

    Judy                                      The Sound


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    The Velvets (1) (Harlem, New York)


    Personnel :

    Charles Sampson (Lead)

    Donald "Razor" Raysor (Tenor)

    Bearle Ashton (Baritone)

    George Thorpe (Bass)

    Joe Brisbane (Tenor)

    Discography :

    The Velvets (1)
    1953 - They Tried / She's Gotta Grin (Red Robin 120)
    1953 - I / At Last (Red Robin 122 / Pilgrim 706 / Event 4285)
    1954 - I Cried / Tell Her (Red Robin 127)
    1958 - Dance Honey Dance / I-I-I (Love You So-So-So) (Fury 1012)

    Charles & Carl
    1955 - Lucky Star / One More Chance (Red Robin 137)

    Biography :

    Teenage vocal group from the Sugar Hill area, just south of Washington Heights in Harlem, NY, in the early 1950s composed by George Thorpe, Bearle Ashton, Charles Sampson, Donald Razor, and Joe Brisbane. "They Tried" b/w "She's Gotta Grin" Issued circa September 1953 as Red Robin 120 was their first of three releases on Bobby Robinson's legendary Red Robin label. Born in Union, South Carolina, in 1917, Morgan C. “Bobby” Robinson moved to New York City in 1946, where he opened "Bobby's Record Shop" (later called "Bobby's Happy House") on the corner of 125th Street and 8th Avenue.

    Donald "Razor" Raysor                                                                                                                   

    It was the first black-owned business on Harlem’s famed 125th Street. In 1951, Robinson started the Robin (later changed to Red Robin) record label. "I" b/w "At Last" was their second record and breaking strong on the charts. In early spring 1954, The Velvets spent over three hours on what would become their last Red Robin Singles "I Cried", this was done during the same session where the Scarlets were given to cut "Dear One" and another Ballad called "I’ve Lost."

                                                                                                   Bobby Robinson

    In late 1954 Donald Razor replace Carl Hogan in The Valentines, Carl Hogan would leave the group before a session at Old Town Records, after a fight with the rest of the group.  In 1955, Velvet’s lead singer Charles Sampson & Carl Hogan from the Valentines recorded "Lucky Star" b/w "One More Chance". In 1957, Carl Hogan fronted The Miracles on Fury. In 1958, Fury Records, also owned by Bobby Robinson released the last record of the group with "Dance Honey Dance" b/w "I-I-I (Love You So-So-So)". Members of the group changed on this last single with Carl Hogan and Leon Briggs, brother of Raymond Briggs from The Valentines. Donald Razor & Leon Briggs will be part of The Clippers who recorded "Bella Marie" and "I’m Yours" released by Gee Records.

    Songs :

    The Velvets (1)

    They Tried                                          She's Gotta Grin

      I                                                     At Last

    I Cried                                            Tell Her

             Dance Honey Dance                    I-I-I (Love You So-So-So)

    Charles & Carl

           Lucky Star                                 One More Chance

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  •  Jimmy & The Crestones
        Jimmy Appollo,  Dennis Walsh ,  Ralph Circelli,  Joe Foti  and Harvey Katofski

    Jimmy & The Crestones (Bronx N.Y)
    By Joe Foti & Jimmy Appollo

    Personnel :

    Jimmy Appollo (Lead)

    Harvey Katofski (Bass)

    Joe Foti (Baritone /Second Tenor)

    Dennis Walsh (Tenor)

    Ralph Circelli

    Discography :

    1964 - New Girl On My Block / Angel Maureen (Maria 101/Avenue D11)

    Biography :
    "Jimmy & The Crestones" originated in 1961 from a neighborhood group from Creston Avenue in The Bronx N.Y called The Doveins. The lead singer of The Doveins was Matt Daly , with the group consisting of Harvey Katofski (Bass), Joe Foti ( Baritone/2nd. Tenor), Dennis Walsh (Tenor). Decatur Ave., Bronx N.Y., with an additional voice being added by Ralph Circelli who lived across the hall in my apartment building.

     Jimmy & The Crestones 

    The Doveins had difficulties with the lead singer who  was eventually replaced by Jimmy Appollo from With the very tight, almost familial harmony of The Crestones, and Jimmy's unique voice we, over many months of performing in local businesses & schools, branched out to other boroughs of New York City and some parts of New Jersey. Our manager then was D.J. Clark who had written a song for, and about, his then girlfriend Maureen. We picked it up, tweaked it a bit, added our own seasoning and finally cut the song in Brooklyn with Al Browne's musical support on Maria Label and was its first release. Soon after its release we became more familiar with the music business and all its pitfalls and limelight. In 1963 we appeared on the Clay Cole Show in Palisades Park N.J.

    Al Browne (Piano) & his band

    The  experience we absorbed over the previous 2 years was evident to us and over the course of a few more months performing we found ourselves in the offices of Giant & Baum (Bill Giant/Bernie Baum/Florence Kaye) in the Brill Building 1619 Broadway called affectionately "The Mecca of the music writing  business in New York City." Giant & Baum!!  They wrote for not only Elvis but a myriad of other top stars dating back to the 1940's!!. Well after a few demos of our talents we found out about the pitfalls of the music business.

    Although our sound was as solid as it could get in the 1960's the flavor & direction of  the constantly evolving music business was changing and we were then turned over to another writing team who offered us an old standard written in 1945 that they wanted to re-record and release, which we just could not quite capture, but itself eventually became a hit by Lenny Welch "Since I don't have you".. We continued as a group throughout the mid 60's but as our eventual maturing ,and the Vietnam war, entered our realm of reality, slowly Jimmy and the Crestones became a memory and a mist. 


    Jimmy continued his music well into 2009 when he retired, I retired from business in 2006, Denny and Ralph, sadly, passed away in the70's and ol' Harvey?.. Well he's out there somewhere-- someplace!!."  Its part of our  fabric of life, and we would not change it for all the gold records in the universe!!  God Bless! 
    Joe Foti, Harrisburg Pa.  May 2012

    Songs :

     Angel Maureen                                  New Girl On My Block




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  • Little Tommy & The Teenagers  

    Little Tommy & The Teenagers (Richmond, Virginia)

    Personnel :

    Tyrone "Little Tommy" Thomas (Lead)

    Major Harris

    Jonny Jones

    Lawrence Cary


    Discography :


    Biography :

    Tyrone Thomas, at the tender age of 10 was known as Lil Tommy. He and Major Harris of "Love Won't Let Me Wait" fame, put together their first quartet, called the "Teenagers" They open for several major league recording artist,such as Sam Cooke, Mary Wells, Fat's Domino, and blues legend Jimmy Reid.  The Teenagers stay together for several years. The Teenagers went on to perform and win Amateur Night at the Apollo in the late 50's.  Tyrone began to hone his skill as a drummer. Later putting together a band called "Nobody's Children". In the early 70's they became Patti Labelle and the Bluebells back up band. Again touring and opening shows for artist such as Tyrone Davis, Kool and the Gang, The Delfonics, and The Moments, to name a few "Nobody's Children" continue to be Patti Labelle's back up band. They were performing at Lord Price's Turntable, when Patti Labelle was suddenly stricken with a serious throat illness.


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