• The Selections

    The Selections (Brooklyn, NY.)

    Personnel :

    Al Reno "Di Paola" (Lead)

    Joe Rivera (Tenor)

    Gerald Bart Emptage (Baritone)

    Tony Gravagna  (Bass)

    John Tari (Tenor)

    Discography :

    The Selections
    1958 - Guardian Angel / Soft and Sweet (Mona-Lee 129/Antone 101)

    Al Reno bb The Dials (2)
    1961 - Cheryl / Congratulations (Kapp 432)

    Biography :

    Lou Cicchetti was proprietor of the “Cousins” record label and the owner of the “Cousins Music Shop” in Fordham Road (The Bronx)  which was frequented by many local neighborhood groups (Dion/Belmonts, Earls, Consorts). These groups wanted Lou to record the songs they were singing on the street corner and help propell them to stardom. It was in this fashion that Cicchetti first encountered Al Reno, an important influence in the sense that this association led him into the business of producing records as well as selling them. Reno (whose subsequently co-wrote Dions's hit recording of "Lonely Teenager" under his real name, Al Di Paola) had recorded "Guardian Angel" b/w "Soft and Sweet" on the Antone Label with the Selections and had given Cicchetti the record to carry in the store.

    The Selections    The Selections
    Lou Cicchetti                                                                                                                        

    Cicchetti was impressed not only by the sound of the record but by the relative ease which such a record seemingly could be made. The Selections were a Brooklyn-based group composed by Al Reno, Joe Rivera, Gerald Bart Emptage, Tony Gravagna (Later with the regents) and John Tari. "Guardian Angel" b/w "Soft and Sweet"  was reissued by Specialty Records owner Art Rupe's former wife, Lee, on her Mona Lee label in late 1958 and revived a few years later by the Imaginations from the borough of Queens.  Al reno will participate in many recordings on Lou Cicchetti's Cousins Records. In 1961, Al Reno recorded a solo single on Kapp Records backed by The Dials.

    Songs :

    The Selections

    Guardian Angel                              Soft and Sweet

    Al Reno bb The Dials (2)

         Cheryl                                           Congratulations


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