• The Devotions (2) aka Marty & The Symbols (1)

    Marty & The Symbols (1)  (Astoria, Queens, New York) 
    aka  The Devotions (2) 


    Personnel :

    Ray Sanchez

    Bob Weibrod

    Bob Havorka

    Joe Pardo

    Frank Pardo


    Discography :

    The Devotions (2)

    Singles :
    1961 - Rip Van Winkle / For Sentimental Reasons (Delta 1001/Roulette 4406/4541)
    1964 - Sunday Kind Of Love  / Tears From A Broken Heart (Roulette 4556)
    1964 - Zindy Lou / Snow White (Roulette 4580)
    1972 - How Do You Speak To An Angel / Teardrops Follow Me (Kape 701)

    Unreleased :
    1964 - Practice What You Preach
    1965 - Looking For My Baby

    Acapella :
    Seceret Love
    Soft And Sweet
    Sunday Kind Of Love
    Rip Van Winkle
    Little Girl Of Mine
    Stormy Weather
    Who Can She Be
    Teardrops From A Broken Heart
    Three Wishes

    Marty & The Symbols (1) / Mr Bassman & The Symbols (1)
    1963 - You're The One / Rip Van Winkle (Graphic arts 1000)


    Biography :

    The Devotions were formed in 1960, in Astoria (a borough of Queens, New York City), originally as a sextet. Soon they were pared down to a quintet, consisting of Ray Sanchez (bass vocalist), Bob Hovorka, Bob Weinbrod and the brothers Frank and Joe Pardo. After six months of practicing virtually seven days a week, they met record promoter Joe Petralia, who lived down the street from Frank and Joe. Petralia introduced them to Bernie Zimming, owner of the small Delta label in NYC.

    The Devotions (2) aka Marty & The Symbols (1)

    Top : Bob Weibrod , Joe Pardo - Bottom : Bob Havorka, Ray Sanchez & Frank Pardo

    The Devotions auditioned with doo-wop classics like "Sunday Kind Of Love", "Life Is But A Dream" and "For Sentimental Reasons". Zimming liked the group, but he wanted something more gimmicky that would sell to teens. Ray Sanchez then wrote a novelty song in keeping with the kind that was popular around 1960. The result was "Rip Van Winkle", based on the classic tale of a man who slept for twenty years.

    The Devotions (2) aka Marty & The Symbols (1)

    Zimming liked the song so much that he took the group into the studio on the very day he first heard it. For the B-side the Devotions recorded "For Sentimental Reasons". The group would give out copies on the street and leave signs in record shops that they would be giving away autographed copies. Despite these efforts, "Rip Van Winkle" (Delta 1001) slipped into obscurity almost immediately. In 1962, Times Square, a New York oldies store that specialized in vocal group records, began promoting "Rip Van Winkle" on a local radio show hosted by the store's owner, Slim Rose. Roulette Records heard of its popularity among Times Square's customers, bought the Delta masters, and reissued the record on Roulette 4406.

         The Devotions (2) aka Marty & The Symbols (1)

    It still didn't chart, but gave the group a chance to appear on Slim Rose's rock and roll show in September 1962 at Palisades Park (New Jersey), one of the first oldies shows and years ahead of Richard Nader's late '60s successes. In late 1963, Roulette released an "oldies but goodies" compilation called "Golden Goodies". Why a flop like "Rip Van Winkle" was included among all those Top 20 hits is a mystery. A disc jockey in Pittsburgh, Porky Chadwick, started plugging "Rip Van Winkle" and the request phone lines started lighting up.

         The Devotions (2) aka Marty & The Symbols (1)   

    Porky Chadwick                                                              The Devotions

    This prompted the folks at Roulette to reissue the record once again in January 1964, this time on Roulette 4541. Within a week of its release, "Rip Van Winkle" had sold 15,000 copies in Pittsburgh alone. Three years after its initial release, the song finally became a hit, peaking at # 36 in Billboard, in the midst of Beatlemania.

    The Devotions (2) aka Marty & The Symbols (1)

    Top : Joe Pardo, Ray Sanchez - Bottom : Frank Pardo, Andy Sanchez & Bob Havorka

    It turned out that two of the original Devotions were in the armed forces, so a new group was formed with Louis DeCarlo replacing Ray Sanchez on lead and Larry Frank as a replacement for Bob Weisbrod. The group went on the road, had two further releases on Roulette, but received no radio attention and Roulette soon lost interest, after which the group disbanded. The Devotions reformed in the 1970s with Andy Sanchez (Ray's brother) on lead, and ironically they performed more in that decade than when they had their only hit.
    American singing groups: a history from 1940s to today‬ by Jay Warner


    Songs :

     The Devotions (2)

    Rip Van Winkle               For Sentimental Reasons          Sunday Kind Of Love

    Tears From A Broken Heart                      Zindy Lou                                  Snow White

    How Do You Speak To An Angel         Soft And Sweet                   Teardrops Follow Me

    Looking For My Baby        Practice What You Preach

    Marty & The Symbols (1) / Mr Bassman & The Symbols (1)

    You're The One                     Rip Van Winkle




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