The Fascinators (3)
Top: Angelo LaGreca, Nicky Trivatto and George Cernacek - Bottom : Anthony Passalacqua & Eddie Wheeler
The Fascinators (3) (Brooklyn, New York)
Anthony Passalacqua (Lead)
Angelo LaGreca (Baritone)
Nicky Trivatto (Tenor)
Eddie Wheeler (Tenor)
George Cernacek (Bass)
1958 - Chapel Bells / I Wonder Who (Capitol 4053/4544)
1959 - Who Do You Think You Are / Come To Paradise (Capitol 4137)
1959 - Oh, Rose Marie / Fried Chicken And Macaroni (Capitol 4247)
1956 - Forgive Me (My Darling) (Demo)
1958 - Oh, Rose Marie (Demo)
1958 - Teenage Wedding (Capitol)
1958 - Recess (Capitol)
1958 - Dear Lord (Capitol)
1958 - Love That Girl (Capitol)
The original members of the Fascinators came together, as did many of the vocal groups of the '50s, while singing harmonies on the street-corners of their hometown, in this case, the Ridgewood-Bedford Stuyvessant section of Brooklyn. The group -- Tony Passalaqua, lead, Angelo LaGreca, baritone, Nicky Trivatto, tenor, Eddie Wheeler, tenor, and George Cernacek, bass (though he was just a tenor and occasionally had to smoke cigars before appearances or record sessions in order to deepen his voice!) -- ultimately received offers from several record labels, but it was their manager, Jim Fererri, who directed them to Capitol Records.
Top : Angelo LaGreca, Eddie Wheeler and George Cernacek - Bottom : Nicky Trivatto, and Anthony Passalacqua
Unfortunately for the group, Capitol wanted to sign Passalaqua as a single artist, but he insisted that he would not go forward without the group. Manny Kellem, director of A&R, proceeded to set a session up with musicians Big Al Sears and King Curtis on sax, Panama Francis (from the Count Basie band) on drums, and the arranger was Sid Bass. Capitol issued three singles before dropping the group, who became so completely disillusioned by the entire process that they disbanded and, with the exception of Passalaqua, were never to record again.
Nicky Trivatto, George Cernacek, Eddie Wheeler and Angelo LaGreca
Among the Fascinators' rivals and contemporaries were the Clusters, who were friends of Passalacqua's, and the Markels, another Bushwick-based group, who scored a modest hit in 1958 with "Letter of Love." When the Fascinators broke up, Passalacqua hooked up with Joe Gugliaro and Joe Agugliaro (who were cousins) of the Clusters, and Donnie Milo, formerly of the Markels, essentially forming a reconstituted Clusters.
The new group was called the Twilights and the group was signed to Colpix Records, but they immediately ran into trouble when their first single was issued as The Twilights featuring Tony Richards, which was soon changed to Tony & the Twilights. The inevitable ego clashes ensued and the group split up in the next year after recording a series of singles for Colpix and other labels. Tony Richards, as he was billed, later recorded as Tony Mitchell, but never recaptured the promise of his early work with the Fascinators.
Chapel Bells I Wonder Why Who Do You Think You Are
Come To Paradise Oh, Rose Marie Fried Chicken And Macaroni
Teenage Wedding Recess
Dear Lord / Love That Girl
Forgive Me (My Darling) (Demo) / Oh, Rose Marie (Demo)
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