Tony & Joe
Tony & Joe (Los Angeles)
Tony Savonne (Henry Imel)
1958 - The Freeze / Gonna Get A Little Kissin' Tonight (Era 1075)
1958 - Where Can You Be? / Play Something Sentimental Mr. DJ (Era 1083/Dore 2002)
1960 - The Duck Walk / Instant Love (Gardena 103)
1961 - Twist And Freeze / Long Black Stockings (More 619)
Joe Saraceno has been hailed by Billboard as one of the Top 100 producers of all time and as the # 1 producer of rock instrumentals. After graduating from St. Lawrence University with a degree in business administration and psychology, Saraceno moved to Los Angeles in 1958, where he got a job as an auditor for US Steel. Arranger and pianist Ernie Freeman (“Raunchy,” #1 R&B, 1957) introduced Saraceno to the world of professional musicians, arrangers, producers, and recording studios. Saraceno began working with songwriter/pianist Tony Savonne (real name Henry Imel) on a song savonne called ”The Pause”, inspired by the dancers on American Bandstand.
Saraceno suggested a better title, “The Freeze.” They showed the song to Freeman who, although he detested it, arranged to cut a demo in Ted Brinson's garage with Plas Johnson on sax and Ed “Sharky” Hall on drums. Unable to afford professional singers, Saraceno and Savonne sang it themselves, hoping to pitch it to Jan and Arnie on Arwin Records. But after they played it for Herb Newman, he suggested they release the demo under their first names Tony & Joe. “The Freeze“ (b/w “Gonna Get A Little Kissin' Tonight“)was released in June 1958. The silly song struck a chord with the record-buying public and, propelled by an appearance on American Bandstand, reached #33 on August 4, the date Billboard renamed its singles chart the Hot 100. A follow-up single on Era, written by Phil Spector (“Where Can You Be?”), and one each on Flyte and Gardena, failed to chart, but Saraceno was undeterred.
The Pendletones (from left) : Mike Love, Brian Wilson, David Marks, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson (hidden)
Joe decided to concentrate on making records as an independent producer. His first success came in late 1959, co-producing Russ Regan's Christmas novelty hit "The Happy Reindeer" (recorded under the name "Dancer, Prancer and Nervous"), which went to # 34 (Capitol 4300). The first record Saraceno produced solo was Dorsey Burnette's "(There Was A) Tall Oak Tree", another hit (# 23 in early 1960). After charting modestly (# 89) with the instrumental "Beautiful Obsession" by Sir Chauncey (Ernie Freeman), Saraceno had participated in four national hits in less than two years. Come 1961, Joe went to work for Candix Records, also owned by Herb Newman. He was involved with the instrumental "Underwater" by the Frogmen (# 44) and then signed a group called the Pendletones, on the basis of their song "Surfin'". Saraceno changed their name to the Beach Boys,
The Freeze Gonna Get A Little Kissin' Tonight Where Can You Be?
The Duck Walk Instant Love Play Something Sentimental Mr. DJ
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