• The Vilons

     The Vilons (Brooklyn, New York)

    Personnel :

    Bobby Alvarez (lead)

    John Pagar (Tenor)

    Santos Torres (Second Tenor)

    Louis Torres (Baritone)

    Cesare Pagan (Bass)

    Discography :

    First Group
    1962 - What Kind Of Fool Am I? / Let Me In Your Life (Lake 713)
    1963 - Mother Nature / Lone Stranger (Aljon 1259 / 1260)

    Second Group
    1972 - Angel Darling / Wish She Was Wine (Bim Bam Boom 104)
    1973 - Tears On My Pillow / Sweetest One (Vintage 1011)

    Biography :

    It all started in the Farragut housing projects in Brooklyn. Five Young Men - Bobby Alvarez (lead), John Pagar (Tenor), Santos Torres (Second Tenor), Louis Torres (Baritone) and Cesare Pagan (Bass) - began to harmonize on rooftops and in hallways. Being convinced theta they were ready to go professional and record, they went looking for help. John, leader of the group, found an address of a record company on a Aljon disc and since it wasn't far away from their homes they decided to check it out. At Aljon they found Al Browne. Together with Al's Musical accompaniment they cut several sides.

    The group personnel remained intact during their brief recording career accept with Carlos Infante of the Zircons filling in on bass several times. The group broke up in the mid '60s. Of this masters, two records were originally released: "What Kind Of Fool Am I ?" b/w "Let Me In Your Life" on Lake (Which Al Browne ran with Partner Ernest Kelley) in 1962 and "Mother Nature" b/w "Lone Stranger" on Aljon in 1963. The Original version of "Mother Nature", as the original of "Lone Stranger", was first recorded by the Del Counts on Al Browne's Rose label. Relic re-issued "Mother Nature" in 1964 and it remained in print for over twenty years.

    Al Browne (Piano) with his band

    Here's the complete story on the 2nd Vilons group (by Tony D'Ambrosio). In 1971, Al Browne reformed the Vilons; the only remaining original member was Lead Singer Bobby Alvarez. The rest of the group consisted of Donny Myles, Sonny Benton, Sal Mondrone and Luther Van Dross. Luther Van Dross was Al's nephew and younger brother of original Crests' member Patricia Van Dross. These were some of the earliest recordings that Luther Vandross appeared on. He became a "super-star" whose highly successful career endured until his death in 2005.


    Donny Myles and Sonny Benton were former members of many groups including the Billy Dawn Quartet, the Heralds, and the Four Dukes. Sal Mondrone was a DJ on NYC radio stations WHBI-FM (early 1970s) and WFUV-FM (1980s). He was also the Baritone Lead Singer of the legendary Sparrows Quartette. In 1971, the reformed Vilons recorded 4 sides for Al, at C & S Studios on Linden Blvd in Brooklyn (NY). Two were sold to Bim Bam Boom (for $50) and released on that label in 1972. The other 2 were sold to Record Exchanger (for $50) and were released on their Vintage label in 1973.

    Songs :

    What Kind Of Fool Am I?          Mother Nature                    Lone Stranger

    Let Me In Your Life                 Tears On My Pillow

    Angel Darling                         Sweetest One                 Wish She Was Mine


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