Saturday, June 05, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-The Elegants
Album:Street Corner Serenade: The Greatest Doo Wop of the '50's & '60's
Little Star topped the charts in 1958 and it was the only hit for The Elegants. They were a standard doo wop group from Staten Island, NY. led by lead singer Vito Picone. Picone and baritone Carman Romano were members of Pat Cordel & The Crescents. The group disbanded after one single. Picone & Romano formed the new group The Elegants with bass James Moschella, first tenor Arthur Venosa and second tenor Frank Tardogno. Picone and Venosa based Little Star on the nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The song got a good reaction at shows so they went looking for a record contract. That brought them to the door of Hull Records owner Bea Kaslin. She started her own label in the Brill Building in New York after working for Herald Records. She produced several doo wop classics including Book Of Love by The Monotones. Kaslin thought Little Star could be a big hit but based on past history thought it would be too big for her to handle. So she didn't bother to release it and instead leased it to ABC-Paramount. They released it in May 1958 and it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in Aug. 1958. Two follow up singles flopped and The Elegants were dropped by ABC-Paramount. This various artists CD from Rhino is a great intro to doo wop. After recording another single for Hull and two for United Artists, Vito Picone was injured in a car accident and the rest of the group attempted to continue without him. They weren't successful. When Picone returned, he recorded for Laurie Records as Vito & The Elegants. Then he reformed the group in the late 70s and continues to tour the oldies circuit today. Picone has also done bit parts in Good Fellas and The Sopranos. Here's The Elegants performing Little Star in the 70s.