Born Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco, Lou Christie achieved his first international success with the aptly titled song “Lightning Strikes.” He later went on to record the controversial tune “Rhapsody in the Rain,” which would eventually get banned from radio play even after edits were made. The former teenage heartthrob had pushed mainstream media’s limits with his sexually suggestive lyrics. 60’s music was influenced by Christie and he continued making international chart-toppers, like “Make You Mine” and “Beyond The Blue Horizon.” Famous musicians, like Elton John and Madonna, have publicly cited Lou Christie as an inspiration in their artistry. Most recently, the singer-songwriter collaborated with other legendary Pittsburgh talent to produce the song “The Soldier” to benefit American veterans. His latest album is called Pledging My Love.
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This multi-talented artist is behind some of the greatest hits in rock n roll history. Dennis Tufano began his musical career as the lead vocalist of the Chicago-based band, The Buckinghams. The name was inspired by the British invasion of 60’s music. Together, this group produced a string of Top Ten hits that are still heard to this day. “Kind of a Drag” shot to #1 on the charts and catapulted the notoriety that would make The Buckinghams “The Most Listened to Band in America” in 1967, according to Billboard magazine. After the group’s success, Tufano kept growing as an artist, expanding on his songwriting ability and acting skills. He has since been seen in live concert, performing with the likes of Olivia Newton-John. Most recently, Tufano was in a tribute show to rock n roll artist, Bobby Darin.
Originally from New Jersey, The Duprees is an American doo wop band that made their mark in music history by reviving classics. Their first hit, “You Belong to Me,” was originally recorded by Joni James in the 1950s, but The Duprees made that record their own by mixing their doo wop vocals with big band arrangements. This musical technique ushered in a series of hits like “Gone With The Wind,” “Why Don’t You Believe Me,” and “Have You Heard.” These and other classics spent weeks in Billboard’s Top 40. In 2006, all original members were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
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The charismatic Bobby Brooks Wilson, known to his fans as Mr. Entertainment, has been winning crowds over since his musical career began in the doo wop group, The Lovenotes. Unknowingly channeling his father, the late great Jackie Wilson, Bobby’s voice and stage presence has garnered him international attention and stardom. This remarkable artist has had four Top Ten hits, has been a three-time Grammy nominee, and his latest radio releases are still on the UK charts. He has entertained the world in live concert with such tours as “Jackie Wilson, The Legacy Continues,” “Bobby Brooks Wilson, The Motown Years,” and “Bobby Brooks Wilson’s Red Tie Tour.” Mr. Entertainment has certainly kept true to his name.
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Acts and Performers
Lou Christie’s chart topping, multi-million selling career as a songwriter, recording artist, and performer started in a two-track studio in Glenwillard Pennsylvania, his rural hometown near Pittsburgh. Lou’s first million selling song, THE GYPSY CRIED, transformed a local choirboy, Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco, into LOU CHRISTIE – national teen idol, while still a teenager himself.
Over the decade of the 1960’s Lou followed success with greater success. TWO FACES HAVE I was his next big hit featuring his stratospheric falsetto. LOU forever embedded himself and his uniquely talented voice into America’s consciousness with his number 1 multi-million selling success LIGHTNING STRIKES. LOU’S chart topping success continued with two more million selling hits, RHAPSODY IN THE RAIN and I’M GONNA MAKE YOU MINE. RHAPSODY’S success was fueled by the fact that it was the first song banned on the radio due to its suggestive lyrics.
Lou was more than just your average teen idol. He was one of the decades first singer-songwriters. Together with his eccentric collaborator, Twyla Herbert, LOU co-wrote nearly all of his songs. Twyla, nearly 30 years LOU’S senior, was a classically trained musician. It was the perfect partnership since LOU had no formal musical training.
Highlights from LOU’S performing career include appearances on “Dick Clark’s Caravan Of Stars”, sharing 72 consecutive one-nighters with Diana Ross and the Supremes, and a command performance for Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family. Lou has shared the stage with many of the greats of Rock ‘n’ Roll including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Neil Diamond, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard.
Elton John, John Lennon, Madonna are among the music legends upon whom Lou has had an effect. Elton John played piano for LOU during LOU’S ‘London Period’ in the early 70’s and recorded LOU’S song, SHE SOLD ME MAGIC. John Lennon repeatedly pointed out in his interviews that “LOU CHRISTIE was one of my influences”. And, Madonna thanked LOU in the liner notes of her ten million selling Immaculate Collection LP.
Over the past decade, Lou has led the resurgence of Rock ‘n’ Roll heroes performing through-out the world. LOU’S fans recognize his distinctive vocal and writing performances in major motion pictures. Many distinguished directors are also fans. Films that feature Lou’s songs include Barry Levinson’s -RAINMAN, Whit Stillman’s – BARCELONA and THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO, Tony Bill’s – A HOME OF OUR OWN, Richard Linklatter’s – BEFORE SUNRISE, John Hughes – DUTCH, Michael de Avila’s – BURNZY’S LAST CALL, and Oliver Stone’s TV mini-series WILD PALMS.
Chart Topper of the 60’s
Dennis, a native of Chicago, is the original “voice” of “The Buckinghams”. The Chicago-based group scored with a string of five Top Ten hits in the late-sixties including, the No#1 “Kind of A Drag”, “Don’t You Care”, “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”, “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song”, “Susan” and “Back In Love Again”. Following his success in the Buckinghams, Dennis was part of the song-writing duo “Tufano and Giammarese” and recorded three albums with Lou Adler’s custom label, Ode Records. Appearing as a guest vocalist he went on to co-write with renowned composer and musician Tom Scott. With Scott as a composer, Dennis performed the “original title/theme song” for the long-running “Family Ties” television show. (First 13episodes)
Dennis also wrote the music and performed with Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s lyricist, on Taupin’s album, ” He Who Rides The Tiger “. Subsequently, he teamed again with Taupin to co-write, co-produce and perform the Farm Dogs album “Last Stand In Open Country”.
Back on the road, Dennis joined Olivia Newton-John on her hugely successful tour and was featured, with her on the HBO Special in two dramatically inspired duets.
As an actor, Dennis has appeared in theater productions in
Los Angeles and has worked in film, television, radio, and commercials.
He was also one of the founding members of an improvisational voice-ensemble called the “LA.MadDogs”. This group of actors performs on hundreds of movies and numerous television shows and have produced and performed seven “live” radio dramas, three of which Dennis directed, for KMPC RADIO THEATER in Los Angeles.
Dennis produced, directed and shot a documentary in Chicago, “Major Hall: Therapy Tuesday” and is currently preparing it for release. He has been praised for his performance on the, “PBS Music Series the ‘60s”, and will be included in the award-winning PBS-DVD series.
The Love Songs That Never Die
The group was founded in the early 1960s in Jersey City, New Jersey, by William L. Dickinson High School students Michael Arnone, Joe Santollo, John Salvato, Tom Bialoglow, and lead singer Joey Canzano (later known as Joey Vann). George Paxton, a former big band leader was impressed by the group’s style and signed them to his Coed Records label. Their first single, “You Belong to Me”, had been a hit for Jo Stafford in 1952. The Duprees’ version was given a big band backing by Paxton and reached the US top ten in 1962.
The group had more top 40 hits in the next few years. “My Own True Love” was a vocal adaptation of “Tara’s Theme” from the soundtrack of Gone with the Wind and became the group’s second hit. “Have You Heard” and “Why Don’t You Believe Me” also reached the Top 40 charts and, like “You Belong to Me,” were originally early 1950s female vocal hits (Joni James, in this case). The group became known for mixing doo-wop vocals with big band arrangements. Tom Bialoglow left in 1963. Mike Kelly, who had recorded on the group’s original demos for George Paxton, replaced Joey Vann as lead vocalist in 1964, and formally left the group in 1977. In the late 1960s and early 1970s they released an album under the name The Italian Asphalt & Pavement Company (or I. A. P. CO.), and had a minor hit called “Check Yourself.” Mike Arnone kept the group going into the 1980s with Richie Rosato on lead, Al Latta on baritone, Bob Leszczak on first tenor, Bobby Wells on keyboards, and Duane O’Hara on drums. This group lasted from 1981-83.
Joe Santollo died in 1981, Joey Vann died in 1984, and Mike Arnone died in 2005. John Salvato is a booking agent. Mike Kelly, who sang briefly with The Chaperones in 2006, died of cancer on August 7, 2012. Tommy Bialoglow had his own group called Twilight Time and currently performs with Joe Zisa & Friends “Jersey Tribute”.
The Original Duprees (Joey Vann Canzano, Mike Kelly, John Salvato, Tom Bialoglow, Joe Santollo, and Mike Arnone) were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006.
In 1990, Mike Arnone took a back seat to performing so he could manage the group full-time. He died in 2005. The current edition of the Duprees are led by Tony Testa. He was one of the original guitarists for the Duprees during the early years. In 1989 Mike Arnone asked him to return to The Duprees as its Musical Director. Testa also sings bass, baritone and top falsetto parts for the group. Phil Granito has been with the Duprees since 1987. Jimmy Spinelli joined the group in 1989. Tommy Petillo is the group’s fourth member who was the last lead singer to perform with the original Duprees
2012 marked the 50th anniversary of “You Belong to Me” becoming a national hit.
The legend and the legacy of the Duprees continue today…
The Duprees are known the world over for their romantic interpretations of the most beautiful love songs ever written. They have made a career out of giving new life to old hits. Starting out in the early sixties, in Jersey City, New Jersey, The Duprees were discovered by George Paxton of Coed Records and former big band leader. Impressed with their smooth vocal quality, he had them record Jo Stafford’s 1950’s ballad “You Belong To Me” with Big Band arrangements. It was an instant national hit and the group’s first Million Seller. The unmistakable sound was born and the hits kept coming:
1962 You Belong To Me · 1962 My Own True Love · 1963 Gone With The Wind · 1963 Take Me As I Am · 1963 Why Don’t You Believe Me · 1963 Have You Heard · 1963 Love Eyes · 1963 It’s No Sin · 1963 The Sand And The Sea · 1964 It Isn’t Fair · 1966 Let Them Talk · 1966 Exodus
Along with their unique sound and outstanding vocal harmonies, The Duprees perform with showmanship that is individually and collectively, second to none. Thousands of fans around the globe are captivated with their wonderful mixture of romance, energy, and fun. When The Duprees take the stage, be prepared to be thoroughly entertained.
“Mr. Entertainment” & Son of Legendary Jackie Wilson
Plateau Music Artist, Bobby Brooks Wilson, is the son of Legendary R&B/Soul Singer, Jackie Wilson. Bobby has the same amazing traits and talents of his father, that many say Jackie Wilson’s legacy lives on through him. His adoring fans have dubbed him as ‘Mr. Entertainment’ from his natural ability to entertain and bring crowds to life.
Bobby is a three-time Grammy Balloted Artist with his latest CD, “It’s About Time,” and four Top 10 hits that peaked #10 on the Adult Contemporary Charts.
Bobby’s musical journey began after leaving the US Navy and residing in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was invited to join the world-famous Doo Wop Group “The Love Notes” by Papa Mars (Peter Hernandez Sr.) and son, Little Bruno known as “The World’s Youngest Elvis Impersonator,” who is now Pop Star Bruno Mars.
While Bobby was emerging as a talented entertainer, he came across many opportunities to recreate the persona of Jackie Wilson because of his uncanny resemblance, voice, and moves that were almost identical to Jackie. It was during this time in his career he learned where his musical skills originated; he really was Jackie Wilson’s biological son!
Since that time, Bobby has emerged into a Global Entertainer with his own shows including: “Jackie Wilson, The Legacy Continues”, “Bobby Brooks Wilson, The Motown Years,” and his latest show “Bobby Brooks Wilson’s Red Tie Tour,” due to the success of his latest CD recorded by Plateau Music. Bobby has opened for his friend Bruno Mars, and now stars in Clubs, Theaters, Casinos, and Cruise Ships around the world.
His latest radio releases, “I Can’t Love You Anymore” and “I Get The Sweetest Feeling” are currently airing in the UK and soaring up the charts. Because of popular demand, has scheduled an upcoming tour in the UK. Another single is set to release in South Africa beginning June 1st. He is currently recording a new CD that will be released world-wide this fall with a special attachment which will disclose in the very near future.
Many watch with anticipation as Bobby Brooks Wilson’s success continues to soar through the “Grace of God”, he says as the singer, the entertainer and the artist!