1963 The Duprees – Have You Heard
In February 1952, Joni James began recording for MGM Records. She had seen the sheet music for You Belong To Me and became the first artist to record the song, but MGM released another of her recordings as a single instead. Jo Stafford covered the song and her version first charted in August and went to number one on the charts. MGM released Joni’s version as her second single, but it did not chart because of Jo’s success.
Joni did not lose out completely in 1952 as her recording of Why Don’t You Believe Me topped the chart later in the year. The next year she followed that with the single Have You Heard, which reached #4.
New Jersey high school students Michael Arnone, Tom Bialoglow, John Salvato, Joe Santollo, and lead singer Joey Canzano (later known as Joey Vann) formed a doo-wop group in the early sixties. George Paxton, a former bandleader who also produced records, signed the group to his Coed Records label. The group began recording in 1962.
The Duprees covered You Belong To Me in 1962 and their single peaked at #7 on the Hot 100.
Their next single took the melody of Tara’s Theme from Gone With The Wind and recorded the song with new lyrics. My Own True Love reached #13 before fading off the chart. Their next single only reached #91, and they followed that with Gone With The Wind, which stopped at #89.
They reached back into Joni’s hits, and their version of Why Don’t You Believe Me put them back into the top forty, although it stalled at #37.
The group’s last hit came late in 1963, when they once again recorded one of Joni’s hits. They reached #18 on the Hot 100 with their release of Have You Heard.
Mike Kelly took over as the lead vocalist for the group from 1964 to 1977. Mike Arnone took over managing the group and kept it touring on the oldies circuit with replacement singers until his death in 2005. Before his death, he had hired Tony Testa, a former guitar player for the group, to act as music director, and Tony continues to lead the group today. The current lead singer is Tommy Petillo.
I post links to my Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day each day on Facebook. My books are on sale on Amazon (or free with Kindle Unlimited) and contain a lot more Lost or Forgotten Oldies. You can visit my author page to see them and you can read them for free with Kindle Unlimited!