1959 Tony Bellus – Robbin’ The Cradle
Anthony J. Bellusci grew up in Chicago and began recording for Shi-Fi Records in 1958 as Tony Bellus. One song that he wrote and recorded became his most successful single the next year. The single had an unusual mixture of styles: Tony sang and played the accordion, the music had a rockabilly feel, and the backup singers were a Latino group.
The National Recording Corporation (NRC) heard Tony performing Robbin’ The Cradle at a show in Chicago and leased the song so they could take distribution of the song to a national audience.
Tony appeared on the weekday afternoon version of American Bandstand in April 1959, and his record jumped onto Billboard’s Hot 100 chart the next week. The single remained on the chart for the next six months, eventually peaking at #25 in August.
NRC went into bankruptcy in 1961, about the time that Tony served in the US military, and the result made it difficult for Tony to continue his recording career.
The company eventually came out of bankruptcy, and Tony returned to Chicago after his service, but he never again reached the charts. He was popular enough in the local area to make a living by appearing in clubs around Chicago for over twenty years.
Tony and his wife moved to Florida in the eighties. He has continued singing in clubs and writing and performing new material, most recently concentrating on Christian music.
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