Dion and the Belmonts

Dion and the Belmonts is an American vocal group formed in the late 1950's. The group consisted of Dion DiMucci, Carlo Mastrangelo, Freddie Milano, and Angelo D'Aleo.
Dion DiMucci is from an Italian-American family in the Bronx. He would gather local singers to sing and he also sang in local clubs. In early 1957, he auditioned for Bob and Gene Schwartz, from Mohawk Records. They recorded him with the Timberlanes and the single 'The Chosen Few' was released.

Left to right: Carlo Mastrangelo, Freddie Milano, Dion DiMucci, Angelo D'Aleo

It was a minor regional hit. The Belmonts was a group of doo-wop vocalists. They got their name from Belmont Avenue in the Bronx. The Belmonts first recorded with Mohawk Records, where singer Dion was also recording. Dion joined the group as lead singer and it was then known as 'Dion and the Belmonts' in 1957. The new group signed to Laurie Records and their first real breakthrough was from their single: 'I Wonder Why', and for the first time, they appeared on American Bandstand. Their success won them their first major tour in 1958. This tour was followed by 'The Winter Dance Party', with Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. There was a special plane for the performers of The Winter Dance Party, but there was a fee of $36, and Dion couldn't and wouldn't pay it. After a first show in Clear Lake Iowa, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper headed to the airport and took their special plane to Fargo, North Dakota. Unfortunately, their plane crashed and all three singers, including the pilot, were killed. The tour still continued with replacements. In March 1959, a next single was released by Dion and the Belmonts. 'A Teenager in Love' made #5 in the Billboard Hot 100 and #28 in the UK Singles Chart. This was followed by their first album, 'Presenting Dion and the Belmonts' as well as their biggest hit, 'Where or When', which was #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. In early 1960, Dion was administered to hospital for heroin addiction, apparently since his mid teens. He also had musical and financial disputes with the Belmonts. In October 1960, Dion quit and started a solo career. The Belmonts continued recording, but with less success. The group tried reuniting in 1966, but separated again when their album, 'Together Again', was unsuccessful. They sang together again in 1972, for a once-off show, which was recorded and released as a live album. In 2000, Dion and the Belmonts were integrated into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

In 'Peggy Sue got Married', there are many references to Dion and the Belmonts. It shows actual footage of Dion and the Belmonts performing 'A Teenager in Love', while two characters watch part of the live show on television. There is also a girl saying "Wow! Charlie can really sing! (other girl) Yeah, Maybe he's gonna be the next Dion and the Belmonts!", and during that same scene, Charlie sings 'I Wonder Why' with his friends, reenacting almost the same performance that the actual group did.

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