Saturday, March 28, 2009

THE DUPREES STORY


In 1958, Joey Canzano and Tom Bialoglow founded The Utopians with Brian Moran and Jackie Smith. They had achieved local popularity in the Jersey City area. About the same time, a quintet by the name of The Elgins was also gaining local popularity in the same area. The group was made up of Joe Santollo, Mike Arnone, Gus Salerno, Joe Cataldo and Mike Amato, all friends from Dickinson High School in Jersey City. When the group disbanded around 1960, Joe Santollo and Mike Arnone got together with another friend, John Salvato of The Panics, and decided to form another group.
They approached Joey Canzano and persuaded him to join them, bringing Tom Bialoglow, his long time friend, with him. This completed the lineup and they called themselves The Parisiens. They chose The Parisiens simply because they liked the French sounding name. Over the next two years they practiced at each other’s houses in their hometown of Jersey City, New Jersey and played gigs at local hops. They made many demos and went through the hands of several managers. The demos included songs like "My Own True Love", "September In The Rain", "As Time Goes By", "Because" and "Voices Are Calling". The first three were later re-recorded and released on Coed. During this time, Joey Canzano was temporarily replaced by Mike Kelly of the Vocal Teens, a name the group would see again a few years later.

See The Parisiens in this blog;http://whitedoowopcollector.blogspot.com/2010/04/parisiens-aka-duprees-aka-vocal-teens.html


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 previously been a hit for Jo Stafford in 1952. The Duprees version was given a big band backing by Paxton and reached # 7 the US top ten in 1962.

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The band had more top 40 hits in the next couple of 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 charted # 13 in 1962.

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"Have You Heard" charted #18 and "Why Don't You Believe Me"#37 reached the Top US charts, and, like "You Belong to Me," were originally early 50s female vocal hits (Joni James, in this case).



The band became known for mixing doowop vocals with big band arrangements. Tom Biagelow 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.(in this time Joey sang as a solo artist for Coed Records,see in this blog) The Duprees became unfashionable after the Beatles spearheaded the British Invasion in 1964 although they continued to record, turning in a more "pop" direction.

In 1970 they reached # 97 with"Check Yourself" under the name of the Italian Asphalt & Pavement.

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The band still performs today on the oldies circuit, but with no original members. Joey Vann and Joe Santollo died in 1981, and Mike Arnone in 2005.

For the complete bio,pictures and discography visit; http://www.duprees.com/home.html

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