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Vito & The Salutations

Vito & The Salutations

Unchained Melody

Daring young doo-woppers were speeding up beloved ballads so much that they were barely recognizable. The Earls' 1961 rendition of The Harptones' classic Life Is But A Dream is a fine example. So is this wildly innovative treatment of the stately Unchained Melody, a '55 smash for both Roy Hamilton and Al Hibbler, whose competing recordings really didn't differ much. No word on how they felt about Vito & The Salutations' blistering revival of their shared hit.

Brooklynites Bob De Pallo and Barry Solomon were harmonizing in the New York subway in 1961 when a passerby recommended them to producer Dave Rick. The pair brought in 14-year-old Vito Balsamo as their lead singer. He in turn recruited baritone Bobby Mitchell. They rehearsed for a day and successfully auditioned for Rick with The Crests' My Juanita. Their name stemmed from deejay Jocko Henderson's catchphrase "Greetings and salutations."

The quartet debuted on tiny Rayna Records with a lovely revival of The Cadillacs' 1954 classic Gloria (done straight - no speeding up) and Rick's Let's Untwist The Twist as a flip. It was a brisk local seller, but Rayna couldn't take it further. The rest of The Salutations quit, but Vito put together a fresh lineup out of Jefferson High School with tenors Randy Silverman and Shelly Buchansky, baritone Lenny Citran, and bass Frankie Fox. Rick escorted them to another minuscule concern, Kram Records, to remake The Heartbeats' Your Way (these guys dug the classics). 

The group moved up in class when they hooked on with Al Silver's Herald Records, once home to The Turbans and Nutmegs. That's where they joyfully deconstructed Unchained Melody, turning it into a stomping, nearly acappella rocker with rapid-fire vocal interplay, falsetto interjections, and an extended passage from bass singer Fox, who arranged it. Out on Herald in the summer of '63 with Rick and Fox's Hey, Hey, Baby as a flip, Unchained Melody was a #66 pop seller late that year. Their early '64 original Extraordinary Girl sounded a lot like it, other than a yakety sax that momentarily pops up. Stops at Wells, Regina, Apt, Boom, Red Boy, and Rust couldn't right the ship commercially, though their renditions of Day-O, High Noon, and Hello, Dolly careened as crazily as Unchained Melody

Various - Street Corner Symphonies Vol.15, 1963 The Complete Story Of Doo Wop

Read more at: https://www.bear-family.de/various-street-corner-symphonies-vol.15-1963-the-complete-story-of-doo-wop.html
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Unchained Melodies
VITO AND THE SALUTATIONS: Unchained Melodies Art-Nr.: CDEZ601

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(1996/EZ) 32 tracks
15,95 €