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1950s / DION AND THE BELMONTS Then and Now
In 1957 the group formed when Dion DiMucci joined The Belmonts - Carlo Mastrangelo, Freddie Milano, and Angelo D'Aleo - in late 1957. In 1958 they recorded 'I Wonder Why', which made it to #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and Dion and The Belmonts appeared for the first time on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. This success won Dion and the Belmonts their first major tour in late 1958, with The Coasters, Buddy Holly and Bobby Darin. This was followed up by the 'Winter Dance Party' tour with Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. On February 2, 1959, after playing at Clear Lake, Ohio, Dion decided that he couldn't afford the $36 cost of a flight to the next show. The plane crashed, Buddy Holly and the other stars were killed. Even after that time the hits kept coming for the group. In 2004, Dion gave a live performance at the Tropicana in Atlantic City with Dion (lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars) Butch Barbella (keyboards, backing vocals), Louie Colleti (backing vocals), Jamie "King" Cotton (sax, percussion, backing vocals), Al Korosy (lead guitar), and Charlie Powers (drums, vocals.) Though this performance wasn't with the Belmonts, Dion sounded just like we remember him after 47 years! He's keeping R&R and Doo-Wop alive!