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Stan     Keith     Les    Fred     Tommy

 

 

Les   Fred  Stan  Tom  Bobby

Tommy    Richie   Stan  Les  Fred

 

   

On Stage Rikers Island 1963

      Stan & Johnny Maestro 

The Del Satins on the Clay Cole T.V. Show 1963 http://www.claycoleshow.com

Weekly T.V. Show

Del Satin reunion Oct 4, 1986

April 18, 1987

 

 

     

Del Satins on stage with Dion

  Radio City Music Hall 1987

Stan & Dion '92

Madison Square Garden

Del Satin reunion at Nassau Coliseum '95

More Pics of Del Satins '63

 

The Del Satins
The real story

Formed in 1958 in the Yorkville section of Manhattan, the quintet consisted of Stan Zizka (lead), Leslie Cauchi (first tenor), BobbyKeith Koestner (second tenor), Fred Ferrara (baritone) and his brother Tom Ferrara (bass). Influenced by R&B groups like The Heartbeats, The Dubs and The Flamingoes, The Del-Satins, aged 15 to17, would practice on Tom and Fred's stoop on 69th Street when they weren't searching for a Subway station, or bathroom to provide that perfect reverb sound.

Early on they were called The Jokers, with Joe Amato as lead singer, later replaced by Stan. Stan was the baritone singer in the Yorkville Melodies, along with Bobby Faila (second tenor). They would practice at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. One night Stan met Les, Tommy and Keith Koestner 

Stan loved the sound that they had, and after talking for a few minutes, was asked if he knew any leads. The only song that Stan knew the lead to, was "Sweetest One" by the Crest's

They then asked him to join them, and he accepted. One night while rehearsing in the cellar of Tom Ferrara's house  Fred, Tom's brother showed up at rehearsal "Hey Fred, someone said, "Sing this note. "Bo" . He did, the rest is history. He joined the group right then and there. To this day, he is the only member, who never left.After a few months, Keith Left the group, to pursue a career in the U.S. Army . Bobby Faila replaced  Keith. Bobby recorded a few songs with the group, and later was replaced by Richie Greene, who comedic genius was a big plus to the already exciting Del Satins 

Joe Amato went on to other things in the music business, and later came back as their guitar player. Fred and Tom's younger brother Joe also play guitar for the group. Another member of the group was, Mel Kalachman (Baritone)  Mel recorded their first record with them "I'll Pray For You" Fred came up with the name Dell Satins after The Dells and The Five Satins. Later on dropping one of the L's They then made their own first break by participating in a talent show at the Empire Hotel on New York's West Side. The first prize, which they won, was a record deal with George Goldner's End Records, and so it was that the Del-Satins' first single," I'll Pray For You", written by Stan Zizka, was released in 1961. The group was signed sight unseen. The label thought they were a black group, because of their harmony. They didn't have that white Brooklyn sound. The record received good local response, especially from WADO disc jockey Alan Fredericks, leading to some shows for Fredericks at the Levittown Arena.

Around this time Jim Gribble, manager for other New York-area harmony groups like The Mystic's, and The Passions, took on The Del-Satins. He brought the quintet to Bob and Gene Schwartz at Laurie Records when he heard Dion was looking for a new backup group, after he left the Belmonts. The Del Satins auditioned for Dion with a song from the Dubs called "Beside my Love".  After only a few bars of the song, Dion stopped the group and asked them to record his next record with him. On the spot, Dion said to the group "Sing this" "hape, hape, bum da-haity, haity, hape" thus "Runaround Sue " was brought to life. " Stan recalls, " I didn't think much of the song, because it really wasn't the style we liked to sing. " I laughed when it was released, thinking it will never be a hit. How wrong I was"

On October 23, 1961, The Del-Satins, who recorded only one other record to date, saw their first number one hit with Dion. (In Britain it rose to number 11 and in Australia to number 4. It was even a hit in France and made number 2 in South Africa and number one in Israel). "Sue" made it to the top in only five weeks, staying there for two weeks.

The rhythm and blues community also liked the Dion and Del-Satins combination: "Runaround Sue" reached number four on the R&B charts. But even though the record owed a great deal to the driving harmonies of the Del-Satins (especially the now famous "ah" in the bridge). Dion got all the credit.

Since the group was actually signed to Laurie, Jim Gribble made a deal with the tiny Win label for a Del-Satins single titled "Counting Teardrops". It sounded like a cross between The Crests "Step By Step" and Dion's "Runaround Sue" (it even went so far as to mention Runaround Sue in the lyric).

Their next single with Dion was a two sided classic. The teen rebel national anthem. "The Wanderer" worked its way up to number two after three months on the charts, and only "The Duke Of Earl" kept Dion and The Del-Satins from the very top. ("The Wanderer" also traveled to Europe, going to number 10 in the UK charts and number one in Australia). Written by Ernie Maresca, who later had his own hit record "Shout, Shout, Knock Yourself Out", backed by none other than The Del Satins, reached number one on the charts, with the Del Satin magic.

"Lovers Who Wander" was another instant winner, establishing Dion as the king of the scat singing rock and rollers. The Del-Satins' harmony and unison singing was so powerful and such a part of the Dion songs that the lead and the background worked together as a group even though the label said Dion. "Lovers Who Wander" hit the Billboard charts on April21, 1962, and reached a peak of number three. R&B-wise it went to number16. The "I Was Born To Cry" flip side, with Dion's pleading lead, the Del-Satins' intense harmony, and a snarling saxophone, had a newsound that combined doo wop and blues.

After three singles (and five chart sides) with Dion, the Schwartz's were finally with them and they released a Stan Vincent rocker called "Teardrops Follow Me". This Del-Satins doo wopper jumped on the East coast radio and coincidentally found itself pitted against their new release with Dion, "Little Diane", on Murray the K's nightly new release contest "Diane" won that night, but "Teardrops" went top 10 in several Eastern cities and gave the group a following under its own name. They began doing a lot of performances for Murray the K and for Alan Freed's TV dance shows. Stan Zizka remembers: "We were driving up to Hartford, Connecticut, to do a TV show and were running late. We were all crammed into Les Cauchi's Chevy Nova and realized we didn't have time to get there, dress, and make up. So we literally cut the back seat to get to the shaving gear in the trunk and at 65 miles an hour on the Merritt Parkway shaved and changed in the car. The minute we got to Hartford we ran from the car and jumped in front of the cameras with a minute to spare".

"Little Diane" returned the group to the formula they had developed on "The Wanderer", that is, a double harmony where part of the group would sing a sustained "ooh" while the rest did some driving stop-and-go sound that gave the record "wall-to-wall" vocals. Besides being an outstanding song and having a great lead by Dion, this record is immortalized as having the first kazoo-led instrumental section in rock history. "Diane" made it to number 8 nationally on August 18th and the group just kept on working. Because of the hit's with Dion, The Del Satins were a working group. There dance routines we copied by other groups. The Bug routine was a fun one, where they would pull people out of the audience and put a make believe bug on them, they would then dance around and scratch themselves. It was a riot. The dance routine was compiled of all the dances of the day The Twist, Hully Gully, Mashed Potatoes, Popeye, The Freddy, etc. There success was in the night club scene.

Their second Laurie release, "Does My Love Stand A Chance", came out in the all of 1962 and never came off the ground. But their next single with Dion, "Love Came To Me", became the group's fifth top 10 entry, reaching number 10 on December 22nd.

By the end of 1962 The Del-Satins were backing Dion on his move to Columbia and wondering when their own opportunity would come again. Their first Columbia shot was a 1956 Drifters song, "Ruby Baby", Dion's patented blues-rock style led the way while the Satins' tough yet smooth harmony solidified the groove that took the song to number two Pop and number five R & B.

Laurie, meanwhile, decided to use the good Dion/Del-Satins tracks it had in the can to compete with Columbia. Thus in the early spring of 1963 Laurie's Sandy" and Columbia's "This Little Girl" raced to a dead heat at number 21, 

Around this time, a series of introductions (one being an encounter on the street with Heartbeats bass singer Wally Roker, led the group to a meeting with Phil Spector. The group auditioned for Phil at his New York apartment, singing several songs a cappella, including "Teardrops Follow Me". Spector wanted to sign them and relocate them in California, but the group decided against it.

They chose to stay in New York with Dion. Soon after, Dion co-wrote and produced a single for them on Columbia. That song, "Feeling No Pain", came on like a musical gang war. If West Side Story had been done with 60's rock and roll, this would have been the Jets' war theme. Jerry Blavit, the Philadelphia emperor of rock and roll radio, used "Feeling No Pain" as his sign-off song for over 20 years, but back in 1963 it was lost among the glut of lesser recordings. Even so, it was one of the most awesome and powerful white doowop recordings ever made. The flip side "Who Cares" written by Dion, was recorded in one take. Stan loved the song, and did a great job on it.

The Del-Satins became a regular on Clay Cole's weekly TV show for two years, twice a week, and  appeared with Clay at the Ambassador theatre on Broadway .Working with Clay and appearing on his T.V. show was a very important highlite in their career They came up with two more hits with Dion in the last half of 1963, then Dion penned" Donna The Prima Donna" (written about his sister) the last record they made with Dion, and a classic R&B remake of the Drifters' 1957 hit "Drip Drop".  The Del Satins, were very much in demand, due to their success with Dion, that they were in the studio 3-4 times a week. They did back up work for Len Barry (Dovells), Bill Baker (Five Satins), Nicky Como, Bobby Calendar, and a number of other artists.

In 1964 their new manager Jay Fontana took the group to Mala Records after Dion curtailed his own recordings. Following one up-tempo harmony effort ("Two Broken Hearts"), the Del-Satins signed with BT Puppy Records by auditioning accapella for The Tokens (who owned BT). Jay Seigel, lead singer of the Tokens, loved the sound that the Del Satins had    The best of their nine singles was another  Drifters tune, "Sweets For My Sweet". Soon after, Stan left (and changed his name from Zizka a to Sommers), eventually emerging as lead singer of The Magnificent Men. Stan spent two years on the road with the Mag. Men Carl Parker of Detroit sang lead for a while but never recorded with the Del-Satins .

In 1966, Les Cauchi and Tom Ferrara joined Uncle Sam in Vietnam. Mike Gregorio took Les' place and, together with Richard Green, Johnny Maestro, and original member Fred Ferrara.

The Del-Satins cut two sides for Diamond Records and recorded "Ebb Tide" and "Going Out Of My Head" with Johnny Maestro on lead in 1967 The Del Satins soon after became the Brooklyn Bridge, joining forces with the Rhythm Effort.

In the 90's Les and Fred were in their fourth decade with the Brooklyn Bridge Tom Ferrara became a member of The Capris  ("There's A Moon Out Tonight"). Stan (Sommers) Zizka joined Charlie Aiello, and created "Tangerine". Bobby Faila freelanced as a singer. Richard Green passed away in the early 70's. Stan still has "Stan Zizka's Del Satins", working the circuit

In 1991 the original group re-formed for a few shows. While each member continued with his own vocal career, the foursome (produced by Johnny Maestro, Stan Zizka, and Charlie Aiello) created and recorded the first Del-Satins recording in more than 24 years.

It's called "Still Wanderin" It consists of five of the old Del Satin recordings, and five original songs written by, Stan Zizka and Charlie Aiello, and the voice of Edie Van Buren

It is currently be presented to the major record companies

Del Satins Discography

 

Del Satins Today

 

 

 

Phone 631.219.9187

 

 

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