Friday, March 2, 2012

New Oldies - Somebody Nobody Wants by Dion

How is it that this Dion record failed to become a big hit in America? It went all the way up to #17 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on the 1050 CHUM survey. But it peaked at only #73 on Cashbox and didn't even make it into the Billboard Hot 100. It appeared briefly at #103 on the Bubbling Under chart instead. I guess you could say this is a record nobody wants!

Here's Somebody Nobody Wants by Dion on Laurie 3101 from 1961:

Dion Francis DiMucci was born in the Bronx in New York City on 18 July 1939. In my humble opinion, Dion is responsible for two of the most definitive records of the 1960's pre-Beatles 1960's sound, Runaround Sue and The Wanderer.

His first record was sung over a pre-recorded instrumental track arranged by Hugo Montenegro and performed by The Timberlanes. Dion never met the musicians who laid down that backing track! The record was called The Chosen Few on the Mohawk label from 1957. The owners of that label, Robert and Gene Schwartz, formed Laurie Records 1958 when they joined forces with Allan Sussel, a multi-millionaire who had previously owned the failed Jamie Records. The new label was named after Allan's daughter, Laura Sue Sussel. If you come across records on the Rust, Legrand, Calico, President, or Dolphin (not the Liberty subsidiary), those were all distributed by Laurie Records.

Dion got a few of his friends together from the Belmont Avenue area and formed The Belmonts. The first hit for Dion And The Belmonts was I Wonder Why in 1958. They went on to make many hit records through the late 1950's and early 1960's.

Dion dodged a bullet when he decided not to spend $36 for a seat on a small airplane after finishing a stop on the Winter Dance Party tour in February 1959. That was the same plane that went down shortly after takeoff, killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper. Dion said he couldn't justify paying that much for one ride, considering that was the same amount his parents paid each month to rent his childhood apartment!

MusicMaster Oldies was down for several hours earlier this week due to a technical problem at Live365. But it's back up again and sounding better than ever. I've added a few hundred classic Country and R&B records this past week. There are well over 100,000 songs waiting for you!

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