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The Classics

The Classics were a white harmony vocal group from Brooklyn, NY, similar to the Mystics or the Earls. Originally known as the Perennials, they consisted of Emil Stucchio on lead, Tony Victor as first tenor, Johnny Gambale as second tenor, and bass/baritone Jamie Troy. They'd been singing together in high school, two of them coming out of another local group called the Del-Rays, and became known in their neighborhood at dances and clubs. They turned professional after attracting the attention of manager Jim Gribble, and made their recording debut during the summer of 1959 with "Cinderella," a group original that showcased their range, from falsetto to bass with a rocking beat, and which just missed charting in early 1960. They failed to hit with their second single, "Angel Angela," and just missed the pop listings again with "Life Is But a Dream" in early 1961, though the latter record, after it was picked up by Mercury, earned a place on the R&B charts. Their next record, a version of "Blue Moon" cut with Herb Lance singing lead and the group members in a support role, made it to number 50 on Billboard's Hot 100. In 1963, the group switched to the Musicnote label and made the Top 20 their first time out for the newly founded company, with "Till Then." The latter remains their best-known record. The group's strength lay in their handling of ballads -- they loved reviving '20s and '30s standards such as "P.S. I Love You" and "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," though they also wrote their share of songs; they were never quite as successful or distinctive doing numbers with more of a beat.

One reason why they aren't better known today beyond the ranks of harmony vocal enthusiasts may have to do with the fact that the Classics were seldom on the same label for two releases in a row, moving among Dart, Musicnote, Stork, and other small companies, and only attracted a major label's interest the one time, with the Mercury pick-up of "Life Is But a Dream." And for every "Life Is But a Dream" that passed muster with R&B stations and listeners, they recorded three songs like the straight pop "Again." After "Till Then," they never made the pop charts, which was understandable -- rock & roll was changing and the kind of harmony vocal sound that was selling, rooted in the more focused West Coast-generated surf sound of the Beach Boys and in the flashier, more beat-driven work of the Four Seasons, was very different from the Classics' more elegant brand of harmonizing. Occasionally, as on "Portrait of a Fool" -- an original, no less -- they could deliver a pop ballad that crossed over to rock & roll successfully, but a lot of their other output couldn't compete with the sounds of the mid-'60s, next to which they sounded ever more dated. The group moved among labels throughout the 1960s without ever finding a home, and split up around 1966; by that time, their sound was very much an anachronism and there seemed to be little point to continuing. During the oldies boom of the early '70s, however, Stucchio and Troy joined with Lou Rotundo, originally from a rival Brooklyn group called the Passions, and formed a new vocal group called the Profits, who recorded briefly for Sire Records before changing their name to the Classics, under which they finished their career. Stucchio is still performing with a version of the Classics as of 2003, his lead voice one of the most beloved ever to come out of Brooklyn, and the group performs up and down the East Coast regularly. In 2001, Collectables Records released Till Then: The Very Best of the Classics, a 20-song compilation covering their history from 1959 through the late '60s. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Jersey Bop: Tri-State Sounds Of Doo-Wop

2. Alley Oop

3. Woe Woe Baby

6. Blanche

7. Julie

9. You

10. That's My Baby

13. Crime Don't Pay

x

Track List: Northern Soul Day And Night Part 3

3. My Kind Of Girl

4. Don't Nobody Mess With My Baby

7. I Finally Got Wise

8. Help Me If You Can

10. So Glad That I Found You

11. Never Let Your Love Grow Cold

12. You Better Be Ready

15. Love Power

16. All The Time

17. Gonna Have To Show You

18. (They Call Me) Jesse James

19. Give The Man A Chance

22. Something To Brag About

23. No Love But You're Love

24. Somethings Got A Hold On Me

25. Thats The Way He Is

x

Track List: Sounds Of The City: New York Area Doo Wop 1956-1966

Disc 1

1. Sherry

2. Little Star

3. The Lion Sleeps Tonight

4. Barbara-Ann

5. Rip Van Winkle

6. Big Girls Don't Cry

7. He's In Town

8. Runaround

9. Ding Dong

12. Angel Face

14. Darling Can't You Tell

16. Canadian Sunset

17. Echo

19. Unchained Melody

Disc 2

1. I Wonder Why

2. Hushabye

3. Denise

4. Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)

5. You're The Apple Of My Eye

6. Come A Little Bit Closer

7. Tonite, Tonite

8. Imagination

9. Teenager In Love

10. Be My Girl (Please Be Mine)

11. I Remember

12. She Cried

13. Runaround Sue

14. Girl In My Dreams

15. Pizza Pie

16. Wake Up

17. Teardrops Follow Me

18. Believe Me

19. Donna Lee

Disc 3

2. Remember Then

3. 16 Candles

4. Tell Me Why

5. There's A Moon Out Tonight

6. Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)

7. Have You Heard

10. Baby Blue

11. Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)

12. Coney Island Baby

14. Please Love Me Forever

17. You

18. Life Is But A Dream

19. My Own True Love

20. Teenage Vows Of Love

21. Looking For An Echo

Comments

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Great song.
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"Till Then". Awesome lyrics-- one of my favorites
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Hi
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Love it
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Ea r th



Angle
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Til then, still have the 45!!!!!!
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Awesome song
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librarylady6 4
Played this day after day while my sweetheart was away. Love you babe.
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seneca7309
Lead singer is a NYC cop
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To Jegan757 YOU ARE.CRAZY DO NOT LISTEN TOO IT!!!! :-(
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Why no Bio for the Classics??
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Jim Kelley, Austin, Tx--great r&r classic!
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Why can't I get into classical music,such as beethoven, or symphonies?
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Chopin
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steve3691
This song is a classic!
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jegan757
jeeze, I didn't like this music then! Why would I like it now!
Report as inappropriate
Doo Wop at its best! Loved the classics. What happened to them>

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