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Dion

Bridging the era between late-'50s rock and the British Invasion, Dion DiMucci (born July 18, 1939) was one of the top white rock singers of his time, blending the best elements of doo wop, teen idol, and R&B styles. Some revisionists have tried to cast him as a sort of early blue-eyed soul figure, although he was probably more aligned with pop/rock, at first as the lead singer of the Belmonts, and then as a solo star. Drug problems slowed him down in the mid-'60s, yet he made some surprisingly interesting progressions into blues-rock and folk-rock as the decade wore on, culminating in a successful comeback in the late '60s, although he was unable to sustain its commercial and artistic momentum for long.

When Dion began recording in the late '50s, it was as the lead singer of a group of friends who sang on Bronx street corners. Billing themselves as Dion & the Belmonts (Dion had released a previous single with the Timberlanes), their first few records were prime Italian-American doo wop; "I Wonder Why" was their biggest hit in this style. His biggest single with the Belmonts was "A Teenager in Love," which pointed the way for the slightly self-pitying, pained odes to adolescence and early adulthood that would characterize much of his solo work.

Dion went solo in 1960 (the Belmonts did some more doo wop recordings on their own), moving from doo wop to more R&B/pop-oriented tunes with great success. He handled himself with a suave, cocky ease on hits like "The Wanderer," "Runaround Sue," "Lovers Who Wander," "Ruby Baby," and "Donna the Prima Donna," which cast him as either the jilted, misunderstood youngster or the macho lover, capable of handling anything that came his way (especially on "The Wanderer").

In 1963, Dion moved from Laurie to the larger Columbia label, an association that started promisingly with a couple of big hits right off the bat, "Ruby Baby" and "Donna the Prima Donna." By the mid-'60s, his heroin habit (which he'd developed as a teenager) was getting the best of him, and he did little recording and performing for about five years. When he did make it into the studio, he was moving in some surprisingly bluesy directions; although much of it was overlooked or unissued at the time, it can be heard on the Bronx Blues reissue CD.

In 1968, he kicked heroin and re-emerged as a gentle folk-rocker with a number four hit single, "Abraham, Martin and John." Dion would focus upon mature, contemporary material on his late-'60s and early-'70s albums, which were released to positive critical feedback, if only moderate sales. The folk phase didn't last long; in 1972 he reunited with the Belmonts and in the mid-'70s cut a disappointing record with Phil Spector as producer. He recorded and performed fairly often in the years that followed (sometimes singing Christian music), to indifferent commercial results. But his critical rep has risen steadily since the early '60s, with many noted contemporary musicians showering him with praise and citing his influence, such as Dave Edmunds (who produced one of his periodic comeback albums) and Lou Reed (who guested on that record). Dion continued to be active as the 21st century opened, releasing Déjà Nu in 2000, Under the Influence in 2005, and Bronx in Blue in 2006. His first major-label album since 1989's Yo Frankie, titled Son of Skip James, was released by Verve in 2007, while 2008's Heroes: Giants of Early Guitar Rock saw him tackling 15 songs from the classic rock & roll era. Influenced by a conversation with rock critic Dave Marsh about his long and still relevant career, and a dare from his wife Susan to prove it, Dion cut Tank Full of Blues, producing and playing the guitars himself on the recording and writing or co-writing all but one track on the set. Issued on Blue Horizon, it is the final recording in the trilogy that began with Bronx in Blue.

Dion signed to Instant Records in 2015 and immediately set to recording a new studio album. Entitled New York Is My Home, its first single and title track a duet with Paul Simon was pre-released in November digitally and as a striking video. The album was issued in the winter of 2016. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Complete Laurie Singles

Disc 1

1. Lonely Teenager

2. Little Miss Blue

3. Havin' Fun

7. Somebody Nobody Wants

9. Runaround Sue

10. Runaway Girl

11. The Majestic

12. The Wanderer

13. Lovers Who Wander

14. (I Was) Born To Cry

15. Little Diane

16. Lost For Sure

17. Love Came To Me

Disc 2

1. Sandy

3. Come Go With Me

4. King Without A Queen

5. Lonely World

7. After The Dance

9. Shout

11. Abraham, Martin And John

12. Daddy Rollin' (In Your Arms)

13. Purple Haze

14. The Dolphins

15. From Both Sides Now

16. Sun Fun Song

17. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever

18. He Looks A Lot Like Me

x

Track List: Tank Full of Blues

1. Tank Full of Blues

2. I Read It (in the Rolling Stone)

3. Holly Brown

4. Ride's Blues (for Robert Johnson)

5. Two Train

6. Do You Love Me Baby

7. You Keep Me Cryin'

8. My Michelle

9. My Baby's Cryin'

10. I'm Ready to Go

11. Bronx Poem

x

Track List: Heroes: Giants Of Early Guitar Rock

Disc 1

1. Summertime Blues

2. Come On, Let's Go

3. Rave On

4. Believe What You Say

5. Bye Bye Love

6. Be-Bop-A-Lula

7. Runaway

8. Jailhouse Rock

9. I Walk The Line

10. Blue Suede Shoes

11. Who Do You Love

12. Sweet Little Rock And Roller

13. Dream Baby

14. Shake, Rattle And Roll

15. The Wanderer

Disc 2
x

Track List: The Road I'm On - A Retrospective

Disc 1

1. Can't We Be Sweethearts

2. Ruby Baby

3. Will Love Ever Come My Way

4. This Little Girl Of Mine

5. Sunday Kind Of Love

6. Gonna Make It Alone

7. This Little Girl

8. Fever

9. Donna The Prima Donna

10. Drip Drop

11. Baby Please Don't Go

12. 900 Miles

13. Work Song

14. Chicago Blues

15. The Road I'm On (Gloria)

Disc 2

2. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man

3. Katie Mae

4. You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover

5. Johnny B. Goode

6. Spoonful

7. Kickin' Child

8. Drop Down Baby

9. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

10. Knowing I Won't Go Back There

11. My Love

12. Tomorrow Won't Bring The Rain

13. Time In My Heart For You

14. All I Want To Do Is Live My Life

16. Two Ton Feather

17. Born To Cry

18. You Move Me

x

Track List: Bronx Blues: The Columbia Recordings (1962-1965)

1. Can't We Be Sweethearts

2. Little Girl Of Mine

3. Oh Happy Day

4. A Sunday Kind Of Love

5. Will Love Ever Come My Way

6. Gonna Make It Alone

7. Ruby Baby

8. This Little Girl

9. Flim Flam

10. Donna The Prima Donna

11. Drip Drop

12. Troubled Mind

13. Sweet, Sweet Baby

14. Sweet Papa Di

15. Don't Start Me Talkin'

16. Spoonful

17. The Seventh Son

18. Kickin' Child

19. Two Ton Feather

20. Baby, I'm In The Mood For You

x

Track List: Yo Frankie

1. King Of The New York Streets

2. And The Night Stood Still

3. Yo Frankie (She's All Right With Me)

4. I've Got To Get To You

5. Written On The Subway Wall/ Little Star

6. Drive All Night

7. Always In The Rain

8. Loving You Is Killing Me

9. Tower Of Love

10. Serenade

x

Track List: Dion

1. Abraham, Martin And John

2. Purple Haze

3. Tomorrow Is A Long Time / Everybody's Talkin'

4. (You Better Watch Yourself) Sonny Boy

5. The Dolphins

6. He Looks A Lot Like Me

7. Sun Fun Song

8. From Both Sides Now

9. Sisters Of Mercy

10. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever

11. Daddy Rollin' (In Your Arms)

x

Track List: Runaround Sue

1. Runaround Sue

2. Somebody Nobody Wants

3. Dream Lover

4. Life Is But A Dream

5. The Wanderer

6. Runaway Girl

7. The Majestic

8. Little Star

9. Lonely World

10. In The Still Of The Night

11. Kansas City

12. Take Good Care Of My Baby

Comments

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I wonder why! <3
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Fallout
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Loved Dion
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Kiss your left hand
Say your crushes name
Say your name
Say a school day
Post this on 5 other songs and they'll ask you out
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❤❤❤❤❤
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come gooooooooooo o o with meeeee
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It's the majestic! The majestic! Ahh do it
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Listening to the reunion version of runaway sue Dion is faded doesn't know half the words funny af��������
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Pisano you are better than ever
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I
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I wasn't born back then but dion is my fav out of this station
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I wonder what would happen if the wanderer and runaround sue got together?
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How come they don't mention his conversion to Christ, Christian music?
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I love the song runaround sue
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Why can't I find the Passions listed anywhere? They were a great Doo Wop Group.
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16 yr old doo wop
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Everytime I hear his voice I think of fallout 4. It's great.
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Why are we talking about fallout on Pandora?
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Bethesda cmon #fallout4
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When your celeb crush is 76 years old
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i feel like all of dions songs should be on fallout lol
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yep
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12 YEARS OLD DOO WOP FREAK
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#DION
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YASS IM IN CLASS LIKE DREAM LOVER SO I DONT HAVE TO DREAM ALONE #DION
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Style wars movie 1982... ..SEEN 1
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mjustgus
Nothing like the music of my youth. 50-70's
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I love the wanderer #
Fallout 4
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Vegas Red Rocks
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Wow! 18 year old right here, best music i ever heard in my life��
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Have not heard this in like 16yrs
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❤❤❤❤❤❤
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Doo wop
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This music keeps my soul alive! Keep on playing!
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i love his work
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i love wander
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Lived on 180th and Arthur. Two blocks from Dion. A great time!
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So i dont have to dream alone...
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This is the music of MY life!! late 50's! School bus rocked with In the Still of the Night! Now you kids know really great music.
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Where did it go, bring it back
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Dion is awesome 100%
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Dion, my first record was Lonely Teenager, and I went on to buy all your albums from the 1950-60's. My favorites are Where or When, and In the Still of the Night- Some things that happen for the first time, seem to be happening to me!!!!
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as a 28 year old, i think DIon is simply amazing!!!!! randomly played 50's music and have fell in love with him, the chordettes, and dodie stevens
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Fallout
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hwy1sgt99
What about the Del Satins?????? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
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When Philly was rocking
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wow, dion, your story gave me goosebumps.. . . . t h e airplain, the crash, i just cant imagine the guilt and yet the relief you had to feel back then
GOD BLESS.......
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This is really good music not like today's s**t...
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Cuz I'm a wanderer
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amazing funk blue soul thumping feel it in my blood! thump
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