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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 (on "The Wanderer" especially).

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, entitled 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 on the recording himself 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. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Dream lover aww u will sing this to me..memories oh n send me a video in the car singing
I will never forget how I showed u how to dance to this song we loved dancing together even if we were at home good memories :)
Teenager in love (...
NoeReyes pinto
So, Dion, Question: What's the secret to long life? :-) You still look very fit and handsome for your age. Nice.
Runaround Sue : I like the shirt he's wearing on the cover of this album. Nice colors.
Love this song... I remember my daddy (r.I.p) singing it when I was a child. Gr8 memories!
Teenager In Love(:.
I was 11 when this song came out (2 yrs shy of being a teen) but I felt like a teen!!!!!!!
good song
This would have to be the best song by Dion and the Belmonts in my opinion.
Runaround Sue got it going on!!!
Dion sang this song with the belmonts don't know why it doesn't mention it
love it
These are just great ol' tunes.
Memories to the Max......
Dont read this because it actually works. If you read this you will be kissed on friday. But since you started reading this already you have 180 mins to repost if not you will die in 2 days. After you post this click f5 and your crushes name will appear
I love this song so so much:)
Noe Reyes Pinto
I was back then and I had a lot of fun love the musice
nicko252008
My grandma used to live next door to him, said he was a really nice guy.
:-) Wander
stand by me
cajunvarst
Foun (DION) :D
love oldies
I love this song so so much:)
Wow one of the best
I'm a wanderer.
He is soo good!
This dude is total transformati o n from the late 50's!!!
This is what world needs now is people with soul its a shame to see the world going to ruins.
Dion, from the boogie down Bronx! NYC in the house! When I was in HS, some guys got together and sang this in the talented show. They won too! They killed this song!
I first oldie that i learned all the lyrics to
Someone invent a time machine so I can go back in time to the 60s, long before I was born, so I can go to a Dion concert. Please.
That is music
Yea great music.
Love it this is real music
Makes my soul dance!!! Woahhh
Let's dance
Steisand
The 50's and 60's were wonderful years to grow up and the music was like nothing we have today...even our grandkids love this music....
my idol, my hero. the king of cool. lovers who wander my fave. long live dion.
She goes out with other guys. Watch out!
I wish I had been born in the 50's. It seemed so pleasant and happy.
I love this very much.
I
jgrandmaflor i d a - Loved the 50's- my era- loved it all- Elvis especially-d o o wop- at least u can understand the words- music today, can't understand a frigging word they say- bring back the 50s
marvins39
just saw dion in vegas last week. great show; great band with him. his voice was still great! yo!
black57chevy
I love Dion. I really wish his music could be brought to the current teen generation; they need this kind of classy music that still captures that teenage spirit.
Like his music.
Will you please work on your writing & punctuation? You're all over the place throwing criticism around without much reason for it.
Dion was great, but for this particular sing I much prefer the original by Vito Picone and The Elegants from South Beach Staten Island NY.
I'm sorry, but you seemed to have stumbled upon an actual musician. You can go back to your garbage of one direction and such if you want.
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