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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

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.
Don't be a Runaround Sue
Would have loved to grow up in this era!!
ssapler
A truly great musician. Singer and guitarist. Spawned by the blues.
Excellent and im 14
But then again I'm only 8
I can't stand any of Dion song sorry everyone has ther own taste
I own one Sena Ehrhardt , Looking for more!
Runaround Sue
He must have been a ladies man!
Runaround sue....remem b e r I taught to dance this..
*sigh* Oh, how I do miss the Good Ol' days... Oh wait. I'm 15. xD I love Dion nontheless :D
soul...
Awesomeness and Im special its Ssssoooommmw w w h h h e e e r r r r e e e over the rrrraaaiiinn b b b o o o w w w
I watched Cry Baby today and it put me in such a good mood I LOVE that movie and I love Dion and Rockabilly music it makes me so HAPPY!!!!
Reminds me of Natalie by Bruno mars
steve_neufel 3 0
I sure miss the old days
BRONX!!!!!!
Where is the place that lovers wander??
Best oldies to listen to is Dion��
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
Dion is great with memories of great times!
I just LOVE Dion he is the best my favorite singer over any genre of music
Oh so many memories!!!
This song bring menmorys
My Girlfriend's Middle name is Sue... Should I be worried(;
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in the next 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in BIG letters this is so scary cud it actually works!
sue kinda sounds like a thot
Dion is one of many reasons why i prefer music from the 50s and 60s over todays music...
G-Eazy but ya this song :D
Love this song
ncarol23
love love this song...
This guy was and always will be one of my favorites, man his songs take me back. seems like yesterday, I was young and pretty, now I am over the hill, elderly but still hot.
I love Dion !!
This song is ways stuck in my head :)
joesmithjr20 0 6
This song reminds me when I was in high school and I was going steady with this girl name Sue and she turned out to be a whore. I used to listen to this song over and over to make myself feel better.
You go Mr punk this means you have good taste in all music
I am a punk at heart and LOVE this stuff. People hear me listening to this and get confused. Haha.
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