Dion

Gary: In his early years with The Belmonts, Dion was a Teen Idol but he also moved on to another great career after that. Here we have a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1989) that I re-discovered just last year when I purchased a concert DVD & CD that where created in 2008.  That’s when I came to realize Dion is also a marvelous Blues guitar player.

Look at it this way.  Dion could not afford the $36 that Buddy wanted for a seat on that ill-fated plane in Feb 3, 1959 (the day the music died).  He has struggled with a mainline Heroine addiction and alcoholism; yet he still performs and sounds incredible today.  You can credit Sue and her family for helping him (yes Runaround Sue).

The Del-Satins: Dion’s back-up group when he went as a single (Runaround Sue, The Wanderer, etc)

Dion Di Mucci

Dion

Videos:

1963 Ruby Baby

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1959 Teenager in Love – Dick Clark Show

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1958 I Wonder Why – Dick Clark

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The Wanderer

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Runaround Sue

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2004  Atlantic City

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1989 Pat Sajak’s TV Show

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Dion and the Belmonts the Majestic


1.   Lonely Teenager/ Laurie 3070/ 11/14/60/ # 12 Billboard

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2.   Runaround Sue/ Laurie 3110/10/2/61/ # 1 (2) Billboard

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3.   The Wanderer (my favourite)/ Laurie 3115/ 12/18/61/ # 2 Billboard

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3.    The Wanderer (Live version 2008)

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3.   The Majestic/ B side/ # 36 Billboard

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4.   Lovers Who Wander/ Laurie 3123/ 5/5/62/ #3 Billboard

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5.   Little Diane/ Laurie 3134/ 7/21/62/ #8 Billboard

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6.   Love Came To Me/ Laurie 3145/ 11/24/62/ # 10 Billboard

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7.   Ruby Baby/ Columbia 42662/ 1/26/63/ #2 (3) Billboard

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8.   Sandy/ Laurie 3153/ 3/30/63/ # 21 Billboard

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9. Be Careful of Stones that you Throw/ Columbia 42810/ #31 Billboard

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10. Abraham, Martin & John/ Laurie 3464/ 11/2/68/ #4 Billboard

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Under the Name Dion Di Muci

1.   Donna the Prima Donna/ Columbia 42852/ 9/28/63/ #6 Billboard

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2.   Drip Drop/ Columbia 42917/ 11/23/63/ # 6 Billboard

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Dion DiMucci was born July 18, 1939 in the Bronx. His father was a professional puppeteer who spent his summers performing in the Borscht Belt, a collection of lounges, theaters and hotel showrooms from Boston to Philadelphia.He began singing at the age of five, picking up the guitar a few years later. His father introduced him to Paul Whitman, a 1920s bandleader who by the 1950s, was best known for discovering and promoting young talent. At about twelve Dion began appearing with Whitman on radio and television programs along the East Coast, including Whitman’s own Teen Club.As a teenager Dion had two things, other than girls, to occupy his time when he wasn’t in school. One was the local gang; he belonged to the Fordham Daggers. The other was spending evenings singing on street corners.

By the early 60s, Dion and the Belmonts had broke up. The main reason was Dion’s heroin habit which he had been progressing since he was sixteen. At first, those around him tried to cover it up. In October 1959, as “Dion & The Belmonts” hit “Where Or When” was nearing the top of the charts, Dion was hospitalized in a bid to kick his addiction. Variety magazine quietly noted that he had been ordered by his doctor to “take a leave of absence.” The outward impression was that Dion was overworked.

Also by early 1960 the unaccredited Del-Satins were brought in to sing background vocals on Dion’s recordings in the style of the Belmonts. With this combination, Dion scored Top Ten hits with “Runaround Sue” (#1), “The Wanderer” (#2), “Lovers Who Wander” (#3), and “Little Diane” (#8) in 1962 .

When his contract with Laurie expired in June, 1962, Dion moved to Columbia Records. He also brought along The Del-Satins and achieved further hits with “Ruby Baby” (#2)  “Drip Drop” (#6), and “Donna the Prima Donna” (#6) in 1963. Dion also appeared in the film Teenage Millionaire in 1961.

DiMucci dropped The Del Satins in late 1963. In 1964 he released a string of unsuccessful covers and then began recording blues material around 1965 with little commercial success.

In 1967 he reunited with The Belmonts and they recorded “Mr. Movin’ Man,” “Berimbau,” and an album Together Again for ABC Records in 1968. In early 1968 he moved with his wife Sue and daughter to Miami where, with the help of his father-in-law, he finally kicked his heroin habit.

Later that year he recorded the song, “Abraham, Martin, and John,” a #4 hit ballad tribute to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and John F. Kennedy. The follow-up, a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” only  reached #63 on the charts.

–o–
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