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The Duprees
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The Duprees are a doo-wop group which had a series of hits during the early 1960s.
The group was founded in the early 1960s in Jersey City, New Jersey by Michael Arnone, Joe Santollo, John Salvato, Tom Bialoglow, and lead singer Joey Canzano (later known as Joey Vann). George Paxton, a former big band leader was impressed by the group’s style and signed them to his Coed Records label. Their first single “You Belong to Me” had previously been a hit for Jo Stafford in 1952. The Duprees’ version was given a big band backing by Paxton and reached the US top ten in 1962.|The band had more top 40 hits in the next few years. “My Own True Love” was a vocal adaptation of “Tara’s Theme” from the soundtrack of Gone with the Wind and became the group’s second hit. “Have You Heard” and “Why Don’t You Believe Me” also reached the Top 40 charts and, like “You Belong to Me,” were originally early ’50s female vocal hits (Joni James, in this case). The band became known for mixing doo-wop vocals with big band arrangements. Tom Bialoglow left in 1963. Mike Kelly, who had recorded on the group’s original demos for George Paxton, replaced Joey Vann as lead vocalist in 1964.|Despite becoming unfashionable after the Beatles spearheaded the British Invasion in 1964, the Duprees continued to record, turning in a more “pop” direction, and reaching the Top 100 as late as 1975. The group still performs today on the oldies circuit, but with no original members. Joe Santollo died in 1981, Joey Vann died in 1984 and Mike Arnone died in 2005.|Richie Rosato, who sang lead for the Duprees throughout much of the ’80s and ’90s, left the group in 2002.|Michael Kelly sang with The Chaperones for a brief stint in 2006. Tommy Bialoglow has his own group called Twilight Time. John Salvato is a booking agent and no longer performs.|The group currently consists of Tommy Petillo (with the group since 2002), Jimmy Spinelli, Phil Granito, and Tony Testa.
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