|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2010)|
The Mello-Kings were a doo-wop group who became popular in the late 1950s.
Despite the fact that their only hit, "Tonite Tonite" (1957), never climbed higher than number 77 in the US charts, the single is still considered one of the most popular group harmony recordings of the era, more than five decades after its initial release.
The group consisted of brothers Jerry and Bob Scholl, Eddie Quinn, Neil Arena and Larry Esposito. The quintet was formed in 1956 at a high school in Mount Vernon, New York, USA, under the guidance of manager Dick Levister. Originally named the Mellotones, the group was signed to the Herald label. "Tonite Tonite" was written by Billy Myles, a staff composer for the label. The group was forced to change its name after the single's release, as another group had already claimed Mellotones. The record lasted only 10 weeks in the US pop, and the group was never able to repeat this success.
The group appeared in revival shows in the late 60's and early 70's. In 1975, lead singer Bob Scholl was killed in a boating accident. The group began performing entirely at private corporate events throughout the years led by Jerry Scholl. They presently perform at private events but have also added the public shows to their itinery. Richard Levister was locally popular in his own right as a musician who played the Hammond B-3 organ and headed up a jazz/R&B trio that featured his brother, Millard Levister on drums and either Jimmy Hill on alto or Mat Lewis on tenor. They played music clubs around Westchester County like the Empire Room and The Blue Rose in New Rochelle. When Levister retired from the jazz/R&B scene he continued working as a church organist in Mt. Vernon, NY where he resides today.