Alive N Kickin'
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Alive N Kickin’ (known originally as Alive and Kicking, and sometimes spelled Alive 'N Kickin’) is a Brooklyn band, led by singers Pepe Cardona and Sandy Toder, known mainly for their 1970 hit single "Tighter, Tighter" which reached number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The six original members formed the band when they were teenagers in 1968 in guitarist Dave Shearer's basement. The group included Sandy Toder and Pepe Cardona (vocals), Bruce Sudano (keyboards), Woody Wilson (bass guitar), Dave Shearer (guitar), and Jeff Miller (keyboards). They gained some popularity when they began recording for Tommy James on the label he was signed to, Roulette Records.
In early 1970, the band began recording sessions. A song written and produced by Tommy James, Bob King and arranged by Jimmy Wisner was to be recorded, and although James originally considered having his friends do this song - now known as "Crystal Blue Persuasion" - he liked it so much he decided to keep it for himself. As a gesture of friendship to the group, he wrote "Tighter, Tighter" for them. After recording the hit song the group replaced Vito Albano (drums, percussion) and Dave with Ronny Pell and Johnny Parisio. With the new line-up, "Tighter, Tighter" was released.
Two singles were almost immediately released to ride on the good fortune of the hit song, but after a lack of success with "Just Let It Come" and "London Bridge", and after increasing difficulties with their producer Morris Levy and the label's insistence on trying to make more singles so quickly, the band quietly broke up in the fall of 1971.
Most of the group reunited in 1976 with a line-up that now included Cardona (vocals), Wilson (lead guitar), Shearer (rhythm guitar), Albano (drums), and new member Richie Incorvaia (bass). This new version of the band played throughout the tri-state area from the mid-1970s till the late 1980s. Today the band has a new and revised line-up once more, although Cardona and Parisio have remained a constant presence within the band. Wilson, Albano, and Shearer are no longer members of the band, and Incorvaia has died.
As of August 2013, the band members were:
Pepe Cardona - Lead Vocals (died 2020)
Elaine Tuttle - Vocals
John Parisio - Guitar
Jeff Miller - Keyboards
Chris Varga - Bass
Sal G. - Sax
Zoe Grella - Drums
Pepe Cardona was diagnosed with stage-3 pancreatic cancer in August 2019. He died on July 28, 2020.
|1970||"Tighter, Tighter"||7||Roulette Records||"Sunday Morning"||Alive N Kickin|
|"Just Let It Come"||69||Roulette Records||"Mother Carey's Chicken"|
|1971||"Good Ole Lovin' Back Home"||—||Roulette Records||"Junction Creek"|
|"London Bridge"||—||Roulette Records||"You Gave Me Something"|
|1970||Alive N Kickin||129||Roulette Records|
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 272. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "Richie I of Alive-N-Kickin". Alive-n-kickin.com. Retrieved 2015-08-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Pepe Cardona of Alive 'N Kickin' Has Died". rockawave.com. July 29, 2020. Retrieved August 29, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)