Dino & Sembello

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Ralph F. Palladino (born April 1938), known as Ralph Dino, and John Anthony Sembello (February 22, 1945 - May 1, 2013), were an American singing and songwriting duo in the early 1970s. They recorded one album together, which included the original version of the song "Pearl's a Singer", co-written with leading songwriters and record producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and later a hit in the UK for Elkie Brooks.

Dino & Sembello[edit]

Dino and Sembello, both from Philadelphia, co-wrote three tracks on The Lovin' Spoonful's 1969 album Revelation: Revolution '69 and wrote together for The Turtles, Sergio Mendes and Tim Hardin. They first recorded together in 1970, releasing the single "See the Light" on the Date label, a subsidiary of Columbia Records.[1]

In 1974, they worked with Leiber and Stoller, and released the album Dino & Sembello on the A&M label. All the songs were jointly credited to Dino, Sembello, Leiber and Stoller, and were produced by Leiber and Stoller. The songs included the singles "Dancin' Jones" / "Jump the Canyon" and "The Best Thing" / "Pearl's a Singer". "The Best Thing" was recorded by Peggy Lee,[2] and became a minor R&B hit for Billy Eckstine in 1976. The following year "Pearl's a Singer" was recorded by English singer Elkie Brooks, also produced by Leiber and Stoller, and reached no.8 on the UK singles chart.[3][4] Both "Pearl's a Singer" and another song from the album, "Neighborhood", featured in the musical revue of Leiber and Stoller's songs, Smokey Joe's Cafe.[5]

Later, individual careers[edit]


From 1979, Ralph Dino worked as a performer and songwriter with pianist Larry DiTommaso.[6] They wrote "She's Over Me", recorded by Teddy Pendergrass in 1981,[citation needed] and in 1985 wrote Jermaine Jackson's hit "Do What You Do", which reached no.13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and no.6 on the UK singles chart.[7] The recording won a gold record, and was recognized by ASCAP as one of the most performed songs of 1985. The pair reunited to perform in 2014.[6] Dino is also the President of RaRaLa Music.[8]


John Sembello was the brother of musicians Michael and Daniel Sembello. He later co-wrote the song "Eye to Eye" with his two brothers and Don Freeman. Included on Chaka Khan's 1984 album I Feel for You, the song reached no. 16 on the UK singles chart in 1985.[9][10] John Sembello died in 2013 at the age of 68.[11]


  1. ^ "See the Light" 45cat.com, Retrieved 20 August 2014
  2. ^ Peggy Lee Discography, peggyleediscography.com, Retrieved 20 August 2014
  3. ^ Songs written by Jerry Leiber MusicVF.com, Retrieved 19 August 2014
  4. ^ Dino & Sembello A&M Records, onamrecords.com, Retrieved 20 August 2014
  5. ^ Smokey Joe's Cafe Allmusic.com, Retrieved 20 August 2014
  6. ^ a b "A very special night with Dino and DiTommaso", Ticketfly.com, Retrieved 20 August 2014
  7. ^ Songs written by Ralph Dino, MusicVF.com, Retrieved 20 August 2014
  8. ^ Ralph Palladino, LinkedIn.com, Retrieved 20 August 2014
  9. ^ Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 422. ISBN 0-00-717931-6.
  10. ^ Songs written by John Sembello, MusicVF.com, Retrieved 20 August 2014
  11. ^ Obituary, John A. Sembello Stretch Funeral Home, stretchfuneralhome.com, Retrieved 20 August 2014