Reparata and the Delrons

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Reparata and the Delrons
Reparata21.jpg
Classic line-up, 1965-1969: (l-r) Lorraine Mazzola, Nanette Licari, Mary "Reparata" Aiese
Background information
Origin New York, United States
Genres Pop
Years active 1962-2000
Labels Laurie Records
World Artists
Stateside (UK)
RCA Records
Mala Records
Bell Records (UK)
Kapp Records
Avco Embassy
Big Tree Records
Dart Records (UK)
North American Music Industries
Polydor Records
Perfection Sound
Mo-Banana
Ace Records
Past members Reparata (Mary Aiese O'Leary)
Nanette Licari
Regina Gallagher
Anne Fitzgerald
Sheila Reilly
Carol Drobnicki
Kathy Romeo
Marge McGuire
Lorraine Mazzola
Cooky Sirico
Lauren Stich
Judy Jae

Reparata and the Delrons was an American girl group. They are best known for their 1965 recordings "Whenever A Teenager Cries" and "Tommy", for the 1968 European hit "Captain of Your Ship" and for Reparata's 1975 solo hit "Shoes".

History[edit]

Beginnings (1962-1963)[edit]

The group started out as a five-piece high school harmony group called the Delrons, formed in 1962 at St. Brendan's Catholic School in Brooklyn, New York by the lead singer Mary Aiese.[1] The other original members included Nanette Licari, Regina Gallagher, and Anne Fitzgerald, but they were soon replaced by Sheila Reilly, Carol Drobnicki and Kathy Romeo. Romeo was replaced by Marge McGuire, but McGuire herself then left the group.

Early years (1964-1965)[edit]

As a trio, Aiese, O'Reilly and Drobnicki were spotted by record producers Bill and Steve Jerome. They asked Mary Aiese to choose a stage name to make the group name more interesting and marketable. She chose Reparata, her confirmation name which she had taken from one of her favorite teachers at Good Shepherd Catholic grammar school.[2]

The Jeromes recorded them in 1964 first for Laurie Records, then on the Pittsburgh-based World Artists label with Ernie Maresca's song "Whenever a Teenager Cries". The song became a regional hit and reached #60 on the Billboard Hot 100. The follow-up, "Tommy," co-written by Chip Taylor, reached #92. Writing about "Tommy" in her 2003 memoir "A Misfit's Manifesto: The Spiritual Journey of a Rock-and-Roll Heart", journalist and sociologist Donna Gaines comments:

"What better focus for saintly feminine devotion than the sullen "Tommy", who once treated our girl with consideration, respect, and tenderness? But then Tommy starts acting like a dick. Still, she won't give up on him. Her response to her callous indifference is to love him even more. I ached to love a boy like that, only in dreams."

''He's not so sweet and he's far from polite,
Hardly ever calls me
And comes to pick me up late every night.''[3]

The 1965 album Whenever a Teenager Cries showcased the singles, and included covers of popular hits by "British invasion" groups including The Beatles' If I Fell and Manfred Mann's Doo Wah Diddy Diddy.

The group became more widely known when they were invited to tour nationally with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars on two occasions during 1965. However Reilly and Drobincki were dismissed from the group before the second tour began, after they dropped out at the last moment. Reparata performed solo on the tour, with backing vocals from the wings.[4] The next two singles were credited only to Reparata: "A Summer Thought" and "I Found my Place".

The group opened for the Rolling Stones on their Spring 1965 North American tour.[5]

New Delrons, success in Europe (1965-1969)[edit]

When Reparata signed with RCA in 1965, new Delrons were needed, and original member Nanette Licari was brought back. "I Can Tell", the first single for RCA needed a third vocalist, and although it has been reported that Lesley Gore sang on the track,[6] it was actually a session singer Lesley Miller, while Gore recorded her own version of the song.[7] 18-year-old Lorraine Mazzola was soon recruited to join the group.

This line-up of Reparata, Licari and Mazzola became the group's best-known and most prolific, although ironically they never released an album and none of their dozen singles ever made the US national charts. Their 1967 release "It's Waiting There For You" became a minor hit in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with airplay on KYSN, 1460-AM. After several unsuccessful releases in a style similar to the Shangri-Las, including Jeff Barry’s "I’m Nobody’s Baby Now," and "I Can Hear the Rain" which featured the then-unknown Melba Moore,[6][7] the group moved again to Mala Records.

In 1968 they released "Captain of Your Ship", co-written by Kenny Young. The song missed the U.S. national charts, but became their biggest hit when it made #13 in the UK Singles Chart,[8][9] and the group toured there. The trio's backing group on this tour was Clouds. "Saturday Night Didn't Happen" and "Weather Forecast" were also issued as singles, but did not repeat the success of "Captain of Your Ship". Young said[10] of this period: '"They were responsible for me moving to England. I accompanied them to Top Of The Pops...[and]...attended the reception for their hit single "Captain Of Your Ship", along with John Lennon and Ringo at the Revolution Club in London. I met half the Beatles at our own reception...".

"Captain Of Your Ship" was popular in many European countries. Footage of the group performing the song live on the Beat-Club show on German television, introduced by Dave Lee Travis and available on video sharing websites, appears to be the only archive television footage of the group, except for some cable spots from much later in their career. The Beat Club clip shows that Reparata sings lead on the song, not Lorraine Mazzola as reported in some histories of the group.[6][11][12][13][14] The record's success in Europe led to the group being invited to perform at the Interfestival in Poland in August 1968 alongside British act Julie Driscoll with the Brian Auger Trinity, and Austrian Udo Juergens as well as acts from Poland, USSR, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.[15]

In June 1969 the group provided backing vocals for the Rolling Stones' single Honky Tonk Women, recorded at Olympic Studios in London.

Second LP, live shows without Reparata (1969-1973)[edit]

Reparata married in 1969. She took her husband's name and became Mary O'Leary.[16] She decided to stop doing live shows and to concentrate on starting a family and on her separate career as a schoolteacher.[17]

Reparata agreed that Lorraine Mazzola and Nanette Licari would carry on without her doing live shows as The Delrons. They recruited Cooky Sirico, and with Lorraine Mazzola on lead vocals they performed Reparata and the Delrons' back catalogue. The musicians who played with the live group from this time included Dave Camacho (keyboard), Augie Ciulla (drums), Frank Franco (guitar), Frankie Pelligrino (sax) and Cooky Sirico's husband Joe Sirico (bass).

Reparata had already recorded some lead vocals for the group's second LP, 1970 Rock'n'Roll Revolution,[16] which is a collection of covers of pop standards songs of the 1950s and 1960s, and these tracks were included on the album. The album cover artwork shows the new line-up without Reparata,[13] and the other band members also took some lead vocals on the album. The vocal arrangements on the album are credited to Lorraine Mazzola.

During her time as lead singer with The Delrons, Lorraine Mazzola began to introduce herself as Reparata. The live shows stopped in 1973 when Mazzola joined Barry Manilow's back-up singers Lady Flash.[18] In Lady Flash, Mazzola began to use the stage name "Reparata Mazzola", and has done so ever since. For clarity, in this history of the group Reparata always refers to Mary Aiese O'Leary.

Cooky Sirico and Nanette Licari did not continue with the group after Lorraine Mazzola left, and Reparata and the Delrons went on hiatus as a live act in 1973.

Reparata solo singles, re-releases (1971-1974)[edit]

While The Delrons played live shows without her, Reparata continued to release new singles produced by Steve and Bill Jerome, who had worked on all the group's records since 1964.

"There's So Little Time" was released as Big Tree 114 in 1971, written by Rupert Holmes and Danny Jordan. The B-side is "Just You" written by the Jeromes and K. Stella.[19][20]

In February 1972, Reparata signed a three-year contract with Dart Records, a UK-based label.[21] Dart quickly released Octopus's Garden" (Dart ART 2006), a cover version of The Beatles song. The recording was credited to Reparata and the Delrons, although only Reparata was featured, not any of the Delrons who were still playing live in the US at that time.[22] The B-side is "Your Life is Gone", a dramatic story song similar to The Shangri-La's' "Leader of the Pack". In the US, it was released on Laurie Records, who had released the Delrons first single back in 1964. The production of "Octopus's Garden" uses some vocal effects and sound effects to recapture the quirky mood and sound of the groups' earlier recordings like "Captain of Your Ship" and "Weather Report", and "Your Life is Gone" includes some car-crash and ambulance sound effects like "Leader of the Pack". References to the Beatles and the Shangri-Las, and allusions to the group's own previous hits, seemed dated in 1972, and the record was not a hit.

To capitalize on Reparata's new material for Dart, the group's 1968 UK hit "Captain of Your Ship" / Toom Toom Was a Little Boy (Bell Records BL 1252) was re-released there in July 1972, but it did not make the charts this time.[23]

In 1974 a remake of the group's 1964 hit "Whenever a Teenager Cries" was released as on the North American Music Industries label as NAMI 2024. As ever, it was produced by the Jeromes and arranged by John Abbott. It has a mono recording on one side and a stereo recording on the other. It featured only Reparata,[24] although credited to the group.[25] It may have been the original vocal with an overdubbed country guitar.[26]

"Shoes", two Reparatas (1974-1976)[edit]

On 18 October 1974 Reparata released a solo single "Shoes", backed with "A Song for All", as a UK-only promo on Surrey International Records as SIT 5013.[27] Reparata's contract with Dart Records ended in February 1975, and "Shoes" was then given a commercial release on her new label Polydor in the summer of that year. While the single was drawing praise for its catchy and unique sound, promotion and distribution were hampered by two legal disputes.

First, Dart disputed Polydor's right to the master tapes of "Shoes", which had been recorded during Reparata's contract with Dart.[28] This dispute was settled out of court.

Furthermore, there was a dispute over the name Reparata. Mary O'Leary had originated the name Reparata in 1964, performing and recording as Reparata ever since, first as lead singer of Reparata and the Delrons until 1969, then afterwards as a solo performer. Former bandmate Lorraine Mazzola was now also using the name, having taken over from O'Leary as lead singer at live shows between 1969 to 1973. After this line-up disbanded, Mazzola continued to use the name when working as Barry Manilow's back-up singer.

Both Mazzola and Manilow benefited from the impression that Mazzola had been the lead voice of the still fondly-remembered girl group Reparata and the Delrons. So when Mary O'Leary released her latest Reparata solo single "Shoes", Mazzola launched a lawsuit for sole use of the name. In a 2005 radio interview, Mary O'Leary explained that this seriously affected the success of "Shoes" because the record had to be removed from sale during the case: "When the record came out, being done by Reparata, the record was squashed because, quote unquote, Reparata was with Barry Manilow. Believe me, it's a whole big megillah...".[29] Reparata won the case when Mazzola did not come to hearing.[16][30]

Eventually released on 8 August 1975 on both Dart and Polydor with one catalogue number, "Shoes" did become a "turntable hit" in both the US and the UK. In August 1975 it reached #92 in the Billboard Hot 100,[31] while in the UK it reached #43 in October 1975.[9] The record's biggest chart success was in South Africa, where it made the Top 10 in early 1976.

In order to continue using the name Reparata Mazzola, Lorraine Mazzola changed her legal given name to Reparata.[32] This has continued to cause confusion down the years, with Lorraine Mazzola often assumed to be the person who led the group Reparata and the Delrons throughout its recording career, when in fact all recordings feature Mary O'Leary's lead vocal, except for some tracks on "1970 Rock and Roll Revolution" when all group members took turns singing lead.

Some examples of the confusion:

  • The Discogs listing shows a photo of Lorraine Mazzola, but has information about Mary O'Leary,[33]
  • The Bubblegum Timemachine website says that Mazzola recorded "Shoes" (it was Mary O'Leary).[34]
  • An otherwise comprehensive review of the 2005 Best of Reparata and the Delrons compilation says that O'Leary joined Lady Flash (it was Mazzola).

Reparata's last singles (1975-1976)[edit]

In 1975 Reparata recorded a version of Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans 1963 hit "Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts". It was not released, but it was included on the 2004 Ace Records compilation, Where The Girls Are Volume 6.[35]

Billboard reported in November 1975 that Reparata was making a solo album with the Jeromes and Lou Guarino, for release in early 1976.[36] The album was not released.

In March 1976, following the success of "Shoes" in the UK, and capitalising on recent success of a reissue of The Shangri-La's "Leader of the Pack", Reparata's former UK label Dart Records re-packaged the 1972 single which had featured the Beatles cover "Octopus's Garden" on the A-side, and the Shangri-La's-like "Your Life Is Gone" on the B-side. Dart reversed the A- and B-sides, changed the credit from Reparata and the Delrons to simply Reparata, and assigned a new catalogue number ART 2057.[37]

At the same time as "Your Life is Gone" was re-released on Dart, Reparata released another original single on Polydor, number 2058688, in the UK only, called "Jesabee Lancer (The Belly Dancer)". Like "Shoes", it is an Eric Beam song originally recorded by his group Felix Harp in the early 1970s. Their original was called "Savait",[38] and was about Jessica Lancer, not Jesabee Lancer. Also like "Shoes", it has a Middle Eastern or Turkish pop sound[39] which echoes the song's lyrics about a belly dancer. In contrast, the B-side is a religious ballad called "We Need You". The record did not make the UK singles charts, and it has been rarely heard since.

Reformed, re-releases (1976-1990)[edit]

In the late 1970s, several of the group's 1960s singles including "Panic" and "It's Waiting There For You" became favourites on the Northern soul scene in England. "Panic" was re-released in the UK in 1978 on an EP of Northern Soul classics which also featured tracks by Gerri Granger and James & Bobby Purify.[40]

That same year, Mary O'Leary asked Nanette Licari and Cooky Sirico to reform the group with her. All three were now in their mid-30s, with jobs outside the music industry: O'Leary was a schoolteacher, Licari a cashier at a Brooklyn department store, and Sirico a secretary at a brokerage stock cage.[6] The group became a part-time project for the trio, and they performed approximately once a month on the oldies circuit, and at club gigs and private functions in the New York and New England areas for over twenty years.

In 1979, the group contributed vocals to Gary Private's EP Private, on the songs "Caught Up In Los Angeles" and "Rumor Has It".[41]

The group's 1965 album Whenever a Teenager Cries continued to be sold throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The group's biography on the MTV website comments that the album was

... a low-level collectable piece that was easily found in record store used bins (especially in the northeast) well into the '80s and, in contrast to most other original girl group LPs, only cost $15 to $20. Thus, for 20 years after that album's release, Reparata & the Delrons' music, easier to find and less expensive than, say, originals by the Crystals or Darlene Love, was frequently a first-purchase by lots of people getting into the girl group sound.

In 1981, they released a privately pressed LP called On the Road Again on the Perfection Sound label, and they appeared on Don K. Reed's radio show Doo Wop Shop in 1982 singing a cappella "The Book of Love", "So Young" and "Brooklyn".[16][42]

"Captain of Your Ship" remained a popular oldie in the UK, and it was re-released as a B-side in January 1985 on the Old Gold label as OG 9504, with the A-side "Keep On" by Bruce Channel.[43]

In June 1985, the group joined James Brown and many other '50s and '60s artists to record the Roots of Rock 'n' Roll Against Famine charity single "Our Message to the People (For The Children)".[44] It was released in November 1986 and sales benefited the UNICEF World Hunger campaign.[45]

Nanette Licari took a break from the group for a year in the late 1980s and Lauren Stich took her place. With this line-up, the group made a second appearance on Don K. Reed's Doo Wop Shop in 1988, performing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". When Nanette Licari returned to the group after her break, Lauren Stich concentrated on her main career as a horse-racing journalist and handicapper.

Last years (1990-2000)[edit]

"Captain of Your Ship" was adapted for a 1990 UK TV commercial for Müllerice,[46] and it was sampled on the 1990 Betty Boo single "Doin' The Do".

Nanette Licari eventually left the group for good in 1992, and Judy Jae joined Reparata and Cooky Sirico in what would be the group's final line-up.

A budget Best Of compilation, also called Whenever a Teenager Cries, was released in 1993 on the Collectable label.

During the 1990s the group was managed first by Mary O'Leary's husband Jon, then by Vito Picone. The group recorded tracks for a Christmas CD in the mid-1990s. It was not released, but their version of "Winter Wonderland" appeared on the 2010 compilation "Christmas Harmonies",[47] and is available via Soundcloud.[48]

In 1996 the group performed on Art Loria's cable show Twilight Time. The clip is available on YouTube. The following year, Ace Records included an unreleased track "Look in My Diary" on the compilation Where the Girls Are, vol. 1.[49]

In 2000, Mary "Reparata" O'Leary retired from teaching and decided it was time to also disband the group for good, almost 40 years after she formed the group as a high school student.

Legacy and activities since 2000[edit]

Reparata and the Delrons' recordings are regularly featured on anthology records and CDs, for example compilations of songs by girl groups, 1960's records, Northern Soul favourites, etc. Since 2000 they have been featured on at least 16 such anthologies (see Discography).

In May 2003, Mary O'Leary was a guest speaker at "Italian Americans and Early Rock and Roll", a symposium presented at Queens College, City University of New York by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute and the university's Newman Center.[50]

Licensing tracks for a Best Of compilation was always going to be logistically difficult. In their twelve-year recording career, Reparata and the Delrons recorded for more than twelve different labels. There had been an unauthorised Best Of compilation in 2001, and in 2005 an authorised Ace Records compilation The Best of Reparata and the Delrons was released. The compilation included most of the singles, and some rarities, B-sides and unreleased material.[51] It was accompanied by a comprehensive illustrated booklet, with some new commentary by Mary O'Leary.

Also released in 2005, the Rhino Records box set One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds - Lost & Found (Rhino R2 74615) featured "I'm Nobody's Baby Now" and "Saturday Night Didn't Happen".[52] Mary O'Leary and Nanette Licari were guests at the album launch at The Cutting Room in New York City.[53] The same month, Mary O'Leary gave an extended radio interview about her career to Alex McNeil, host of the Lost and Found show on the MIT college radio station WMBR.[54]

A Facebook page launched in 2008 as a community for group members, musicians, friends, family and fans. Mary O'Leary, Cooky Sirico, Lauren Stich, Judy Jae and some of the group's musicians are active participants. There is also an unofficial MySpace page (/reparatathedelrons), now inactive, and a Twitter feed (/thisisreparata) linked to the Facebook page.

In summer 2011, Nanette Licari was invited to perform some of the group's songs at the event "She's Got the Power", a celebration of the girl group sound at New York City's Lincoln Center.[55] The supergroup formed for the event continues to perform occasionally in New York and Connecticut, with members of The Chantels, The Toys, The Jaynetts, The Exciters and The Cookies taking part at different gigs.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year A-side B-side Artist Label and number Chart position
May 64[56] Your Big Mistake Leave Us Alone The Delrons United States Laurie 3252[57] --
United States Dec 64
United Kingdom 29 Jan 65
Whenever a Teenager Cries He's My Guy Reparata and the Delrons with Hash Brown and his Orchestra United States World Artists 1036
United Kingdom Stateside SS382
United States #60[58]
United Kingdom
United States Mar 65
United Kingdom 5/65
Tommy Mama Don't Allow Reparata and the Delrons with Hash Brown and his Orchestra United StatesWorld Artists 1051
United Kingdom Stateside SS414
United States #92[59]
1965 A Summer Thought He's the Greatest Reparata with Hash Brown and his Orchestra[60] United States World Artists 1057 --
1965 I Found My Place The Boy I Love Reparata United States World Artists 1062 --
Dec 65 I Can Tell Take a Look Around You Reparata and the Delrons United States RCA 47-8721 --
Apr 66 I'm Nobody's Baby Now Loneliest Girl in Town Reparata and the Delrons with Hash Brown and his Orchestra United States RCA 47-8820 --
Aug 66 He Don't Want You Mama’s Little Girl Reparata and the Delrons with Hash Brown and his Orchestra United States RCA 47-8921 --
Feb 67 The Kind of Trouble That I Love Boys and Girls Reparata and the Delrons United States RCA 47-9123 --
1967 I Can Hear The Rain Always Waiting Reparata and the Delrons United States RCA 47-9185, Kapp 1691
United Kingdom RCA 1691
--
Sep 67 I Believe It's Waiting There For You Reparata and the Delrons United States Mala 573 --
Jan 68 Captain of Your Ship Toom Toom (Is a Little Boy) Reparata and the Delrons United States Mala 589
United Kingdom Bell BLL1002 1 Mar 68
Netherlands Stateside HSS 1265
United States #127
United Kingdom #13
United States May 68
United Kingdom 31 May 68
Saturday Night Didn’t Happen Panic Reparata and the Delrons United Kingdom Bell BLL 1014
United States Mala 12000
United Kingdom Bell BLL 1014
--
United Kingdom Jul 68
United States 8/68
Weather Forecast You Cant Change a Young Boys Mind Reparata and the Delrons United Kingdom Bell BLL 1021
United States Mala 12016
--
1968 Heaven Only Knows Summer Laughter Reparata and the Delrons United States Mala 12026 --
Apr 69 (That’s What Sends) Men to the Bowery (That’s What Sends) Men to the Bowery Reparata and the Delrons United States Kapp 989[61] --
May 69 Hold the Night San Juan Reparata and the Delrons United States Kapp 2010 --
Sep 69 Walking in the Rain I've Got An Awful Lot Of Losing You To Do Reparata and the Delrons United States Kapp K2050[62] --
Apr 71 There’s So Little Time Just You Reparata United States Big Tree 114 --
28 Apr 72 Octopus's Garden Your Life is Gone Reparata and the Delrons United Kingdom Dart ART 2006
New Zealand Family 1006
Germany Odeon/Electrola 1C 006-93 451
France Spotlite 40017
United States Laurie 3589[57]
--
21 Jul 72 Captain of Your Ship Toom Toom (Is a Little Boy) Reparata and the Delrons United Kingdom Bell BL1252 --
1974 Whenever a Teenager Cries Whenever a Teenager Cries Reparata and the Delrons United States NAMI 2024 --
8 Aug 75 Shoes A Song for All Reparata United Kingdom Dart / Polydor
2066 652
United States Polydor 14271
United Kingdom #43
United States #92[63]
South Africa #6
27 Feb 76 Jesabee Lancer (The Belly Dancer) We Need You Reparata United Kingdom Polydor 2058688 --
6 Feb 76[64] Your Life is Gone Octopus's Garden Reparata United Kingdom Dart ART 2057 --
1976 Panic Saturday Night Didn't Happen Reparata and the Delrons United States Eric Records 5010[65] --
1978 I Go To Pieces Panic / Shake a Tail Feather Gerri Granger, Reparata and the Delrons, James and Bobby Purify United Kingdom Casino Classics CC3 --
1980s Whenever A Teenager Cries Tommy Reparata and the Delrons United States Collectables COL 3187[66] --
Jan 1985 Keep On Captain of Your Ship Bruce Channel / Reparata and the Delrons United Kingdom Old Gold 9504 --
Nov 1986 Our Message To The People (For The Children) (vocal) Our Message To The People (For The Children) (instrumental) Roots of Rock'n'Roll Against Famine United States Downtown Records 1003 --

Albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1965 Whenever a Teenager Cries World Artists WAM 2006[67]
1970 1970 Rock and Roll Revolution Avco Embassy[68]
1981 On the Road Again Perfection Sound [69]
1993 Whenever a Teenager Cries [anthology] Collectables [70]
2001 Magical Musical History Tour [anthology] Mo-Banana 1001[71]
2005 Best of Reparata and the Delrons [anthology] Ace Records[72]
2012 The Best of Reparata and the Delrons [anthology] Masters Classics[73]

Compilations[edit]

This is an incomplete selection of compilation albums and CDs which feature tracks by Reparata and the Delrons, or Reparata solo. [74]

Year Title Track Label and number
1969? Top 4 sampler (Iran)[75] "Captain of Your Ship" Top 4 EX-4261
1975 20 Blazing Bullets[76] "Shoes" Ronco RTL2012
1976 Super Disco [77] "Shoes" Polydor 2413 805
1976 Disco Explosion Vol. 1[78] "Shoes" Pickwick SHM 903
1976 20 Original Hits.[79] "Shoes" Polydor 2413 804
1976 Hit Action[80] "Jesabee Lancer (The Belly Dancer)" Polydor 2413 306
1980 Star Power[81] "Captain of Your Ship" Pickwick SSD 8036
1985 Stop Look Listen "Your Big Mistake" ACT001
1989 20 Collector's Records of the 50s and 60s, Vol. 2 "Your Big Mistake" LCD4094
1991 The Spirit of the 60s: 1968 - The Hits Don't Stop[81] "Captain of Your Ship" TL531/18
1995 Early Girls Vol. 1 "Whenever a Teenager Cries" CDCHD 608
1997 Where the Girls Are Vol 1[49] "Look in my Diary" CDCHD 648
2000 Hits Hits Hits 60s 70s "Captain of Your Ship" 74321793042
2000 The Original Wanderer "Your Big Mistake" CDCHD 762
2004 1968 The Soundtrack "Captain of Your Ship"
2004 Where the Girls Are Vol. 6 "Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts" CDCHD1032
2005 Phil's Spectre II: Another Wall of Soundalikes "I'm Nobody's Baby Now" CDCHD 1059
2005 One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found"[52] "Saturday Night Didn't Happen", "I'm Nobody's Baby Now" CDCHD 1229
14/9/2007 Testament van den 60s[81] "Captain of Your Ship" USM 984 812-8
15/10/2007 100 Hits 60s[81] "Captain of Your Ship" Demon DMG 100 001
2009 Wild Thing: The Songs of Chip Taylor "Tommy" CDCHD 1229
2009 The Laurie Records Story Vol. 3: Girls and Girl Groups "Your Big Mistake", "Your Life is Gone" CDCHD 1231
2009 Northern Soul Movers Vol. 3[82] "Panic" Vintage Saint Records
2009 100 Hits: Northern Soul "Panic" 100 Hits
2010 Holiday Harmonies[83] "Winter Wonderland" Landlord Records
2011 The Best of the Northern Soul Story "Panic" 88697816382
2011 Mad Men[84] "Doo Wah Diddy" Golden Lane records
2011 Sugar Sugar: The Birth of Bubblegum Pop[85] "Captain of Your Ship" Sony TV
2011 Sounds of the Sixties "Captain of Your Ship" EMI TV
2012 Be My Baby: The Girls of the Sixties[86] "Captain of Your Ship"
Rock 'n' Roll "Lollipop", "Be My Baby"[87] 86 913 XBT

Group member biographies[edit]

Several of the group's former members and musicians, as well as fans, friends and family, are active on the Reparata and the Delrons Facebook page.[88]

Reparata is the stage name of Mary Katherine O'Leary, née Aiese. Born on 31 December 1946, she formed the group as a high school student in 1962. She led the group throughout its existence, except for 1969-1973 when she stopped performing live, although she continued to record. She married Jonathan O'Leary in 1969 and has two grown-up children Nicole and Jonathan Jr,[17] and grandchildren. She taught fifth and sixth grade for 32 years. In 1975 she had an unexpected solo hit in the UK and South Africa with "Shoes". Around this time, she also won a legal dispute with former bandmate Lorraine Mazzola over the right to perform as Reparata. O'Leary reformed the group in 1978 as a part-time project, finally disbanding the group in 2000 when she retired from teaching. She lives in Neponsit, Queens[16] and works as an estate agent and a personal tutor.

Nanette Licari, born 24 May 1947, was in the earliest iteration of the group at high school from 1962-1963, then she rejoined in 1965. Nanette continued to perform with the group until 1993, except for a short break in the late 1980s. During the 5-year period when the group was inactive from 1973, she worked as a cashier at a Brooklyn department store. She later became an elementary school teacher[89] and worked at a Catholic school in Brooklyn, from where she is now retired.[90] In summer 2011 she performed at the event "She's Got the Power", a celebration of the girl group sound at New York City's Lincoln Centre.[55] She continues to perform occasionally in the Long Island area as a member of oldies group the Tercels[91] and at nostalgia gigs with other former members of 1960s girl groups. Nanette lives in Ozone Park, Queens with her husband Robert Salerno, where she occasionally makes the local news as a high-profile animal lover and rescuer of stray cats.[92]

Lorraine Mazzola, born 25 February 1947, joined the group in 1965. She became lead singer in 1969 when Mary Aiese decided to stop doing live shows, and informally called herself Reparata. Mazzola left the group in 1973 to form Barry Manilow's backing group Lady Flash, staying with them until 1979.[18] After losing the 1975 court case to Mary O'Leary over the sole right to the stage name Reparata, Mazzola formally changed her given name to Reparata.[93] She co-wrote the book Mafia Kingpin: the True Story of Sonny Gibson (1981),[94] and she wrote and acted in a film with Gibson called Dark Before Dawn (1988).[95] More recently, she has been developing the book into a movie.[96] She was nominated for an Emmy as writer-producer of an informational series for WCBS-TV in New York.[97] In May 2001 she pleaded guilty to being involved in a fraudulent investment scheme with Gibson.[98] Mazzola contributed an essay to the 2007 book Women's Poker Night,[99] and for five years she was a contributing editor for Poker Pro magazine.[100] She was Events and Operations director for WriteGirl, a programme in creative writing for at-risk young women in Los Angeles[101] and continues to work in the entertainment field.[97][102] Mazzola brought her experience as a writer and fundraiser for non-profits to her work as Secretary for the Gate Community, a spiritual organisation of entertainment professionals.[96] In December 2013, she and her partner Chef Gordon Smith published a cookbook Save the Males: A Kitchen Survival Cookbook.[103] She lives in Los Angeles.

Cooky Sirico, born 2 February, was a Delron first from 1969-1973. In November 1971, she married the group's bass player Joe Sirico (born 29 November 1946). When the live group became inactive in 1973, she became a secretary at a brokerage stock cage.[6] Cooky rejoined the group when they reformed as a part-time project in 1978 and performed with them for the next 22 years until they disbanded in 2000. Cooky and Joe continue to perform in the tri state area: they were in the oldies groups The BeBops and Johnny and the Raybands, and currently perform with The Remnants.[104] Cooky currently performs with Witness,[105] and Joe plays with the Brooklyn Keys. Cooky and Joe have two adult daughters, Jackie and Stephanie.

Carol Drobnicki, born 13 February 1947[106] was in the group 1962-1964. She married and became Carol Scordilis. She died from cancer in December 1980 at the age of 33.[106][107]

Sheila Reilly who was a Delron from 1963-1965 later moved to Seattle, Washington and became a school principal.

Judy Jae was in the final line-up from 1992 to 2000. She went on to record four CDs of original country-crossover material in Nashville, and continues to perform in Manhattan and on Long Island, and to write music under the name Judy Rae Jae.[108]

Lauren Stich joined the group for a year in the late 1980s, filling in for Nanette Licari. Lauren continues to sing occasionally, but works more behind the scenes as a talent co-ordinator and scout for a New York-based agency. Lauren also has a separate career as a respected writer on horse racing, and she also breeds horses. She wrote a weekly column for the Daily Racing Formand is now a racing handicapper and analyst for the Racing Digest.[109][110] Lauren lives in Las Vegas.

Kathy Romeo was in the group from 1962-1963. She still lives in Brooklyn.[69] She is a widow with two grandchildren.[111]

Anne Fitzgerald and Regina Gallagher were in the group from 1962-1963, and Marge McGuire was a member from 1963-1965.

Drummer Augie Ciulla recorded with his nephews' band The Infinite Staircase,[112] and was featured on their debut album The Road Less Taken, which was released in early 2009. Keyboard player Dave Camacho performs with the Borinquen Blues Band.[113]

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Bibliography[edit]

  • Clemente, John (2000). Girl Groups—Fabulous Females That Rocked The World. Iola, Wisc. Krause Publications. pp. 276. ISBN 0-87341-816-6.
  • Clemente, John (2013). Girl Groups—Fabulous Females Who Rocked The World. Bloomington, IN Authorhouse Publications. pp. 623. ISBN 978-1-4772-7633-4 (sc); ISBN 978-1-4772-8128-4 (e).

External links[edit]