Sal Valentino in 1974.
|Birth name||Salvatore Spampinato|
|Born||8 September 1942|
|Origin||San Francisco, California|
|Genres||Folk rock, pop rock, garage rock, blues-rock|
|Instruments||Lead vocals, guitar, percussion|
|Associated acts||The Beau Brummels, Stoneground|
Sal Valentino (born Salvatore Willard Spampinato, September 8, 1942) is an American rock musician, singer and songwriter, best known as lead singer of The Beau Brummels, subsequently becoming a songwriter as well. The band released a pair of top 20 U.S. hit singles in 1965, "Laugh, Laugh" and "Just a Little." He later fronted another band, Stoneground, which produced three albums in the early 1970s. After reuniting on numerous occasions with the Beau Brummels, Valentino began a solo career, releasing his latest album, Every Now and Then, in 2008.
Valentino grew up in the North Beach section of San Francisco. In 1964, he received an offer to play a regular gig at a local club. Needing a band, he called childhood friend and songwriter/guitarist Ron Elliott, who recruited drummer John Petersen, rhythm guitarist/singer Declan Mulligan, and bassist Ron Meagher. They called themselves "The Stepping Stones",and played the Longshoreman's Hall in S.F. The gig led to a more lucrative deal at the Morocco Room, a club in nearby San Mateo, California. There, the Beau Brummels were discovered by prominent San Francisco deejay Tom Donahue, who quickly signed the band to his label, Autumn Records. The band released "Laugh, Laugh" in December as their debut single. The song peaked at number fifteen in February 1965. "Just a Little", the follow-up single, fared even better on the charts, peaking at number eight. Valentino appeared with the band in the 1965 science-fiction/comedy movie Village of the Giants, which was featured in a 1994 episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Valentino also appeared with the band as The Beau Brummelstones on The Flintstones television animated sitcom in the season six episode "Shinrock A Go-Go," which originally aired on December 3, 1965.
Although the Beau Brummels' subsequent releases were not as commercially successful as their debut album and its first two singles, the band earned underground credibility with 1967's Triangle and 1968's Bradley's Barn. Critics noted the works as early contributions to the country rock genre. The band, which by 1968 consisted of only Valentino and Elliott, split up, and following a stint recording singles for Warner Bros. Records, Valentino assembled a new band, Stoneground. After the group released three albums in the early 1970s, Valentino left the group in 1973. Disenchanted, he left the music business. For many years he worked normal jobs including forklift driver, warehouse stockman, finally ending up working as an agent in the Race Form at Northern California race tracks. In 1993 he herniated his back and was forced to go out on disability. This was the first time in 15 years he thought of returning to music and singing again. He later participated in numerous Beau Brummels revivals over the next two decades.
After a hiatus from music, Valentino contributed to a 2003 Bob Dylan tribute album, Positively 12th and K, with musician Jackie Greene. In 2006, Valentino released Dreamin' Man, the first solo album of his 45-year career. Another album, Come Out Tonight, followed later that year, and his third solo album, Every Now and Then, was released in 2008.
- With The Beau Brummels
- Introducing the Beau Brummels (1965)
- The Beau Brummels, Vol. 2 (1965)
- Beau Brummels '66 (1966)
- Triangle (1967)
- Bradley's Barn (1968)
- The Beau Brummels (1975)
- Live! (The Beau Brummels album) (2000)
- With Stoneground
- Solo albums
- Dreamin' Man (2006)
- Come Out Tonight (2006)
- Every Now and Then (2008)
- Positively 12th and K: A Bob Dylan Tribute (by Jackie Greene/Sal Valentino & Friends) (2003)
- "Sal Valentino - Biography". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- "The Beau Brummels - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- Renzi, Thomas C. (2004). H.G. Wells: Six Scientific Romances Adapted for Film (2nd ed.). Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-8108-4989-1.
- Childs, T. Mike (2004). The Rocklopedia Fakebandica. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-312-32944-0.
- Unterberger, Richie (2000). Urban Spacemen and Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators and Eccentric Visionaries of '60s Rock. San Francisco: Miller Freeman, Inc. pp. 180–181. ISBN 978-0-87930-616-8.
- "Rolling Stone - The Beau Brummels - Biography". Rolling Stone (Wenner Media). Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- "Sal Valentino On Outsight Radio Hours".
- Selvin, Joel (2006-02-22). "Decades in obscurity, Beau Brummels front man surfaces to remind us what the fuss was all about". San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- "Every Now and Then - Overview". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2009-09-14.