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|Also known as||Larry Chance and the Earls|
|Origin||The Bronx, New York, United States|
Old Town Records
London Records (Canada)
|Associated acts||Larry Chance and the Earls, LASER, Smokestack, The Hi-Hatters|
|Past members||Jack Wray|
Larry Palumbo (died 1961)
Art Loria (died 2010)
T. J. Butch Barbella
Bobby Coleman (died 2020)
Elliot Kritzer 1986-2007 Daniel Loria - 1990-1998Anthony Tribuzzio - 1985-Present
The Earls, sometimes credited as Larry Chance and the Earls, were an American popular music recording group from the 1960s, which was formed in The Bronx, New York, United States. In 1962, their single "Remember Then" was a hit, and "Life Is But a Dream," "Never" and "I Believe" also charted. As the oldies revival scene started a strong run in the early 1970s and 1980s, the Earls became one of the most requested groups in the doo-wop genre. They are still performing and remain on the oldies circuit.
The Earls are one of the New York City doo-wop success stories. Discovered singing on the street corner in front of subway station, the Earls took the original black doo-wop street corner harmony sound, and refined and expanded it for new audiences. The Earls were known for their "Baby Talk" styling of their background harmony riffs.
Larry Chance was the driving force behind the group's formation and success. Chance grew up in Philadelphia and attended high school with Chubby Checker, Frankie Avalon, and Danny Rapp of Danny & the Juniors. But it was not until 1957 that he moved with his parents to the Bronx after high school, that his musical career took off.
Chance formed a group at the Tecumsa Social Club, known as the Hi-Hatters. The group was Chance, Bob Del Din, Eddie Harder, Larry Palombo and John Wray. Later, in 1961, the Earls lost their original member Larry Palombo in an army skydiving accident when his parachute failed to open during an exercise. In 1961, Rome released the Earls' first record – "Life is But a Dream" (Rome 101 – 1961) b/w "It's You" (and in the late 1970s released with "Whoever You Are" as the B-side). The group then performed with Murray the K and on Dick Clark's American Bandstand show. They released another record that year, "Looking For My Baby" (Rome 102) b/w "Cross My Heart".
In 1962, the group hooked up with Stan Vincent and recorded "Remember Then" for Old Town Records (Old Town 1130) b/w "Let's Waddle". It was a hit, peaking at #24 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1963. Chance co-wrote the group's next single "Never" b/w "I Keep A-Tellin You" (Old Town 1133–1963). The group scored another hit in 1963 on Old Town with "Eyes" b/w "Look My Way" (Old Town 1141). Later, a demo "I Believe" was released (Old Town 1149–1963) b/w "Don't Forget". "I Believe" became a much bigger record from the 1970s onward as it received heavy airplay on NYC oldies radio.
Chance later had a brief solo career, recording "Let Them Talk". He returned to the Earls who, at that time, had two new members – Bob Moricco and Ronnie Calabrese. The group started playing their own instruments and, in 1967, recorded "If I Could Do It Over" b/w "Papa" (Mr. G 801 – 1967), and a track for ABC Records, "Its Been a Long Time Coming" b/w "In My Lonely Room" (ABC 11109–1967).
The group continued performing into the 1970s and, in 1977, they released a disco version of The Velvets' "Tonight (Could Be the Night)." By 1983, the group's personnel were Chance, Ronnie Calabrese, Colon Rello, Bobby Tribuzio and Tony Obert, and they recorded Larry Chance and the Earls – Today.
From 1989-1993, the group consisted of: Larry Chance, Bobby Tribuzzio, Bob Coleman, Art Loria (formerly of The Belmonts) and T.J. Barbella. This roster continued a busy performance schedule and studio works. In 1989, they were on Broadway performing in the original production of A Bronx Tale, a one man play by Chazz Palminteri. They recorded the theme song of the production "Streets of the Bronx", which was slated to appear on the soundtrack of the motion picture A Bronx Tale, however a different version of the song was eventually chosen. Two albums were released: Larry Chance and the Earls (Live!) and Earl Change. Another single released in 1989 was "Elvis:He's Alive", which was warmly received by critics and received a BMI Award of Recognition of a Musical Work. They were nominated as "Best Musical Act" in Atlantic City for their eight week run at The Claridge Hotel, starring with Sal Richards.
Loria and Barbella left the group in 1993. Chance, Tribuzio and Coleman remain as the group's core with a rotation of members rounding out the act. They continue to perform and record and are considered to be popular on the doo wop / oldies revival circuit.
In 2008, the group was honored with a place on The Bronx Walk of Fame.
Former member Art Loria died October 23, 2010. He performed and recorded with the group for eight years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was the co-writer with Barbella of the group's tribute to Presley, "Elvis: He's Alive". The song was recognized by Billboard magazine and BMI and the group was presented with an award for recognition of a song worthy to keep an ear out for. (Billboard Magazine Article 12/7/91 pg #72) Larry Chance later went on to record He's Alive on his solo.album, Larry Chance Sings Country.
Original bass/baritone, John "Jack" Wray (born June 19, 1939) died on November 30, 2020, at age 81.
Bobby Coleman, a 35 year member of The Earls, died unexpectedly on December 7, 2020.