The Elegants is an American doo-wop vocal group, that was started in 1958 by Vito Picone, Arthur Venosa, Frank Tardogno, Carman Romano and James Mochella in South Beach, Staten Island, New York. Before their nursery rhyme inspired song, "Little Star", became a number one hit, the band usually performed informally under the boardwalk by their homes. "Little Star" was the only million seller for the group, and was written by Venosa and Picone. It spent 19 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100, earning gold disc status.
After their success with "Little Star", the band, still in their teens, toured with artists such as Buddy Holly, Dion and the Belmonts, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. However, none of their subsequent singles reached the charts at all making them a prime example of one-hit wonders.
In early 1970s, lead singer Picone returned to the group replacing Tardogno as the lead singer. That group comprising Vito Picone, Freddie Redmond, Nino Amato and Bruce Copp have been together ever since and to this date, have not stopped touring. They can be seen annually performing at the San Gennaro Festival, in Little Italy, Manhattan, New York City.
According to the Elegants website, Freddie Redmond died of emphysema in 2006, and was replaced by original member, James Moschella. As of 2012, the Elegants are still performing at concerts and events throughout the United States, under the name "Vito Picone & The Elegants". They still perform "Little Star", as well as their interpretations of many golden oldies. The Elegants band consists of Mike Catalano on bass guitar, Joe Lucenti on lead guitar, Mark Garni on keyboards and Sal Albanese on drums.
Carman Romano died on 2 August 2016 at age 76.
References in culture
- The title poem of American poet Mark Halliday's collection Little Star (W. Morrow, 1987) is an homage to The Elegants and Vito Picone. The poem is also available in Allen Grossman (with Mark Halliday), The Sighted Singer: Two Works on Poetry for Readers and Writers (Johns Hopkins UP, 1992), pages 25–27.
- List of artists who reached number one in the United States
- List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart
- List of 1950s one-hit wonders in the United States
- List of doo-wop musicians
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 14 – Big Rock Candy Mountain: Phil Spector & Frank Zappa review the '50s" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 101. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 181. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Blank". Alexaugustine.com. July 25, 1981. Retrieved 2012-05-11.