The Fireflies

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The Fireflies were an American doo-wop group from Long Island, New York, from the late 1950s to early 1960s. They were one of the first groups in which all band members both sang and played instruments. In addition, they were the first all-white vocal harmonizing group to appear at The Apollo Theater.[1]

The group was formed by producer Gerry Granahan in Long Island in 1957, and underwent several line-up changes. Their debut single for Roulette Records was "The Crawl", followed by the Ribbon Records 1959 release "You Were Mine", which was their biggest hit. It was written by 19-year-old Paul Giacalone about a girl he met while he was touring.[1] It spent 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, and peaked at #21 on October 26, 1959,[2][3] while reaching #15 on Canada's CHUM Hit Parade.[4] The members involved in the song "You Were Mine" in 1959 were Paul Giacalone (bass singer and drummer; September 28, 1939 – June 27, 2013),[1] Ritchie Adams (lead singer; real name Richard Adam Ziegler), Lee Reynolds, John Viscelli (sax and vocals), Carl Girsoli (guitar and vocals). Following the single's success, The Paulette Sisters released an answer record called "I Was Yours".[5]

Later singles included "I Can't Say Goodbye", "Marianne" and "My Girl" (all 1960); "I Can't Say Goodbye" was the only charter, spending three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #90.[6][7] In 1962 the group reappeared on Taurus Records with "You Were Mine for Awhile" and "Blacksmith Blues" on Hamilton Records; three other singles followed on Taurus, but the group never returned to the charts. They lasted until 1967 before disbanding for good.

Adams went on to release some solo singles and had a successful songwriting career, including the hits "Tossin' and Turnin'" and "After the Lovin'".[8] Adams died on 6 March 2017 aged 71.[9]

Original member and saxophonist/singer, John Viscelli, still resides in southern Florida.[citation needed]

Paul Giacalone was diagnosed with cancer in late 2012. He died from the disease in Long Island, NY, on June 27, 2013, aged 73.[1][10]

Ritchie Adams died on March 6, 2017 at the age of 78.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "Paul N. Giacalone". Retrieved 2015-09-26.
  2. ^ Hot 100 - You Were Mine The Fireflies, Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  3. ^ "The Billboard HOT 100", Billboard, October 26, 1959. p. 40. Accessed September 26, 2015
  4. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade", CHUM, Week of November 09, 1959
  5. ^ Hamilton, Andrew. "Fireflies - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  6. ^ "Fireflies - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  7. ^ "The Billboard HOT 100", Billboard, February 1, 1960. p. 60. Accessed September 26, 2015
  8. ^ "Songs written by Ritchie Adams", Accessed September 27, 2015
  9. ^ "Oldies Music News", Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  10. ^ Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2013 January to June". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  11. ^ The passing of Fireflies’ lead Ritchie Adams (Ziegler) accessdate December 4, 2017