Cousin Bruce on the radio, CD's in your car, or old 45's you once purchased from Downstairs Records are the way most of us hear the great music of the 50's and 60's today, am I right?
This is my music. This is where I live& my home. Not for nuthin', the recordings are fine, but they cannot match the sound of live doo-wop on the streets.
Back in the day there was a doo-wop group on every corner, and a rock band in every garage, but now, today in the 2000's fuhgetaboutit. Live performances are scarce. I am not suggesting that you can't find them if you look hard. For example, about once a year Dion does a brief tour and if you have a chance to attend go for it. He's still the number one man in this rock n roll/doo-wop thing. Everybody loves Dion. He is like a god.
Little Anthony and The Imperials, Larry Chance and the Earls, Kenny Vance and The Planotones, and many other original voices from those classic recordings still dazzle live audiences every weekend.
Two Broadway shows, "Jersey Boys" and more recently, Million Dollar Quartet are huge hits primarily because they featured this great music from the 50's and 60's live. Hey, a lot of people fell in love when they heard this music and have been together ever since. How can you keep them away?
Ok, but here's the thing, what if you can't get to Broadway and one of the few working artists from the era are not performing in your neighborhood? What are you gonna do?
Take heart, there's this group of fellows from The Bronx who perform the real deal doo-wop and rock and roll live and in person every week of the year, and they're called The Bronx Wanderers.
This crew do more than just perform the music of Dion, The Four Seasons, The Duprees, and The Brooklyn Bridge, they present it with the class, reverence, and soul that the music is worthy off. You understand?
The great Danny Aiello recently lent his voice to the groups promotional video and said, Being a teenager on an avenue in the Bronx back in the 50s and early 60s was unlike bein a kid anywhere else in the universe. There was a magic in the air that blended right in with the sweet aroma of mamas cooking. It was the liberating sound of doo wop and rock and roll. This music had heart, soul, purity and a sound&oh, the sound&..tunes that made you want to dance&.harmonies that made you high&lyrics that, once in awhile, even made you cry.
I couldnt have said it better myself. Let me put it like this&where else, aside from a rare Dion appearance, can you hear the crisp and amazing harmonies of "I Wonder Why" live?
The Bronx Wanderers are headed up by lead singer "Yo Vinny," Vinny Adinolfi. I first caught his act several years back, and it was the previously mentioned "I Wonder Why" that made me sit up and pay attention. Hey, Dion is Dion, the greatest ever, and always will be, ok? But the first night I ever heard him this guy Vinny was beyond the next best thing.
Like Dion, Roy Orbison, Bobby Hatfield, Johnny Maestro and so many before him he's got the pipes. You gotta hear his version of "Cara Mia." Like DeNiro tells his kid in Bronx Tale, "If you've got talent and do the wrong thing, nothing happens. But when you do right, good things happen."
The group is a family affair and consists of Vinny, his talented kids, Nicky Stix and Vinny "The Kid," and ex- Earls member Jim Fracassi.
And theyre not stuck in a 50s time warp either. Disco is a whole generations oldies. Just ask Tony Manero and his Saturday Night Fever crew. Although these days The Bronx Wanderers mostly headline their own concerts in theaters and casino show rooms they still do the occasional charity fundraising gig. Ive seen them knock out two sets of music and fill the dance floors when they add the disco era to their repertoire. You think they nail The Seasons and The Duprees, wait till you hear their take on Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes or The Bee Gees!
See the group has reverence for the great music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, but they are well aware of the decade they are performing in. Just check out Vinny the Kids amazing Coldplay tribute, Viva La Vida. It brings the house down every performance.
As you can imagine when The Bronx Wanderers headline in concert they are at the apogee of their game and its an evening that always delivers nothing but standing ovations from sold out crowds.
Check out their schedule on their web site: www.thebronxwanderers.com