Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge


Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge

Infobox musical artist 2
Name = Johnny Maestro
Background = group_or_band
Img_capt = The original line-up of The Brooklyn Bridge
Alias = The Brooklyn Bridge
Origin = flagicon|USA NYC, New York, United States
Genre = Doo Wop, R&B, Pop, Rock
Years_active = 1968–Present
Label = Buddah, Collectables
Associated_acts = The Del-Satins, The Crests
Current_members = Lead Vocals
Johnny Maestro
Background Vocals
Freddie Ferrara
Les Cauchi
Keyboards
Marty D'Amico
Guitar
Jim Sarle
Bass Guitar
Jimmy Rosica
Drums
Lou Agiesta
Past_members = Music Director
Tom Sullivan
Background Vocals
Mike Gregorio
Keyboards
Carolyn Woods
Guitar
Richie Macioce
Trumpet
Shelly Davis
Saxophone
Joe Ruvio
Drums
Artie Cantanzarita

Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge is an American musical group, best known for their rendition of Jimmy Webb’s "The Worst That Could Happen" (1968).

History

Johnny Maestro (Mastrangelo) b. May 7, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York, began his career in 1957 as the original lead singer of The Crests, one of the first interracial groups of the recording industry. After a regional hit with "My Juanita"/"Sweetest One" on the Joyce label, and two years of chart success on Coed Records with "16 Candles", "Step by Step", "The Angels Listened In", and "Trouble in Paradise", Maestro left the Crests for a solo career. Maestro was unable to reach his former chart heights with the Crests, but did have Top 40 hits with "What A Surprise" and "Model Girl" in 1961 and 1962.

By 1967, another New York group called the Del-Satins, who had made several non-charting recordings between 1959 and 1967 under their own name (and backing up Dion on his post-Belmonts recordings), were looking for a new lead singer to replace original lead Stan Ziska. Other members were brothers Fred and Tom Ferrara (baritone and bass), Les Cauchi (first tenor) and Bobby Fiela (second tenor). According to Cauchi, members of the group ran into Maestro at a local gym, playing his guitar, and approached him with the offer to join the group. After initially turning them down, Maestro's manager called Cauchi and told him Maestro had changed his mind.

In 1968, after touring locally and playing in clubs and small venues, the Del-Satins attended a "Battle of the Bands" and encountered a seven piece brass group named the Rhythm Method. Impressed with each other's skills and talents, the groups decided to try to join forces. The name supposedly came from the joke that the group would be "harder to sell than the Brooklyn Bridge."

Johnny and the Bridge rehearsed their unusual combination of smooth vocal harmonies and full horns, and signed a recording contract with Buddah records. Their first release, a version of the Jimmy Webb song " [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieYlC_FkpfI The Worst That Could Happen] " (previously recorded by The Fifth Dimension), reached #3 on the Billboard Pop Charts. The follow up, "Welcome Me Love", and its flip side, " [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4GwUtBd0DM Blessed is the Rain] ", both reached the Top 50. A dramatic version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" and the controversial "Your Husband, My Wife" also reached the middle ranges of the charts. The group sold over 10 million records by 1972, including LP sales, mostly produced by Wes Farrell. Appearances on Ed Sullivan, The Della Reese Show and others helped to bring the group to the national stage.

After its heyday, The Brooklyn Bridge downsized to a five-man group, with the vocalists playing their own instruments. For example, Maestro could be seen on stage playing rhythm guitar, while former Rhythm Method bassist Jim Rosica picked up a vocal part. Later in the 1970s, as the Rock and Roll Revival evolved from a nostalgic fad to a respected genre, the group began to add members, retaining its core vocalists. By 1985, the group had solidified into an eight piece group, including original Del Satins Cauchi and Fred Ferrara and original Bridge member Rosica, and augmented by a horn section for special occasions.

The modern version of the Brooklyn Bridge released a Christmas EP in 1989 and a greatest hits compilation in 1993, re-recording Maestro's hits with The Crests. In the early 1990s, Maestro moonlighted as the background tenor on Joel Katz's studio project CD "Joel & the Dymensions" (which also featured baritone-bass Bobby Jay). In 1994, The Brooklyn Bridge recorded a 10-song acapella CD.

Recently, the Brooklyn Bridge was featured in one of PBS's biggest fundraising events ever, "Doo Wop 50", performing both "Sixteen Candles" and "The Worst That Could Happen" (the entire program was released on VHS and DVD). In 2005, the Brooklyn Bridge released a full concert-length DVD as part of the "Pops Legends Live" series. They continue to tour and in 2004 released a CD titled "Today", featuring more re-recordings of their hits and versions of other groups' songs of the 1950's and 60's.

The Brooklyn Bridge was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame with the class of 2005. The Brooklyn Bridge were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame [http://www.limusichalloffame.org (www.limusichalloffame.org)] on Oct 15, 2006

Discography

"Please see Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge Discography for a complete discography."

Line Ups

Original: Vocals: Johnny Maestro, Les Cauchi, Fred Ferrara, Mike Gregorio.Musical Director Tom Sullivan, keyboardist Carolyn Wood, guitarist Richie Macioce, bass guitarist Jimmy Rosica, trumpeter Shelly Davis, saxophonist Joe Ruvio and drummer Artie Cantanzarita.

Current: Lead Vocals Johnny Maestro, vocals: Fred Ferrara, Les Cauchi, keyboards and vocals Marty D'Amico, bass and vocals Jimmy Rosica, guitarist Jim Sarle and drummer Lou Agiesta. (This lineup also previously included eighth member Ed Liscandro (guitar and vocals) who was with the group for some of their earlier [PBS] performances).(This lineup also included Richie Bono who played saxophone on many of their earlier recordings).

Trivia

*Fred Ferrara's younger brother Tom is a member of the famed Doo Wop group The Capris, famous for their hit "There's A Moon Out Tonight".

*Patricia VanDross, older sister to famed R&B singer Luther Vandross sang with Johnny Maestro during his tenure as lead vocalists with The Crests.

*Maestro is one of the very rare front men to have Top Ten success with two different bands in different eras.

*Lou Agiesta was the drummer for the original United States touring company of "Jesus Christ Superstar".

*BlueRick Solomon briefly played guitar and sang with the Brooklyn Bridge during the late 60s.

*Richie Macioce is the brother of Michael Macioce a photographer for many bands and magazines including the beastie boys, yoko ono, and shimmy disc records. Also magnet,spin,and the village voice has featured his photos.

External links

* [http://www.j-maestro-bklyn-bridge.com/ Official Site]
* [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JohnnyMaestroFans/ Johnny Maestro Fans Yahoo Group]
*amg | id = 11:ivae4jo71wav | label = Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge


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