Dion Francis Dimucci
EXCITING NEWS FOR THE BUDDY HOLLY EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION.
We are honoured and thrilled a very special music legend is joining our other great International artists and musicians as an Ambassador and Lifetime guitar recipient.
The original New York Street Poet and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Dion as all Buddy/Cricket fans know, was one of the last to talk to Buddy,Richie and Big Bopper before they boarded the plane that led to the fatal tragedy.
It’s appropriate therefore,that the guitar Maria Elena will present to Dion will be “THAT MAKES IT TOUGH”,one of the final songs Buddy wrote and recorded in their NY apartment.
A VERY WARM WELCOME INTO TBHEF FAMILY DION
Dion and his music will always represent a special time and place… a moment when a song could mean so much and a singer could sum up what it means to be young, in love and on top of the world.
Yet Dion is more than simply a cherished memory of a more innocent time. A singer, songwriter and performer of extraordinary versatility, range and resonance, Dion is fashioning music as relevant and revealing today as in the heydays of the 50’s when, along with a handful of other innovators, he defined rock ‘n’ roll for a generation.
That mastery began at a very early age on the mean streets of the Bronx, New York. It was in the bars and on the street corners of his Bronx neighbourhood that Dion’s musical skill and style really began. R & B, blues, doo-wop and rock ‘n’ roll all influenced his approach to music, but it was country’s great singer songwriter Hank Williams who first sparked Dion’s singing ambitions. Whatever the reason, Williams’ hard driving lonesome sound attracted the city boy. By age twelve, Dion had collected a hundred of Hank’s singles and could sing as many by heart. It was his surprising feel for pure country that led to his first professional appearance on Paul Whiteman’s radio and television shows, singing Jambalaya.
Dion’s natural affinities and abilities were further honed on the stoops and on the street corners of Cartona Avenue, where he rounded up other local singers, inventing acapella licks. Then in 1957 he brought the best of the neighbourhood rockers together, Freddy Milano, Angelo D’Aleo and Carlo Mastrangelo to form Dion & The Belmonts, named after Belmont Avenue, in the heart of the Bronx.
“I Wonder Why” was Dion’s first hit with The Belmonts and over the next two years the group earned a reputation not only for topping the charts but for creating some of the most vital and exciting doo-wop music on the American scene. With songs such as “A Teenager In Love” and “Where Or When”, Dion & The Belmonts earned their place in the history books, while the group’s pioneering role in the development of rock ‘n’ roll underscored their enduring accomplishments. A national sensation, they toured extensively and were featured artists on the star-crossed Winter Dance Party, the tour that took the lives of Buddy Holly and other musical greats. Dion was, in fact, scheduled to fly in the fateful plane that went down “the day the music died”.
But the vitality of the music lived on when Dion , venturing out as a solo artist in 1960, racked up a string of #1 hits that many still consider to be the best of that, or any other, era. Over an incredible four year run Dion cut one quintessential rock classic after another, from the rollicking “Runaround Sue” to the driving “Lovers Who Wander” to the anthemic “The Wanderer”- it was an unparalleled musical feat that elevated him to the top ranks of recording artists. As the first rock and roll artist ever signed to Columbia Records, he continued his streak with such smashes as “Ruby Baby”, “Donna The Prima Donna” and “Drip Drop”. When not in the recording studio, he could be found frequenting Greenwich Village, New York, listening to roots music, the blues, folk styling’s that were shortly to sweep the music scene.
In 1968, Dion had matured as an artist, a more contemplative songwriter and performer and also discovered some hard-won answers and, in the process, found new reasons for living. And singing. That same year he shot to the top of the charts once again with “Abraham, Martin and John”, a song that was as much an anthem for that era as his early hits had been in theirs. What followed was a string of acclaimed Lps including such moving and deeply personal offerings as “Sit Down Old Friend”, “You’re Not Alone” and “Sanctuary Suite For Late Summer”. The titles told all: Dion had come of age.
Suring the following fifteen years, Dion devoted himself and his music to folk, blues and Gospel, again earning a reputation as an innovator. He also recorded a series of albums that reflected an enduring faith in God, and was nominated for a Grammy in 1985.
Through his intent on always looking forward, it was the repeated requests of friends and fans that he agreed to do a concert of his HIT material at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in the summer of 1987. It was an historic music event, one that tied up loose ends of a legacy and, in many ways, freed Dion to celebrate both his past and his future.
The Radio City shows were also the beginning of yet another career phase for Dion, leading to a series of special appearances, including a 1988 fundraiser for homeless medical relief. There he shared the stage with such renowned Dion fans as Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and Lou Reed, all of whom cited the originator of the Bronx blues as one of their prime influences.
A subsequent autobiography titled ‘The Wanderer’ published by William Morrow, and his recent induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame further highlighted Dion’s contribution to the state of the musical art , helping, at the same time, to set the stage for his active return to recording. “ Yo Frankie”, “Dream On Fire” and “Rock and Roll Christmas” are a collection of CD’s showcasing the inexhaustible creativity and sheer exuberance that has made this artist one of rock music’s most authentic legends.
Today Dion’s songs grow more importantly and valuable to his fans, himself and to a new generation of believers. His works being reissued on Sony, Warner Brothers, Rhino, Ace Records and Capitol.
His songs, his music are continually impacting people worldwide.
DION’S ALBUM DISCOGRAPHY
|PRESENTING DION AND THE BELMONTS||LAURIE 2002|
|ALONE WITH DION||LAURIE 2004|
|WISH UPON A STAR||LAURIE 2006|
|RUNAROUND SUE||LAURIE 2009|
|LOVERS WHO WANDER||LAURIE 2012|
|DION’S GREATEST HITS||LAURIE 2013|
|LOVE CAME TO ME||LAURIE 2015|
|TOGETHER ON RECORDS||LAURIE 2016|
|SINGS TO SANDY||LAURIE 2017|
|15 MILLION SELLERS||LAURIE 2019|
|MORE GREATEST HITS||LAURIE 2022|
|RUBY BABY||COLUMBIA 8810|
|WONDER WHERE I’M BOUND||COLUMBIA 97773|
|DION’S GREATEST HITS||COLUMBIA 31942|
|SIT DOWN OLD FRIEND||WARNER BROS 1826|
|YOU’RE NOT ALONE||WARNER BROS 1872|
|SANCTUARY||WARNER BROS 1945|
|SUITE FOR LATE SUMMER||WARNER BROS 2642|
|REUNION||WARNER BROS 2664|
|BORN TO BE WITH YOU (U.K)||PHIL SPECTOR INT’L|
|TEENAGER IN LOVE (TV PACKAGE)||JUKE BOX RECORDS|
|STREETHEART||WARNER BROS 2954|
|RETURN THE WANDERER||LIFESONG JZ 35356|
|FIRE IN THE NIGHT (UNRELEASED)||LIFESONG|
|INSIDE JOB||DAYSPRING 4022|
|ONLY JESUS||DAYSPRING 4027|
|I PUT AWAY MY IDOLS||DAYSPRING 4109|
|DION AND THE BELMONTS||ARISTA AL9 8206|
|SEASONS||DAYSPRING 412901 5|
|KINGDOM IN THE STREETS||MYRRH 682106 4|
|DION AND THE BELMNTS (REISSUE||RHINO 70228|
|VELVET AND STEEL||DAYSPRING|
|YO FRANKIE||ARISTA AL8549|
|DION BRONX BLUES: THE COLUMBIA RECORDINGS||COLUMBIA 46972|
|DREAM ON FIRE||VISION|
|ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CHRISTMAS||THE RIGHT STUFF|
|BRONX BLUES II||COLUMBIA|
DIONS CHART SINGLES
DION & THE BELMONTS
|I WONDER WHY||1958||LAURIE 3013|
|NO ONE KNOWS||1958||LAURIE 3015|
|DON’T PITY ME||1958||LAURIE 3021|
|A TEENAGER IN LOVE **||1959||LAURIE 3027|
|EVERY LITTLE THING I DO||1959||LAURIE 3035|
|A LOVER’S PRAYER||1959||LAURIE 3035|
|WHERE OR WHEN **||1960||LAURIE 3052|
|WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR||1960||LAURIE 3052|
|LONELY TEENAGER *||1960||LAURIE 3070|
|LITTLE MISS BLUE||1960||LAURIE 3070|
|HAVIN’ FUN||1961||LAURIE 3081|
|RUNAROUND SUE **||1961||LAURIE 3110|
|THE WANDERER **||1961||LAURIE 3115|
|THE MAJESTIC||1961||LAURIE 3115|
|LOVERS WHO WANDER **||1962||LAURIE 3123|
|(I WAS) BORN TO CRY||1962||LAURIE 3123|
|LITTLE DIANE *||1962||LAURIE 3134|
|LOVE CAME TO ME*||1962||LAURIE 3145|
|RUBY BABY **||1963||COLUMBIA 42662|
|THIS LITTLE GIRL||1963||COLUMBIA 42776|
|COME GO WITH ME||1963||LAURIE 3171|
|BE CAREFUL OF STONES THAT YOU THROW||1963||COLUMBIA 42810|
|DONNA THE PRIMA DONNA *||1963||COLUMBIA 42852|
|DRIP DROP *||1963||COLUMBIA 42917|
|JOHNNY B. GOODE||1964||COLUMBIA 43096|
|ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN **||1968||LAURIE 3464|
|PURPLE HAZE||1969||LAURIE 3478|
|BOTH SIDES NOW||1969||LAURIE 3495|
|YOUR OWN BACKYARD||1970||WARNER BROS 7401|
|THE NIGHT STOOD STILL||1989||ARISTA|
** Denotes TOP 5
* Denotes TOP 10