5 Songs, 15 Minutes


About The Chaperones

Based in Long Island, New York, USA, the Chaperones were formed as a composite of two separate vocal groups who were competing at the Lindenhurst Ballroom in 1958. Tony Amato (lead), Roy Marchesano (first tenor), Tommy Ronka (second tenor), Nick Salvato (baritone) and Dave Kelly (bass) first called their new band the Sharptones then Fairlanes before settling on the Chaperones. A demo of Amato’s early composition, ‘Cruise To The Moon’, was passed to Josie Records head Jerry Blaine, via his son Steve, who was a classmate of the band. Before they could record, however, the group cut its teeth backing Lee Adrian on his 1959 single, ‘Barbara, Let’s Go Steady’. ‘Cruise To The Moon’ followed as their debut own-name recording in July 1960, by which time Rich Messina had replaced Kelly on bass. Although a local radio favourite, its chances of substantial sales were dented by the first pressing misnaming the group the Cahperones (it later became the theme tune to New York disc jockey Jocko Henderson’s show). However, enough impetus was secured to land the group live exposure at theme parks (through shows hosted by disc jockey Murray The K) and supermarket openings. After the follow-up, ‘Shining Star’, flopped, the group returned to backing duties, this time for labelmate Lou Jordan on ‘A Paradise For Two’. ‘Blueberry Sweet’, a cover version of the Chandeliers’ 1958 hit, failed to revive interest and was their last release for Josie as they folded shortly thereafter. An unreleased song vaunted as a possible single, ‘Memories’, was passed on to the Bob Knight Four. As with so many 60s vocal groups, the Chaperones then reunited for the 80s nostalgia circuit, with new members Kim Chlandra (first tenor) and Danny Sasatori (second tenor) joining Salvato and Amato. One recording ensued, a cover version of the Rob Roys’ ‘Pizza Pie’. A few years later Amato died and the group retired.