Saturday, June 6, 2009

Anybody here seen Angelo, Fred and Carlo?

They're saddling up at Belmont Park this afternoon to decide the final leg of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. What better time to ask: Whatever happened to the guys who used to back up Dion?
OK, the racetrack and the group don't have much in common beyond the name and their proud New York heritage. But it's Saturday, a painfully slow day in the blogosphere. And who's gonna ask if I don't?

I'm wondering about first tenor Angelo D'Aleo, second tenor Fred Milano and baritone Carlo Mastrangelo. The Belmonts. They grew up with Dion in the Bronx, named the group after a street in their Italian neighborhood, and hit it big together. But they lasted about as long as it'll take to run today's race.

After riding high with "Teenager in Love'' which made it to No. 5 on the Billboard chart in 1959, Dion split to do his thing. This included scoring hits like "Runaround Sue'', "Ruby Baby'' and "The Wanderer,'' as well as a lengthy battle with heroin addiction. You may remember his big comeback story after the release of the ballad "Abraham, Martin and John'' which hit No. 4 in 1968.

But what about the Belmonts? They enjoyed some post-Dion success themselves. They even had their own record label, Sabina. And, of course, there was the group's big reunion concert at Madison Square Garden in 1972 that's available on CD. Do you think maybe they're doo-wopping on the oldies circuit?

It's something to think about as the late-charging chestnut Summer Bird rounds the final turn in the Belmont today with Kent Desormeaux in the stirrups. You did place an exotic bet with Summer Bird, didn't you?

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