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The Defranco Family

With their youthful exuberance and lighthearted approach to pop, the DeFranco Family was one of the most successful pop groups of the 1970s. Their debut 1973 single, "Heartbeat, It's a Lovebeat," featuring the lead vocals of then-13-year-old Tony DeFranco, reached number three on the Billboard charts, the top slot on the Cashbox singles chart, and sold more than two million copies. Their second single, "Abra-Ca-Dabra," which reached the Top 40, was followed by their final hit, "Save the Last Dance for Me," which reached number 18 on the charts in May 1974.

The DeFranco Family's reign came to a sudden halt when a rock version of their tune "Write Me a Letter" failed to generate much attention and reached no higher than the 104th slot on the charts. Although their earlier hits had been produced by Walt Meskell, the disappointing sales of "Write Me a Letter" prompted their record label, 20th Century Fox, to fire Meskell and team the group with Mike Curb, who had previously worked with the Osmonds. The collaboration proved disastrous. When Curb attempted to recast the group as a cover band, they resisted and severed their relationship with their publisher and manager, Charles Laufer and Laufer Entertainment, and 20th Century Fox. Unable to attract interest from another label, they continued to tour and perform in Las Vegas. Frustrated by their inability to attain their previous heights, they disbanded in 1978. A reunion concert at Rhino Records' Retro Fest in 2000 was followed by the DeFranco Family's final performance at B.B. King's Nightclub in Los Angeles.

The five siblings who comprised the DeFranco Family were born to Italian immigrant parents and raised in Port Colborne and Welland, Ontario. Initially performing as the DeFranco Quintet, the group found success after a demo tape of their songs was heard by Sharon Lee, editor of teen magazine Tiger Beat. Impressed by what she heard, Lee arranged for Charles Laufer to fly the group to Los Angeles for an audition. Laufer signed the group to an exclusive deal with his company, Laufer Entertainment, financed a three-song demo, and helped them to secure a contract with 20th Century Records.

The DeFranco Family recorded in Los Angeles' Western Studios with accompaniment by Wrecking Crew veterans Hal Blaine on drums, Larry Carlton on guitar, and Max Bennett on drums. They appeared on Dick Clark's American Bandstand nine times. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Barry Williams Presents: 70s Music Explosion

Disc 1

1. Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)

2. Saturday Night

3. Come And Get Your Love

4. Love Train

5. Knock Three Times

6. Little Willy

7. Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me

8. It Never Rains In Southern California

9. Best Of My Love

10. Everybody Plays The Fool

12. I Can See Clearly Now

13. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

14. Lady Marmalade

15. Mr. Big Stuff

16. Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian)

17. Cover Of The Rolling Stone

18. Alone Again (Naturally)

19. Gonna Fly Now

20. Wildfire

Disc 2

1. Magic

2. Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)

3. Seasons In The Sun

4. Play That Funky Music

5. My Maria

6. One Toke Over The Line

7. Afternoon Delight

9. I Can Help

10. Magnet And Steel

12. Ring My Bell

13. Beach Baby

14. O-O-H Child

15. In The Summertime

16. Sometimes When We Touch

17. Rose Garden

18. Brother Louie

19. Brand New Key

20. Please Come To Boston

Disc 3

1. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown

2. Crocodile Rock

3. Don't Pull Your Love

4. She's A Lady

6. Jackie Blue

7. Bad Blood

8. Escape (The Pina Colada Song)

9. I'm Not In Love

10. Drift Away

11. Indiana Wants Me

12. Heartbeat (It's A Love Beat)

13. Billy, Don't Be A Hero

14. The Morning After

15. Y.M.C.A.

16. Spiders And Snakes

17. Signs

19. Montego Bay

20. If I Can't Have You

Disc 4

1. Saturday In The Park

2. Sunshine

3. I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony)

4. Midnight At The Oasis

5. December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)

6. Summer Breeze

7. I'd Really Love To See You Tonight

8. Rock Your Baby

9. Baby I'm-A Want You

10. Give Me Just A Little More Time

11. Le Freak

12. Moonlight Feels Right

13. I'd Love You To Want Me

14. Rock And Roll Heaven

15. (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty

17. Sky High

18. Cat's In The Cradle

20. Shannon

x

Track List: Bubble Gum Hits

1. Sugar Sugar

2. One Bad Apple

4. Yummy Yummy Yummy

5. Dizzy

6. Billy, Don't Be A Hero

7. My Baby Loves Lovin'

8. Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye

9. Tracy

10. I Wonder What She's Doing Tonite

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Great memories of The Defranco Family
Report as inappropriate
Ohhhh..how I remember playing their record over and over with my best friend Gloria!
Report as inappropriate
My first concert was the Defranco Family (7/7/1977) in Agawam, MA - great show. Still listen to their only two albums recorded.
Report as inappropriate
they are a good group..under a t e d

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