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Del-Satins

Led by velvety-voiced lead singer Stan Ziska, who later changed his name to Stan Sommers, the del Satins produced some of the sweetest harmonies of the doo wop era. In addition to recording a series of impressive singles -- including "I'll Pray for You," "I Remember the Night," and "Teardrops Follow Me" -- the group provided harmonies for numerous recordings, including Dion's hit "Runaround Sue." They also sang with Dean & Jean, Carlo Mastrangelo, Len Barry, and Ernie Maresca.

Ziska was a member of street-corner singing group the Yorkville Melodys when he met up with members of similar group the Jokers during a rehearsal session at the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in Manhattan. When the Jokers' vocalist failed to show, Ziska was recruited as a replacement. The collaboration proved so successful that he was invited to join the group permanently.

Taking their name from a combination of the names of two bands, the Dells and the Five Satins, the del Satins built a solid following with their live performances between 1958-1961. They placed first in a prestigious city-wide "Battle of the Groups."

Signing with the small, independent End label, the del Satins recorded their debut single, "I'll Pray for You," an original tune by Ziska, and "I Remember the Night." Neither made a dent on the charts. Original vocalist Keith Koestner left the group shortly before recording the single and enlisted in the United States Army. While Mel Kalackman replaced him on the single, the position was later filled by Bobby Failla and, later, by ex-Commotions vocalist Richie Green.

After backing their manager, Jimmy Gribble, on a single, "Poor Little Sad Eyed Sue," released on the Chip label, the del Satins signed with Laurie. Their first session for the label was "Runaround Sue." Success, however, continued to be evasive. Although they copied "Runaround Sue" for their own single, "Counting Teardrops," it failed to generate much interest.

The del Satins suffered a setback with the death of Gribble. After briefly being managed by Wally Rocker, they were taken over by Murray the K's manager, Jay Fontana, who helped book them to perform at Murray the K's multi-artist concerts at the Fox Theater in Brooklyn, NY.

Dion continued to play a role in the del Satins' career. When he defected to Columbia in 1962, he convinced the group to join him, writing and producing their single "Feelin' No Pain" b/w "Who Cares." Despite the label change and Dion's increased involvement, the band continued to struggle for success.

Regular performers on Clay Cole's music TV show from 1963-1965, the del Satins signed with BT Puppy and released their debut album, Out to Lunch. Frustrated by the album's lack of sales, the group disbanded. Although Ziska continued to focus on a solo career, the del Satins were resurrected after a few months by founding member Tommy Ferrara; his brother, Freddy; and new vocalist Carl Parker. They released their final single, "A Little Rain Must Fall," in 1967.

Two years later, founding member Les Cauchi joined with Freddy Ferrera and Johnny Maestro in a reorganized version of the del Satins. This group evolved into Brooklyn Bridge, featuring Maestro's lead vocals on the Top Five single "Worst That Could Happen."

The del Satins were revived for the last time in the early '90s. An album, Still Wandering, was released in 1990 and a single, "I Don't Care," was released five years later.

After leaving the del Satins, Ziska went on to lead Stan Sommers & the Unusuals and the Magnificent Men in the 1980s and early '90s. He performs with the Long Island-based Tangerine. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: All Nighter - The Essential Northern Soul Album

Disc 1

2. My Sugar Baby

3. Ordinary Girl

5. Just A Boys Dream

11. Seven Days Of Loving You

12. It Was True

13. Permanent Vacation

15. All Of My Life

Disc 2

2. I'm Not Strong Enough

3. You're Losing Me

4. You Better Believe It

5. Pearl

6. Monkey See-Monkey Do

7. Somebody New

8. Don't Make Me Love You

9. Lost In The World Of A Dream

10. That's The Way He Is

12. You Got It

13. Too Much Of A Good Thing

x

Track List: Encyclopedia Of Doo Wop: Volume 5

Disc 1

2. They Say

3. Is There A Love For Me

5. Cruise To The Moon

7. Alphabet Of Love

8. Cry Like I Cried

9. Stormy Weather

10. Runaround

11. I'll Pray For You

12. Wedding Bells

17. Angel Face

18. Crazy For You

19. Ding Dong

20. There Goes My Girl

21. Heaven Above Me

23. Darling Can't You Tell

24. Rip Van Winkle

25. Let It Please Be You

Disc 2

1. Zoom

2. Little Girl Of Mine

3. Im Not A Know It All

4. Your Way

5. Rendezvous With You

6. I Cried My Heart Out

7. Sympathy

8. Too Young

9. Two People In The World

10. I Talk To My Echo

11. Goodbye To Love

12. I Found

13. Dont Ask Me To Be Lonely

17. Natures Creation

19. Baby Baby

21. Rubber Biscuit

24. Thats The Way It Goes

25. He's Gone

Disc 3

1. Gee

3. Baby

4. Traveling Stranger

5. Sugar Sugar

6. Goodbye To Love

7. Our Love Will Never End

10. On Sunday Afternoon

12. Woo Woo Train

13. You Are So Beautiful

15. That's My Desire

16. I Found Out Why

17. Be Sure My Love

18. Paper Castles

19. You Can Come If You Want To

21. You Baby You

24. Don't Say Goodnight

25. Forever

Disc 4

1. A Thousand Miles Away

2. Little Boy Blue

3. String Around My Heart

5. Beside My Love

6. I'm Not A Juvenile Delinquent

7. I Love You Darling

8. In My Lonely Room

10. Summertime

12. You Are

14. Share

15. I Love You So

18. Whisper (Softly)

19. Diamonds & Pearls

20. Snow White

24. Teenage Love

25. Your Last Chance

x

Track List: Sounds Of The City: New York Area Doo Wop 1956-1966

Disc 1

1. Sherry

2. Little Star

3. The Lion Sleeps Tonight

4. Barbara-Ann

5. Rip Van Winkle

6. Big Girls Don't Cry

7. He's In Town

8. Runaround

9. Ding Dong

12. Angel Face

14. Darling Can't You Tell

16. Canadian Sunset

17. Echo

19. Unchained Melody

Disc 2

2. Hushabye

3. Denise

4. Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)

6. Come A Little Bit Closer

7. Tonite, Tonite

8. Imagination

10. Be My Girl (Please Be Mine)

11. I Remember

12. She Cried

13. Runaround Sue

15. Pizza Pie

16. Wake Up

17. Teardrops Follow Me

18. Believe Me

19. Donna Lee

Disc 3

2. Remember Then

3. 16 Candles

4. Tell Me Why

5. There's A Moon Out Tonight

6. Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)

7. Have You Heard

10. Baby Blue

11. Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)

12. Coney Island Baby

14. Please Love Me Forever

17. You

18. Life Is But A Dream

19. My Own True Love

20. Teenage Vows Of Love

21. Looking For An Echo

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