This week, Ira spoke with Dion DiMucci.
Dion DiMucci, known singularly as Dion, will corporate elements of doo-wop, rhythm and blues, pop and rock into his music when he performs at The Orleans Showroom July 20 and 21.
One of the most popular American rock and roll performers of the pre-British Invasion era, Dion charted more than a dozen top 40 hits in the late 50s and early 60s.
Dion and The Belmonts formed in the late 50s and scored their first hit, “I Wonder Why,” in 1958. Following up with two additional hits, “No One Knows” and “Don’t Pity Me,” the group became a national sensation and co-headlined “The Winter Dance Party” tour with Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper. It was during this tour that the plane carrying Holly, Valens and Bopper crashed, claiming the lives of all aboard. In a coin toss, Dion won a seat on the plane, but later declined ultimately saving his life.
Going solo in 1960, Dion racked up a string of No. 1 hits that many still consider some of the best of the rock and roll era – “Runaround Sue,” “Lovers Who Wander” and “The Wanderer.” As the first rock and roll artist signed to Columbia Records, he continued his hit streak with “Ruby Baby,” “Donna the Prima Donna,” “Drip Drop” and “Abraham, Martin and John.”
In 1989, Dion was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.