Duprees [i] have entertained audiences who love their unique and romantic sound for more than five decades. From their doo-wop and rock ‘n roll group’s start in Jersey City, NJ, they grew quickly to become a sensation all across the country and around the world. Although members have changed throughout the years, the singing group stayed in touch with their East Coast roots and dedication to bringing favorite classics in an updated style.
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Leader Tommy Petillo – Singer and ECMHoF President
The Duprees has evolved over the year as members came and went. Founded by Joey Canzano (Vann), Michael Arnone, John Salvato, and Joe Santollo in the 1960s, group today has no original members. They performed together for the last time in 1979.
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Today, Tommy Petillo heads the group, which also includes Tony Testa, Jimmy Spinelli, and Phil Granito.[ii] The exceptional harmonies that made them get so many top hits over the years still carry on today.
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Tommy Petillo has shared his smooth and dynamic vocals with audiences since 2002. Along with his performances, he is also the president of the East Coast Music Hall of Fame (ECMHoF). This organization is dedicated to recognizing and awarding diverse musical talents from individuals and groups who hail from the region between Florida and Maine.
The Duprees Discography and Hits
The early years of the Duprees were marked by repeated hits of reimagined oldies. The first song to hit the million sales mark was “You Belong to Me. Other hits through the decades include “Take Me As I Am,” “Why Don’t You Believe Me?” and “Let Them Talk.”[iii] The romantic lyrics, big band style, doo-wop sound, and early pop standards made them one of the most common names at the top of the Top 40 charts during their most active decades.
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Where Are the Duprees Today?
The tradition and sound that originally made the Duprees such a well-loved and successful group has echoed through time for more than 50 years. Tommy Petillo and the other members active today clearly show their dedication and passion for the type of music that started on a New Jersey street corner and grew to something both classic and ultimately timeless.[iv]
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The singing group still thrills audiences with their smooth harmonies and romantic sound as they revitalize their top hits for new generations. Their dedication to preserving the sound, sharing it with more people, and spreading appreciation for music everywhere continues. Not only do they have an active tour schedule[v], but they also support talent through Tommy Petillo’s ECMHoF organization.
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These are the songs that will never die, the romantic moods and deep meanings that resonate through hearts and minds of anyone who is ever fallen in love. When the lyrics and melodies of these old songs are brought to life by the smooth vocals of Tommy Petillo and the other members, no one can resist the emotion that sparks memories and the desire to sing along.