The “Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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(Harold Arlen, E.Y Harburg)

Mohawk 116

No. 16    September 5, 1960




 Lenny Dell (b. Len Del Giudice/1944/lead vocalist) and Howie Margolin (b. 1943/baritone) sang

together at Christopher Columbus High, in the Bronx, as members of the Melody Makers, the school’s

premier choral group.   Early in  1960, Len and Howie approached classmate Marisa Martelli (b.1944/

1st tenor) about joining them in a pop group. Charles Peterson, for  an  instant, was the fourth member;

followed by Len’s “uncle Phil,” Phil Del Giudice (b. 1938/2nd tenor), a polished singer of  opera and the



The Demensions (spelt with a “E”–usually–rather than the customary “I,” to catch the eye) were now

complete.   Lou Dell, Len’s father, a  professional musician, helped shape their sound, and when the

time was right, brought them to  Irving Spice at Mohawk Records.


Dreamy vocal-group remakes were hot in 1960.   Early in the year, Dion & The Belmonts had clicked

with Hal Kemp’s  1937 hit “Where Or When,” and that spring,  the  Skyliners scored with their version

of the Bing Crosby oldie from 1936,  “Pennies  From  Heaven.”   “Over The Rainbow,” first  sung by Judy

 Garland in The Wi2ard of Oz, was a top 10 hit for her in 1939–as were cover versions by Larry Clinton,

Bob Crosby, and Glenn  Miller–yet no one had touched the tune since then.  With a slight rock’n’roll

arrangement by Seymour Barab, Mohawk  Records m April 1960 taped–at the dinky confines of the

Dick Charles Studios–what would be the Demensions’ lone note in the annals of pop history.


Other rockaballad remakes of oldie standards were soon dished up: “Zing Went The Strings Of My

Heart,” “As Time Goes By,” and “You’ll Never Know.”  However, the only Demensions’ follow-up to

make the Hot 100 was their retake on Billy Eckstine’s “My Foolish Heart” (#95, 1963).  The Demensions’

lone album was issued, but by this point, Marisa was ready to quit the group; Phil and  Howie had

already departed.   At some  point in the mid-’60s, Lenny Dell shelved the group name “forever.”


In the ’80s the group name was revived when Len’s friend Johnny Fast convinced him and uncle Phil

to round up Cathy O’Brien and with Johnny’s membership make the oldies circuit.


Johnny Fast died in an car crash in 1990.   Lenny continues to perform as a solo act in the New York