The “Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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“Rip Van Winkle”

(Ray Sanchez)

Rooulette 4541

No. 36    April 4th 1964




 For months and seven days a week and sometimes for three or four hours a sitting, five Long

Island teens would sing and sing again accappella renditions or the doo-wop greats they all loved.

Joe Petralia lived just down the block from where these five would gather. Petralia, once a pro-

motion man for Tony Bennett, often got to hear their practicing.   One such day Joe approached

Ray Sanchez, Bob Hovorka, Bob Weisbrod, and Frank and Joe Pardo with the offer to help them

out.    An audition with Bernie Zirnming of Delta Recording Company was arranged.    Bernie felt a

liking to the sounds the group made, but said he wanted them to record a certain kind of song.   If

they were to record it was to be that of either an original, or something to fit in with the old

standards revival trend that the Chimes, Skyliners and Duprees were finding success.


Not long after–say a few months or days–the fellows came back to the Delta record man with a A-1

reading  on the standard, “(I Love You For) Sentimental Reasons” and a dumb dumb ditty new

thing about “Rip Van Winkle.”   The Devotion’s Ray Sanchez told Jeff Beckman of the Big Town

Review how he came up with his creation in about two hours time, or less.   “Remember the old

Ajax commercial (use Ajax boom, boom the foaming cleanser… )?   Well, it was a mixture of that

and although we didn’t realize it at the time, some parts of the Monotones ‘The Legend of Sleepy



By the time Delta issued the recording with “Sentimental Reasons” on the “A side” the legendary

Cleftones had their version on the streets and the airways.   Try as the fivesome did to get the

jockeys to ride their disk, the Devotions first release bit the dust.   Delta Records in an effort to

recoup the loses sold the master of the disk to Roulette Records.   The new label reissued “Rip,” but

the dusty slept like the old coot the kids had sang their hearts out about.   Roulette, to cover their

loses, used “Rip Van Winkle” to fill a slot on Golden Goodies, Volume One album.   Some disk

jockey in Pittsburgh played the tune figuring that the number was a “hit” somewhere, at sometime.

So many called the Pittsburgh radio station on where to get a copy of this “Rip” thing that Roulette

decided to give the recording its third issuance.


This time out “Rip” was a national hit.  Near two years had passed since the recording of “Rip Van

Winkle.”   The group members had long stopped dreaming of a singing success and stopped

practicing.   Harmony and harmonizing were no more.   In a tiff Joe Pardo had up and disappeared.

Bobby Weisbrod and Ray Sanchez had joined the U.S. Army.   That left Frank Pardo and Bob

Hovoka, who still lived doors away from each other, the sole remnants.   Louie DeCarlo and Larry

Park were gathered in to flesh out the group.


Before this reconstructed Devotions could be assembled, Roulette wanted a follow-up single to

issue.   “Rip” was happening and the momentum was not to be broken.   Three tunes, “Zindy Lou,”

“Snow White,” and “Tears From a Broken Heart” were quickly dashed off, but no original

Devotions were utilized in the recordings.   These three numbers and one left over, “A Sunday Kind

of Love” from the initial Delta session, were released as the two follow-up singles.   Neither sold

enough to chart on Billboard’s Hot 100.   Disenchantment set in and by the termination of 1965 the

Devotions again were no more. Recordings using the Devotions name have since been issued on

the Colossus, Nation, Silver Dollar and Kape labels.   The Kape recording, “How Do You Speak To

An Angel,” is possibly the only release by a “real” Devotions grouping.


According to Beckman (late ’80s), the guys still get together now and then to have a few beers,

reminisce and to sing some.   Occasionally, the vibes were right and the Devotions did go public

and appeared at local clubs.