The “Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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(Jimmy Webb)

Buddah 75

No. 3    February 1, 1969




Johnny Maestro (b. John Maestrangelo, May 7, 1939, New York City) shook the charts with the  Crests on

such golden oldies as “Sixteen Candles” (#2, 1959), “Six Nights a Week” (#28, 1959),  “The Angels

Listened In” (#22, 1959), “Step by Step” (#14, 1960), and “Trouble in Paradise” (#20, 1960).   When

internal dissension and a decline in popularity set in, Johnny was pruned from the Crests.   Groomed as

a teen idol, he had solo hits with “Model Girl” (#20, 1961) and “What a Surprise” (#33, 1961), but by

1962, the times they were a-changin.’


Maestro tried to reform the Crests and cut more teen-dream disks.   In the mid-’60s, when all else had

failed, he joined what remained of the Del Satins:  Les Cauchi (b. 1945) and Fred Ferrara (b. 1945).   The

Del Satins had never clicked on the national listings, but they did have a solid reputation on the East

Coast, and they had backed up ERNIE MARESCA and Dion on a number of their chart-toppers.


One night in 1968, the Del Satins appeared in a Bat­the of the Bands on Long Island.   One of the

contending acts was the Rhythm Method, a coed seven-member unit fronted by the husband-and-

wife team of Tom Sullivan (b. 1946) and Carolyn Wood (b. 1947).   After the contest was over, both

groups exchanged words of praise, and later that night, discussed the possibility of merging into one

big group.


By April 1968, the two had indeed become one-a conglomeration of 11 members.   The line-up featured

Maestro (lead vocals), Les Cauchi (vocals), Fred Ferrara (vocals), Tom Sullivan (sax),  Carolyn Wood

(organ), Artie Cantanzarita (drums), Shelly Davis (trumpet, piano), Mike Gregorio (vocals), Richie

Macioce (gui­tar), Jimmy Rosica (bass), and Joe Ruvio (sax).   When word got around that these

musicians were considering forming so huge a performing entity, someone exclaimed, “That is going to

be as easy to sell as the Brooklyn Bridge.”   All members agreed that there was the name for them.


Buddah Records caught the Brooklyn Bridge’s act at the Cheetah, then the ultimate in hip Big Apple

clubs.   Brooklyn Bridge (1969), an album of pop and jazz-inflected numbers, was quickly produced by

Wes Farrell–known for his work with EVERY MOTHERS ON, Jay & The American’s & The McCoys–

packaged, and shipped.   With the group’s second single, a cover version of a Fifth Dimension tune

written by Jimmy Webb–creator of RICHARD HARRIS’ “McArthur Park”–“Worst That Could Happen,”

the Bridge had found their groove.   A second LP (The Second Brooklyn Bridge) was released in 1969,

and a mite-string of follow-up singles made the Hot 100: “Blessed Is the Rain” (#45, 1969) b/w

“Welcome Me Love” (#48), “Your Hus­band-My Wife” (#46, 1969), and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (#51, 1969).


In the early ’70s, the group shortened its name to Bridge, and by mid-decade, the members had shrunk­

en to a quintet.   Maestro led a version of his pop-rock band through the ’80s, and Bridge may still be