The “Golden Hits Of The 50s” 

Main MenuConcept Refinement The Author..Wayne JancikGolden Age Of The 50sGolden Age Of The 60s1970s and There After



(Arthur Vonosa, Vito Picone)

Apt 25005

No. 1    August 25, 1958



They were young, talented, and hungry.  They met on the streets of Staten Island, New York. and found

their name on the label of a whiskey bottle (“Schenley’s, The Whiskey of Elegance”).  After years of hard

work, they successfully molded themselves into the group that created that smooth, unforgettable variation

on Mozart’s “Twinkle, Twinkle, Llttle Star.”  And still talented, hun­gry, and not so young, they would


have the dubious distinction of hitting the number-one niche on the pop charts, then dropping out of sight

entirely.  Nothing they ever recorded again would even make the bottom most reaches of Billboard’s Hot



In the mid·’50s, as the Crescents, lead singer Vito Picone (b. Mar. 17, 1940), baritone Carman Romano

(b, Aug. 17, 1939), Ronnie Jone, and Patti Croccitto–all New Dorp High School in the Bronx­–

worked up a style and a repertoire impressive enough to convince Club Records to reeord and release

one Vito’s compositions, “Darling Come Home.”   The record sold wll locally, but since the group’s average

age barely broke 15, the Crescents were hardly able to tour behind “Darling Come Home” and generate

any action.  Pat soon left the unit to record as Pat Cordel, eventually working as a June Taylor Dancer and,

still later, as a dare devil skydiver.  Ronnie vanished in 1956; Vito and Carman searched about for



Bass singer James Moschella (b. May 10, 1938), sec­ond tenor Frank Tardogono, (b. Sept. 18, 1941), and

first tenor Arthur Venosa (b. Sept. 3, 1939) joined up, and by early 1958, the Elegants were set.  One of

their songs, “Little Star,” had been knockin’ ’em dead at hops and talent shows.  But word was out that

a competing group called the Secrets [not to be confused with THE SECRETS of “The Boy Next Door”

notoriety] were about to record “Little Star,” so the Elegants auditioned the tune at a number of labels.

Bea Casalin at Hull Records liked what she heard, signed them, and told them to start the song with that

“Where are you, little star?” hook.  Once the disk began its meteoric ascent, Apt, ABC-Paramount’s new

subsidiary, picked up the waxing for national distribution.                  ·


With “Star” atop the charts, the Elegants toured with Bobby Freeman, Jack Scott, and Dion & The Belmonts.

 For some now-forgotten reason. the group had no follow-up issued for nearly 18 months.  By the time

“Goodnight” was finally shipped, the Elcgants were yesterday’s forgotten news.  “True Love Affair” and the

half·dozen 45s that followed were quite good, but almost no one ever got the chance to hear them.


In 1981, the Eleganu got it together for an album. their only album, A Knight With tht Elegants, issued by

Crystal Ball.  Vito went on to record some solo singles, front groups with names like Bo Gest & The Legions

and The Velvet Kite, became a car salesman, and in the late ’80s became the manager of THE FORCE MD’S.

When last noted, Art worked in construction and now owns a club in California.   Carmen owns a hair

salon, Jimmy continues with the Manhattan Transportation Authority, and Frankie is retired after years

with New York’s Department of Sanitation.   Several times over the past few years, Vito has reassembled a

vocal group, called them the Elegants, and played the oldies” circuit.