Welcome !

WE THE GRADUATES, the illustrious class of 1962, having departed from our Alma Mater some 49 years ago, have moved through the world with good effect. Among our ranks there can be found; College Professors, Mayors, Lawyers , Engineers, War Heroes, Fire Fighters, Educators, Published Authors, Artists and Well-known Entertainers just to name a few of our many, many achievements. As of this writing, we have not yet uncovered a good horse thief or pirate, but we are still searching.

If you graduated Belleville High in 1962, please contact us !! Contact classmate Norman Price - norman.price_nj@yahoo.com

Or, join us on Facebook; you will find many of your classmates already gathered there at "Belleville High School Class of 1962"

Veterans Note: Our class committee maintains an on-line roster of classmates who have served in the Armed Services. You can view it here ==> Roster. If you have served in the military and your name is not yet on the roster, forward your information to the email address above and it will be added to the roster with thanks.

Please note: all "Links To Class of 62 Sites" are repaired and functional.

NEW - Classmate Ray Hackett has shared with us his collection of Basketball action shots and news clips. Click here to view the collection ==> Basketball.

NEW - A Varsity Football Program from Nov. 4, 1961 is now available in the photo gallery. The Program is courtesy of Classmate Nina Pipitone Colannino. Click here to view the Program ==> Program.

Jukebox -- It was all about the music. -- Insert 10 cents here ==> [--]

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com
Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Want to hear more great oldies ? Click on "Record Player " where you can hear some great DooWop sounds and watch the records spin on vintage record players.

A new juke box featuring 25 songs popular during our Senior year 1961-62 has been added to the Class web page. -->Click here to access<--

The Class of 1962

A SPECIAL GROUP OF PEOPLE

Check back often as we unfold the history, exploits and adventures of the Illustrious Class of 1962 who once graced the halls and classrooms of Belleville High School, Belleville, New Jersey.

Note ! The 1962 Monad is now available to view in the photo gallery.

==============>Memories are made of this. <==============




Saturday, September 20, 2014

Happy Birthday To Us!



Once we were young, then, as time went on, we thought we were getting older until, one day, we realized that our hearts were just as young as ever. So, it was decided that a class-wide 70-teen Birthday party would be just the thing to express our eternal youth.  This is, after all, the Illustrious Class of '62; a pretty special group of people.  Here's a link to the details, check it out, there are some pretty wild goings-on.

Lobster Shanty
Photo courtesy of Classmate Marion Morrone.
Party info

Monday, April 30, 2012

Auld Lang Syne

This Class is your Class, this Class is my Class
From California to the East Coast sea grass ...
California, Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and every part of New Jersey from top to bottom.

We came from many a corner of the land
to share an old-time feeling, to shake an old friend's hand ..

.. and what a feeling it was ...
surrounded by the friends of our youth.

No one was disappointed. Did we have a good time ?? .. yes, but it was more, so much more than that. It was a life-enriching experience.

It was a grand out-pouring of Classmates, 90 of us came, 90 who stopped all they were doing, interrupted busy lives, and came to share a memory that each and every one had a hand in creating.

I cannot find words expressive enough, phrases grand enough to describe the skill and talent displayed by the Committee who organized this event. But you didn't need words if you were there, just a glance at the faces; smile after smile after smile, warm, glowing faces, the glowing eyes of folks having an intense experience.

What you see here at the moment is just the beginning of what will be an expanded presentation; more pictures, some sound clips and other mementos of a wonderful Reunion are coming. Check back again in a week or so when I will have more of the material organized for presentation. For those not on FaceBook, there will also be direct links to the excellent presentation work that Ed and Marion are doing on our Class Page on FaceBook. Anyone with Reunion photos or stories to share should send them to me for presentation here and / or Marion for presentation on FaceBook. Here are the first few photos, just to get started -


A delicious cake !  It had a canoli filling.

A Presidential address.

Our Master of Ceremonies got things going.

C'mon, let's Stroll.

We hadn't forgotten how to do it!

50 years? .. I still think somebody counted wrong.
Photo by Carole Lane
New photos added 5/2/12
Thank you for sharing, Classmate Diane Wittick Bauer!
CLICK HERE TO SEE GALLERY

Up-dated 5/15/12
There are now 4 volumes of photos in the gallery.
-=+=-
A collection of Audio Clips have been added. Listen in to the fun and excitement !
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Graduation Day !

Free at last, free at last, from teachers almighty, we are free at last. What a day it was. For so many years we had been carefully prepared, made ready, made bold, fearless and well equipped to face the world. Now, it was just a matter of marching up, collecting our diplomas and flying off. It was a heady feeling. Yes, that was a while ago, wasn't it? Let's see if we can recapture just a few moments of the sights, sounds and feelings of that momentous day. video

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Grid Iron Warriors

For countless generations it has been understood by students that high school exists entirely because of football. There can be no other reasonable explanation for gathering so many teenagers in one place for so long. All those years spent in high school just waiting for Saturday's game. You may have been a grid iron warrior, a cheerleader, a twirler, a member of the marching band or one of the hundreds of hot dog and salted pretzel eating teens in the stands with your favorite Saturday afternoon date, but, no matter your role in the scheme of things, you knew you were in high school because of football. Why else would you have tolerated all that cafeteria food for four years?

Our class of '62 had a truly noble group of guys who donned the gear and took the field against all comers to defend the glory and honor of our alma mater. Lets meet them again as they were 50 years ago; yes, it's been a while.

Jersey
Number Name

14 Robert Pucciarello
17 Vincent Sorrentino
18 Anthony Della Terza
21 Michael Suppa
26 Joseph McDermott
27 Fred Valese
38 Michael Rega
42 Frank Caputo
45 Alex Iacullo
49 Ray Hackett

We really appreciated all the aches, pains, bumps and bruises you guys endured to provide us with meaningful Saturday afternoons. And what a year it was - there is a stirring media account of the Belleville - Bloomfield game on the Grid Iron Warrior's page of our class web site; see link at end of this article. The Bellboys whipped the Bloomfield Bengals 20 to 12 in that one!

Consider the drama. You are 16 or 17 years old, the whole town is watching you from the stands. Some guy shoves a football into your gut and now a gang of big, angry guys from the other team starts chasing you; they want what you have .. what to do ?? .. think quick, they are going to pound on you ! .. you can be a hero (and survive) or get scraped up out of the mud .. pure excitement !

There is also an account of the hard fought Belleville - West Side game, won by our guys in the cold rain and mud; see link below. West Side was no match for the talents and techniques of the Bellboys; we won that one 14 to 7.

As we look back after 50 years, what do we most remember; is it Miss Kelly's English grammar class or Mr. Testa's science labs or those spectacular football games in the Autumn sunshine ? Your author-here-present still lives in town and would much rather watch a Belleville High School game at Doc Ellis Memorial Field than anything the Giants or Jets can offer. Now-a-days, games are played on Friday nights, but it's still lots of fun. If you chance to come to one of our games this Fall, and you see an old guy in the stadium seats shouting "Go!, Go!, Go!", it's probably me cheering for the team just like in days of old. Here are a few photo memories -

50 years ago





Today



There is a larger collection of photos, including all of our Class of '62 guys, plus news articles including accounts of the Bloomfield and West Side games at this link:


There is also a complete varsity football program for you to see here -



It's September, football season is upon us again. If you live within a few hundred miles of old Belleville, stop in at the stadium some Friday night this Autumn. It will make you feel young again.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cheerleaders !


We thought they would never end, didn't we; all those perfect Saturday afternoons at Municipal Stadium where we gathered throughout the Autumn to watch football, see pretty girls, eat hot dogs, pizza, salty soft pretzels, see our pretty girls, drink Coca Cola, cheer for the team and see all those pretty Belleville girls. Yet, they can still be seen, all those exciting Saturdays, in those clear images that rise up with the steam in our morning tea. Look carefully .. yes, I can see them now .. it's happening again!

There! .. coming out onto the field are the stars of the show, yes, it's the Cheerleaders. The football squad will be along in a bit, but they are not as pretty. Let's welcome the girls with a cheer of our own. C'mon, shout it out now:

Perky Judy, loud and clear, give our team a rousing cheer !


Nina, Nina, pretty lass, make them throw a touchdown pass !

Lovely Helen, once again, tell them - we need first and 10 !


Jackie, Jackie, cute and bright, tell them - get that ball and fight !


There are 12 girls in all, but first and foremost are those four lovely beauties from the Class of '62; Captain Judy Pirone, Nina Pipitone, Helen Denzler and Jackie Melius.


Do you remember the pep rallies in the auditorium? .. wow! I hope the young kids today are enjoying the experience of an indoor pep rally with an auditorium full of excited, shouting students, with rousing cheers echoing off of the walls! It's amazing how the old auditorium stood up to it
-
To simply say they were enthusiastic does no justice to our vibrant, dynamic group of girls. Always the stadium was packed with a raucous crowd of restless teenagers; we really filled and vibrated those stands. Everyone within a mile of the stadium knew when a game was in progress. But the roar and din of the throng did not deter our girls. Confident and fearless, they stepped up and controlled the pandemonium, eyes blazing, pom-poms fluttering, performing eye-catching summersaults, lifting their megaphones, barking with girlish but commanding voices.

Our team is coming out on the field, listen-up as the girls swing into action ..
♫ Cheers of glory for Belleville High .. ♫
Hey Alex, he's our man, if he can't do it, Vinnie can, hey Vinnie, he's our man ... and on through the names of our stalwart gridiron warriors.
-
One of the most valuable services provided by our Cheerleaders was to keep us abreast of what was happening on the playing field during the game. The loudspeaker squawked a lot. It wasn't easy to hear the play-by-play descriptions coming over the P.A. system, however you could hear the girls and could get a sense of the action from their cheers; for example:

Hey, hey, what do ya say, let's go back the OTHER way;

suggested that maybe things had not gone well on the last play. Or;

Push 'em back, push 'em back, WAY back

hinted that we might be in trouble. And there was;

That's alright, that's o.k., we're going to win it any way!

which meant, oops! If only we could have given the ball to the Cheerleaders ..

Just when things were looking really bleak and desperate, the girls would take command of the game. Do you remember this sequence that would bring us to our feet, screaming -

Take it away, take it away, De-fense take that ball away!

Hi ho, let's go, we got the ball now fight!

Let's go Belle - ville, let's go Bell - ville

Gimme a "B" [BEEE!] ...

Let's GO, let's GO, let's (clap) REALLY GO!

First and ten, first and ten, do it again, do it again.

The ensuing touchdown by the Bellboys would release a powerful roar, the likes of which we may not hear again in our lifetime. We would leave the stadium feeling exhilarated, congratulating the team and thanking those wonderful, pretty Cheerleaders who had made the day so exciting.






-
All photos above are courtesy of Nina Pipitone Colannino. Nina, thank you for sharing!
-
Then, there was the trip home which offered it's own set of adventures -

Say, you're kinda cute. Can I walk you home .. maybe stop at O'Boyles Milk Bar for a malt??


<==+==>


Fast-forward 50 years, the tradition continues. Here is a recent photo of the current Belleville Cheerleaders.


<==+==>


For lots more photos, including the Cheerleaders at basketball games and news articles


-click below-


Click ==>Cheerleaders<==Click


! Don't forget, you can enlarge any photo above by clicking on it !

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Teacher Feature

Once upon an ancient time, when we were students, a high school teacher was known to be someone who could take in hand a rebellious, hormonally explosive, all-knowing teenager and from that very rough, raw material, produce a useful, educated, self-supporting citizen, a task that had to be carried out as painlessly as possible without benefit of the Internet, Google or Wikipedia. A lifetime of accumulated experience, wisdom and knowledge was brought to the task. It worked. Considering what a class of outstanding achievers we have become, we should pause and reflect upon that small, but effective group of mentors who sent us on our way. Those images collected here show us the Belleville High School teaching staff as it was in 1960. There are some here, well known to many of us, who retired before we graduated and so are not included in our yearbook. One such was Mr. Winika, our not so tall but quite husky gym teacher the guys came to respect. A good man, he was, although, if you ever aroused his wrath, you may have had cause to disagree with my assessment.

As you view these old photos, chances are you will see someone who has had a profound effect on what kind of person you have become. Since there are no known serial-killers or terrorists in our class, it would seem they did their work well. Though they were strict task-masters, perhaps you remember one or two of them kindly. In the near future, the 1962 teaching staff will be presented.


Science

Nova V. Babb, W. Ralph Correll, Mary Lou Beradinelli, Thomas Testa, Phyllis Goldfarb, Angela Galeotafiore. (Albert Del Pomo not photographed.)

Mathematics

Claude A Perry, Angela Signore, Barbara Decker, Mario Di Maggio, Susanne Fassler, Anthony Simos, Judith Sandler.


English

John Adams, Eugene Westlake, Mary Kelly, Arline Miller, Marcia Eisen, Leonard Marciano, Alex Conrad, Mary Jamgochian, Anne Marie Goi, Regina Degnin, Thelma Weidman, Margaret Gianette.


Social Studies

Hugh Young (student teacher), Richard Graves, M. Dorothy Peters, Olga Nelson, Angela Fusaro (Di Maggio), Augustus McGinnis, Henry Miller, Michael Rosamilia. (Elsie Sanford not photographed.)


Business

Austin MacArthur, Julia E. Rogers, Muriel Cerami, George G. Nucera, Anne Snedeker, Charles Schultz, Lona Beradinelli. (Linnea Andrée not photographed.)

Language

Nino Gelsomino, James Chiara, Michael Salzarulo, Betty Lou Chapman, Helen Hollberg. (Hector Gialanella not photographed.)

Special Subjects

Dorothy M. Roche, P. Webster Diehl, Terence Greenawalt, Ted Gabry, Emily Seitz, Samuel Peck, Mary Weber.(Jerome Weiss, John J. Hyde not photographed.)


Physical Education

Wilho Winika, Patricia Pannone, Stanley Scher, Alan Esty, Charles Travers, John Westlake, Ida Thompson, Herman Wische, Elaine Shepard.

<===+===>

Check out the up dated website home page where there is a new juke box featuring 25 songs popular during our senior year.

Home Page

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Senior Play




Directed by:

Lucille Caracciola

1962 was going to be a very good year. It was foretold. A full moon had occurred on the Spring equinox, a sign that all ancients understood to be the foretelling of an extraordinary year; a year of good fortune and a propitious time for new beginnings. We would be a graduating class of great achievers. It was unavoidable.

It was just two nights later; two nights after this meaningful augury, that the Class of 1962 presented their Senior Play. It would be a smashing success. It was foretold. An all-star cast of our classmates presented to the world our version of Tammy Tell Me True.

Although we live in an age when the primary form of entertainment is oscillating pixels on a flat screen which the young generation watches with rapt attention, I truly believe that most members of our generation will agree that the theatre is the ultimate entertainment experience. The theatre is magical in a way that dancing pixels cannot replicate. The theatre is part of the real world experience that we knew, not part of the virtual world that the youngsters know.

To be a part of this real world experience with live actors before a live audience is an exhilarating experience. It was Friday night, opening night. It was near to curtain time. It was exciting. It was nerve wracking. Will I remember my lines? Will I remember my cues? Will I remember the director's instructions? So much planning, so much staging, so much practice and rehearsing had gone into it. But now it was time to deliver.

The main auditorium was filled. The balcony was filled. People were standing in back and along the walls. The last minute rush to finalize all the details was finished. The auditorium lights dimmed twice, the traditional signal that it was time to begin. Butterflies and palpitations reached a peak. The spotlight turned on. The curtain rose. The magic began.

Synopsis:

Heartbroken because her college boyfriend fails to answer her letters, shantyboat-bred Tammy decides to go to college herself. After moving her decrepit craft downriver to Seminola College, she gains admission as a special student and, to pay her expenses, takes a job as companion to Mrs. Call, a wealthy eccentric. Tammy's fresh and unspoiled nature so delights the old lady that she moves in with Tammy on her shantyboat and rewards the young girl with an expensive necklace. Meanwhile, Tammy has also won the affections of Tom Freeman, the handsome public speaking instructor, and "Miss" Jenks, the unhappily married dean of women. Eventually Mrs. Call's conniving niece, Suzanne Rook, launches a search for her missing aunt. When she catches a glimpse of Tammy wearing the necklace, she has the young girl arrested and arranges a sanity hearing for Mrs. Call, but the simple honesty of Tammy's testimony so impresses the judge that he dismisses Suzanne's charges. Tammy helps straighten out "Miss" Jenks's marriage to her artist husband, Buford Woodly. She then realizes that she has forgotten all about her former boyfriend--it is Tom whom she really loves.

Cast

Lucille Soldo - Tammy Tyree
Harold Mamay - Prof. Thomas Freeman
Walter Orth - Grandpa
Judy De Falco - Sandra Rook
Theresa Scutti - Mrs. Call
Mike Pellechio - Mr. Schaeffer
Arlene Schachter - Mrs. Schaeffer

Supporting cast:

Alex Petrillo
Paul Russo
Sam D'Andrea
Gloria D'Agostino
Grace Hucko
Marlene Ameo
Peggy Santiglia
Jim Debesis
Alan Lemberger
Mike Suppa
Bob LaSala

Behind the Scenes

Lucille Caracciola - Director
Dorthy Domanski - Stage Manager
Mike Kelly - Props
Miss Jamgochian - Advisor


On stage:





Lots more photos - Click here
* * *

Friday, October 22, 2010

Twirlers !

Cheers of glory ..

C'mon, you know this one, sing along -

Cheers of glory for Belleville High
You bring the whiskey, I'll bring the rye
When we yell, we yell like hell
For the glory of Belleville Hi -i - igh.
We never stagger, we never fall
We sober up on wood alcohol
When we yell, we yell like hell
For the glory of Belleville Hi -i - igh.

It's a Saturday afternoon in October. Bright, clear blue sky, a chill in the air, Autumn colors everywhere, from all over town, we're headed to the stadium. Where else would you be going on a perfect Autumn day? There's a big game today and those gorgeous twirlers will be center-field at half-time. Prancing in time to a march tempo, with their whirling batons they would execute fancy figure 8s, complicated hand to hand maneuvers, daring tosses high into the air and spectacular combinations which would take your breath away, partly because of their eye-catching skill and partly because of those delightful uniforms with their delicious short skirts; beautiful ! The uniforms were a brilliant Belleville gold trimmed in blue with an alternate version that was Belleville blue nicely accented with gold. Were we proud of our girls ? .. you better believe it !

Photo courtesy of Carol Colehamer Wallasky

Photo courtesy of Carol Colehamer Wallasky

It's half-time. There's a tense, nail-biting game in progress on the gridiron, but now it's time for the highlight of the day. Thundering drum beats, loud and bold, draws your attention, then flashing, tasseled, white boots and fast spinning batons glistening in sunlight rivets your focus on our high-stepping beauties, the prettiest girls you can imagine, not just any girls, but Jersey girls .. better yet, Jersey girls from Belleville ! It doesn't get better than that. They strut and spin and dance with a military precision that would be the envy of the Marine Corp.


Majorette Barbara Bailey

Co-Captain Phyllis Clemente


Co-Captain Elaine Lanfrank

If you were there, you know that you didn't take your eyes off of these girls when they were on the field. Barbara, our proud and pretty Majorette lead the way with elegant plumes and gold braids, epaulets and trim on her shimmering white uniform, ably assisted by her co-captains, Elaine and Phyllis. There were more than two dozen baton spinning twirlers in our varsity squad, ten of whom were from the illustrious Class of '62 including;

Carol Colehamer
Mary Jane Richter
Gay Anderton
Barbara Kraly
Judith Van Demark
Barbara Underwood
Grace Hucko
Phyllis Clemente
Elaine Lanfrank
Barbara Bailey


It was not only in the stadium where we would see the girls. They could be seen leading the marching band on parade days. Sometimes a two-mile march, sometimes in freezing cold, they would perform before the reviewing stand, while fatigued and shivering, flawless baton twirling maneuvers. Good soldiers they were.

School concerts would find them performing on stage in the auditorium. In senior year they executed their art with brilliant routines, first to "March Foundation" and then to a neat swing number, "Riffin' the Blues." We enjoyed that, the more often we could watch them, the better we liked it.

Anyone out there think that twirling is easy ? .. huh ?? .. try this one -


Got that down pat ? .. o.k. but remember, you are doing this while executing dance steps in perfect unison with every other twirler on the field. Got it ? .. but wait, you are wearing a very short skirt, the temperature is 20*F, your fingers and toes are numb with cold, but you mustn't drop the baton. Everything under control ??

Thank you, girls. It was great ! We wouldn't mind if you did it again at the reunion :)

<==+==>

There are more photos and news articles available about our twirlers. To view -

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Alma Mater

There was a moment a few years back which, for your-author-here-present, was truely stunning; a moment that brought back all the goodness of those years I had spent at Belleville High. We were at an event at BHS while my youngest daughter was still a student there. The auditorium was filled. There were BHS alumni in the audience from every living generation. During the course of the evening, two delightful elderly ladies were introduced to us from the Class of 1927. Also present were grandparents from the WWII era, parents from the '50s and '60s, alumni from the '70s and '80s as well as the current students; the Class of '99. An occasion arose on the evening's program for the singing of The Alma Mater. At once, the auditorium filled with singing voices, everyone knew it ! A large number of those present were former graduates of Belleville High. What an incredible bonding of the generations it was. All of us, from over all of those years had one thing in common, the Belleville High School Alma Mater. I don't think I was ever quite so proud of being a BHS alumni as I was on that night. I was pleased to have remembered the words. All those times we had sung it at pep rallies and other occasions at assemblies had not been wasted on me.

The melody is old. In its earliest form, it is a melancholy folk-ballad called Annie Lisle composed by Henry S. Thompson in 1857. Sung mostly at minstrel shows, it achieved little fame on its own, however, it was lifted to immortality when it was fashioned into the Alma Mater of two major universities. First, circa 1872, with new lyrics written by students, it became the Alma Mater of Cornell University where it is known as "Far Above Cayuga's Waters". Then, in 1904, it was adopted as the Alma Mater by the nations oldest public institution of higher learning, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Belleville High School adopted the song, with our own lyrics, as our Alma Mater in 1927. It was a good choice. It places us alongside these other great institutions. Our own village is actually older than the ancient and venerable College of William and Mary, whose alumni includes founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Though all three versions are "almost" identical, there are slight differences among them. On close inspection of the phrase structure of the lyrics of our song, it is probable that we based our lyrics on Cornell's version.

Our lyrics -

Nestled in the folds of Jersey
In a quiet vale
Stands our noble Alma Mater
Belleville High all hail

Lift the chorus
Sing her praises
Over hill and dale
Hail to thee our Alma Mater
Belleville High all hail
-
Here is the Cornell version -



Here is the William and Mary version -


.

Here is the sheet music for our version -

Click on image to enlarge.

We have lots of time to practice so we can belt out a good, blood-rushing rendition of the old Alma Mater at our reunion ! It has been a long time since we sang it together, it will be fun.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Delicates

The official superstars of the Class of 1962

There is a touch of the goddess in each and every girl. Some girls allow their inner divine spirit to bubble up to the surface where we can all admire it, such as those three deliciously pretty girls from the Class of '62, Lee, Peg and Dee known together as The Delicates.

For many of us, our first introduction came at a high school talent show; y'know one of those affairs with performances by piano or violin soloists, baton twirlers and modern dance recitals, .. yes. And, at one point, three young ladies stepped out onto the stage. They were going to sing for us, .. o.k., they were certainly pretty. But then, something different and unexpected happened. First, about five seconds into their number, they had everyone's rapt attention. Then, about ten seconds later, they were rockin' the joint. Wait a minute, this wasn't talent show talent, this was really good, seriously professional. They blended their voices with a touch of attitude that was cool, sophisticated, with moves and a style that made the guys melt in their shoes. The old auditorium walls had never echoed with a sound like this before. Do you remember the buzz in the halls after the show? Wow ! .. who were those girls ?? .. the Delicates ? .. yeah!

Some of us were then just learning about their spectacular talent .. pay attention, Class of 1962, you have rock stars among you .. others already knew about it. It had all begun much earlier.

The story of the Delicates; Denise Ferri, Peggy Santiglia and Arleen Lanzotti, is a Belleville story in which the plot played out during one of Belleville's golden ages; one of those "so good to grow up in" times, the 1950's and early '60s. For our story, we must drift back to those gentle, "Leave It To Beaver" days and call up an image of three very young ladies, classmates at School No. 8 on Union Avenue, who, from as early as second grade, had become fast childhood friends.

They liked to sing. They especially liked to sing together. Playtime was a time for piecing together songs and harmonies of their own invention which they sang just for the joy of it. It is true, when you sing for joy, it adds a quality to your music that might otherwise be missing. Now, extraordinary talent can never go unnoticed, because even ordinary people can sense it. And indeed, our young ladies were found out early. From a reading of their memoirs, we learn that their first performance as a trio occurred in fifth grade when their teacher, Mrs. Eleanor W. Arthur, organized a talent show one Friday night and invited the girls to sing. A career was born on that night.

That was just the beginning. It was Denise's father who contacted Ted Mack of "Amateur Hour" fame. An attentive father, he saw and understood the blossoming talent and felt entirely confident that something good was going to happen. It did. A talent scout heard the audition. The girls were whisked off to the Brill Building in New York City, the focal point of the music industry in New York and the country. Stardom came quickly after that.

The Brill Building

It was at the exciting and crazy age of 14 when the girls were invited to write and perform the theme song for "Murray the K and his Swingin' Soiree". There came in rapid succession appearances on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, the Clay Cole Show and the legendary stage shows at the Brooklyn Fox and Brooklyn Paramount theaters. And there were the tours, tours with the best known DJs of the time including Cousin Brucie and Alan Freed.

Still, there was no less demand for them back home. One of my favorite anecdotes is this excerpt from Peggy's memoirs - I remember my mom waking me up saying, "Quick, call Dee and Lee, Mayor Padula won and they want you to sing it at city hall".

It almost sounds like a fairy tale story, but then again, this sort of thing happens all the time in Belleville, a town from where there is an impressive list of famous entertainers. Best of all, the Delicates story is not over. They performed in concert this summer at the Meadowlands and their career is moving forward.

There is much more to know about The Delicates' career than this brief essay can provide. Here is a list of sites worth visiting :

The Delicates own website -
http://www.thedelicates.com/
where you can hear their music, see photos and read those great memoirs. (Perhaps they can be persuaded to publish a book of their extended memoirs. It is said they kept a journal of their adventures.)

Also try their Jersey Girls page,
http://www.jerseygirlssing.com/delicates.html

and their Facebook page,
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Delicates/121190347891298

or their Wikipedia page,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Delicates

To visit the Delicates Audio Gallery and listen to some of their greatest hits, click here.

Today, they are still pretty, they still sing, they still rock the joint .. they are still - The Delicates. Chalk one up, a big one, for the Class of '62. [yeah !]

The Delicates, back in Belleville, where it all began.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Roll Call

These are the names that appeared in the Commencement Program issued for graduation day, Wednesday, June 20th, 1962 -

Click on image to enlarge !
If you are new to using these systems, follow these instructions for best results - (1) Click on image to enlarge. (2) After image appears on your screen, click image again to view full-screen size. (3) After viewing, use your browser "back" button to return to Blog.