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


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. <==============

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 -
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,

and their Facebook page,

or their Wikipedia page,

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.