Dion - Ruby Baby
Why must I be a "Teenager in love?" Was one of my favorite tunes, and the first hit for Dion and the Belmonts. Dion shed the group and went on to a great solo career with many hits, all great radio records. But the thing I most remember him for came much later after the rash of assasinations in the 60's, "Abraham, Martin and John," and it still gives me the chills. Here are musicologist John Hale's comments, and video of Dion all grown up on the Letterman show. Abraham, Martin and John follows. - TDR
It's interesting that first generation rock & roller Dion DiMucci gets lumped in with the teen idol singers of his day, singers like Frankie Avalon, Fabian, and Bobby Rydell. Dion had the required good looks of the teen idols, but he was a rock & roller through and through after he left the doo wop group Dion & the Belmonts.
Listen to Runaround Sue, The Wanderer, Drip Drop, and others and you don't hear anything bubblegummy in Dion's music. He had an affinity for some of the old Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters hits, and in fact, his first release on the Columbia record label after he signed with that company was Ruby Baby, which had been a hit for McPhatter and the Drifters back in the mid-fifties. Dion did such a great job on his version of Ruby Baby that he took it into the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 music charts, something the Drifters didn't accomplish with their original version of the song.
Abraham, Martin and John
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