Synopsis of Pop Music
“Well I'm the type of guy,
Who'll never settle down,
Wherever pretty girls are,
Well you know that I'm around...”
Between his work with the doo-wop group the Belmonts and his popular early-60’s recordings, Dion became one of the most talented and beloved of the early teen idols. However, describing Dion as merely a teen idol does not do justice to his body of work. Over time, he has embraced a variety of musical forms, including gospel and folk.
Dion was born Dion DiMucci in New York City in 1939. He began singing in contests and talent shows during his teens, which led to the recording of a single, “The Chosen One,” in 1957. Dion was backed on the recording by singers he did not know and realized he could find better singers back home in the Bronx. He selected a trio of friends and formed Dion and the Belmonts, taking the name from an avenue that cut through their corner of the Bronx.
Dion and the Belmonts released the classic doo-wop single “I Wonder Why” at the end of 1958. It hit #22 on the pop charts and the group began to tour throughout the U.S. They became pin-up attractions in teen magazines as they continued to release bigger hits like "A Teenager In Love" (#5) and "Where or When" (#3). The group split up in 1960, with Dion going off to pursue a solo career while the Belmonts continued to record as a group.
The Belmonts continued to chart with songs like “Tell Me Why” (#18), but it was Dion who went on to the bigger success with his solo recordings. Between 1960 and 1963, Dion soared into the pop Top-10 seven times. This chart reign included a #1 hit in “Runaround Sue” and a #2 hit in “The Wanderer.” By this time, Dion had developed a swinging, macho vocal style that owed as much to Frank Sinatra as it did to doo-wop performers. Other notable hits from this era included "Ruby, Baby," "Lovers Who Wander" and "Donna The Prima Donna."
Dion turned his attention to more challenging material as the 60’s progressed. In 1964, he began to tackle blues songs like “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Spoonful.” Later in the decade, he began performing folk-oriented material and scored a #4 hit in 1968 with the gentle protest song “Abraham, Martin, and John.”
Dion continued to record in the 70’s, taking on a singer-songwriter style built around his acoustic guitar. The primarily self-penned material he recorded around this time, including the memorable anti-drug song “Your Own Backyard,” was much admired by critics.
In the last two decades, Dion has focused on gospel music and has continued touring, both as a solo attraction and as part of several oldies tours. In recent years, he has assumed 'elder statesman' status in the rock ‘and roll world, with performers as diverse as Lou Reed, k.d. lang, and Dave Edmunds singing the praises of his work. Though the public at large primarily remembers him for the likes of “A Teenager In Love” and “The Wanderer,” Dion has created a memorable body of work that continues to surprise and enchant modern listeners of all types.
Artist Release History1959 - Presenting Dion & the Belmonts
1960 - Wish Upon a Star
1961 - Dion Alone
1961 - Runaround Sue
1962 - Lovers Who Wander
1963 - Donna the Prima Donna
1963 - Ruby Baby
1963 - By Special Request: Together with the...
1963 - Dion Sings to Sandy & All Other Girls
1963 - Love Came to Me
1967 - Together Again
1968 - Dion
1969 - Sit Down Old Friend
1969 - Wonder Where I'm Bound
1971 - Sanctuary
1971 - You're Not Alone
1972 - Suite for Late Summer
1972 - Dion & the Belmonts Live 1972
1975 - Born to Be with You
1976 - Streetheart
1978 - Only Jesus
1978 - Return of the Wanderer
1980 - Inside Job
1983 - 24 Golden Greats
1984 - Seasons
1985 - Kingdom in the Streets
1986 - Velvet & Steel
1989 - Yo Frankie
1992 - Dream on Fire
1995 - Dion: A Rock & Roll Christmas
2000 - Deja Nu
2000 - King of the New York Streets
Pop Sub Categoriespop
Essential Music AlbumsDion and the Belmonts: All The Hits (DJT)
Dion: The Road I'm On - A Retrospective 1963-1967 (Sony)