Appreciating all that makes America special

Singer: Dion

Dion influenced performers from Lou Reed to Bruce Springsteen, one reason he was inducted into the Rock and Roll HOF in 1989. Uploaded by

Dion came along during that awkward period between the explosion of rock and roll in the mid 1950s and the British Invasion. He took a background in doo wop (April 25, 2011) and converted into a solid career that resulted in his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

Dion grew up singing on street corners in the Bronx, and showed enough potential to be signed to a record deal in 1957. His label had him be the front man for a group it had signed separately – The Belmonts. The group had three top 20 hits before going their separate ways in late 1960.

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Here’s a list of some of Dion’s best-known songs (the first two are with The Belmonts):

  • “Teenager in Love” (1959 – #5)
  • “Where or When” (1960 – #3)
  • “Lonely Teenager” (1961 – #12)
  • “Runaround Sue” (1961 – #1)
  • “The Wanderer” (1961 – #2)
  • “Lovers Who Wander” (1961 – #3)
  • “Ruby Baby” (1962 – #2)
  • “Donna the Prima Donna” (1963 – #6)
  • “Drip Drop” (1963 – #6)
  • “Abraham, Martin and John” (1968 – #4)

One interesting fact from Dion’s career – he should have died. He was on tour with Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper. They were all miserable on the tour bus, so Holly decided to charter a flight from their show in Iowa to the next in Minnesota. But there were only three seats beside the pilot’s. So someone couldn’t fly. Then Holly told them they’d have to pony up $36 for their share. Dion remembered his parents arguing over money, and the amount they paid for rent – $36. He couldn’t reconcile the thought of blowing a month’s rent for a one-hour flight. So he gave his seat to the Big Bopper. And now you know…the rest of the story.

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