Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#820 (8/30/14 - 9/12/14)

"Blanche"/"Baby I'll Cry"
by The Three Friends
on Lido 500
released in 1956

Above: The Three Friends (L-R) Frankie Stropoli (tenor), Joey Villa (lead tenor) and Tony Grochowski (tenor). There was no baritone or bass in this group. Their inspiration was Teddy Randazzo And The Three Chuckles.

Above: The composers of "Blanche" are The Three Friends and Nick Cutrone, an accordionist. "Starpoli" is Stropoli, who also went by the name Frankie Starro. "Francilla" is presumably Villa.

Above: Label image of Lido 500 released in September 1956. It was The Three Friends' first of three on Lido (1956-57). This was the first record on the new Lido label, located in NYC and owned by Leo Rogers and Sid Arky. (Hypothetical: Lido = Lo from Leo and id from Sid?) "Blanche" became a minor hit, with Alan Freed giving it lots of airplay in New York City. The group performed at two of Freed's shows at the N.Y. Paramount Theater. They were also at the Apollo in one of Jocko Henderson's shows.

From a November 1956 clipping: ....The Three Friends, who are riding high with "Blanche" (Lido) dropped in on station WHAT, Philadelphia, recently. Hy Litt was going to give them a plug and spin their new platter, only to discover that it was nowhere in sight. The trio obliged with an impromptu "live" performance not only of "Blanche," but 50 minutes of songs and patter that wowed the late night listeners....

From a December 1956 clipping: ....Joe Kolsky, Rama and Gee Records, notes that "Blanche" by the Three Friends on Lido, after a quick start in some Eastern territories, is now catching on in Baltimore and Seattle. Disk is nationally distributed by Tico Distributing, also part of the Kolsky-George Goldner set-up....

The Billboard Review (10/27/56):

(78) A tender love story, in the teen-age groove. The reading by the Three Friends has a solid backing which measurably aids in the effect.
Baby, I'll Cry (69) Side has a swingy quality, but this particular disk has a fuzzy sound*.
(*NOTE: Does it sound fuzzy to you?)

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 0-49 as "poor," 50-59 as "limited," 60-69 as "satisfactory," 70-79 as "good," 80-89 as "excellent," and 90-100 as "tops.")

Listen to this week's selections by The Three Friends on Lido 500 from 1956:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

     A. Stream RealAudio...
          1. Blanche
          2. Baby I'll Cry
          BOTH played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
          1. Blanche
          2. Baby I'll Cry

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
          1. Blanche
          2. Baby I'll Cry

     [To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]


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