The Elegants have the second song in succession that is a one-hit wonder. Domenico Modugno had just the one hit and never hit again. The Elegants did the same thing with “Little Star”
The Elegants members Vito Picone and Arthur Venosa wrote the lyrics with the music being adapted from the children’s nursery rhyme “Twinkle, twinkle little star.” The other three members of the Elegants were Frank Tardogno, Carman Romano and James Moschella. They were a true American doo-wop group.
Their name comes from a billboard which was prominent in the New York City area during the Fifties. It was an advertisement for Schenley’s Whiskey and the billboard announced that the whiskey was the “liquor of elegants.” Thus they got the name of the group.
The group continued to record and tour, but could never get back the magic of “Little Star.” They toured with Buddy Holly, Dion and the Belmonts, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. They recorded other songs, but nothing charted.
There is a rumor that the reason the Elegants never charted again is that they would not play the payola game. Payola was big in 1958, on the verge of scandalous. Disc jockeys wanted money for playing new songs that the public didn’t know and if the record company didn’t pay up, the DJ’s just didn’t play the record. Thus the hits were determined by what was played on the radio . No pay, no play, no sales and no action on the charts. By the early Sixties, the group had broken up and gone their separate ways.
“Little Star” entered the pop chart on July 28, 1958 and took a month to reach number one where it stayed for just one week.
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