Tony Bellus

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Tony Bellus (born Anthony J. Bellusci; April 17, 1936) is an American Chicago-born vocalist and musician, whose first recording was with Shi-Fi Records in 1958. His best known recorded song is "Robbin' The Cradle", [1] a self-composed ballad he recorded in his native Chicago in 1959.

The recording of "Robbin' The Cradle" contained a number of styles and musical combinations.[ citation needed ] It combined an Italian pop singer playing an accordion [2] à la Dick Contino, being backed with a basically country/rockabilly band, augmented with a background Latino vocal group.[ citation needed ]

Upon hearing Bellus perform the song in Chicago, NRC leased the master for the NRC label, and the song peaked at No. 25 on August 17, 1959, and stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 26 weeks, the most weeks for any Hot 100 entry all within the calendar year 1959. [3] On April 20, 1959, Bellus performed "Robbin' The Cradle" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV weekday-afternoon program, American Bandstand . One week later on April 27 the song entered Billboard's Hot 100 chart at position No. 87, sixteen weeks later it peaked at No. 25 for one week

Attempts at follow-ups were hampered when the original National Recording Corporation went bankrupt April 27, 1961. The company reappeared in 1962 under the aegis of Georgia theatre magnate Frederick Storey. The reorganization and a stint in the Army took the momentum from Bellus' career.[ citation needed ]

In the 1960s and 1970s, Bellus was a singing sensation throughout the Chicago area nightclub scene. He was a mainstay performer appearing nightly at Fritzel's restaurant at the corner of State and Lake Streets in downtown Chicago. Fritzel's was a personal favorite of local and visiting celebrities and dignitaries.[ citation needed ]

In the 1980s and 1990s, Bellus continued composing music, also performing at beach hotels and restaurants on the west coast of Florida, where he had relocated from the Chicago area.

The old NRC music library was purchased by Georgia music historian and producer Johnny F. Carter in 2004. Bellus returned to the NRC label with a CD release of the 1959 album that followed the success of "Robbin' The Cradle". Bellus' connection with the new NRC ended with the death of Carter in 2016.

Bellus is re-inventing his career through Bellusci Music Publishing Company and M.M.P. (Marathon Musical Productions), offering two new CD singles: "I Want Florida for Christmas" and "Mackinac Island", which is a remix and remastering of his 1986 45 rpm version.

Personal life

Bellus resides in Florida with his wife Tammy, also a songwriter. Directing his attention to Christian music, his desire is to lift up the Lord Jesus Christ through his song, "It Is Finished (e' finito)".

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References

  1. Gillett, Charlie (1996). The sound of the city: the rise of rock and roll. Da Capo Press. p. 370. ISBN   978-0-306-80683-4.
  2. Cotten, Lee (2002). The Golden Age of American Rock 'n Roll: Reelin' & rockin': 1956–1959. Popular Culture, Ink. p. 353. ISBN   978-1-56075-039-0.
  3. Whitburn, Joel (1992). The Billboard Pop Charts: 1955–1959 (April 27, 1959 through October 19, 1959). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. ISBN   0-89820-092-X.