Thursday, March 25, 2010

Johnny Maestro, 1939-2010. R.I.P.

Doo-wop legend Johnny Maestro died yesterday of cancer. He was 70.

Born in Brooklyn as John Mastrangelo, Maestro is famous for singing lead on two enormous hits that came a decade apart.

In 1958, Maestro sang lead with The Crests on "16 Candles". The Crests were unusual in that they were amongst the first pop acts to be racially integrated.

After leaving The Crests in 1960 to embark on a solo career, Maestro soon joined the Del-Satins. In 1968, the Del-Satins had a chance encounter with a brass ensemble known as the Rhythm Method. The two bands merged becoming Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge. Late that year, they had an enormous hit with the Jimmy Webb penned "The Worst That Could Happen" (which had originally been recorded by The Fifth Dimension).

Maestro continued to perform with The Brooklyn Bridge on the oldies and doo-wop circuits up until earlier this year when his illness overtook his powerful voice.

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