Dan Elliott will forever be known as the new guy in The Belmonts. For over 40 years, The Syracuse native has handled lead vocals for the legendary doo - wop group out of the Bronx. Dan is joined with original members Fred Milano and Angelo D’Aleo, who formed the group with Carlo Mastrangelo and first recorded in 1957, and Warren Gradus, who joined in 1962. They have plenty of recognizable hits.
The Belmonts Placed “Tell Me Why” and “ Come on Little Angel” on The Billboard pop Top 40 in 1961 and ’62, respectively. But the highest-charting songs came before that. The Group—named after a street in the Bronx—shot to Fame after Dion DiMucci came on as lead singer in 1958. Dion and the Belmonts placed “A Teenager in Love” and “Where or When” in the top five in 1959 and 1960, before Dion split for a solo career.
The Belmonts kept going, first with Frank Lyndon as Lead singer. “ I replaced Frank Lyndon. Who replaced Dion” Elliott says with a smile The year was 1973, when Elliott was touring internationally as the male lead vocalist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra. He heard about the opening with the Belmonts and passed the audition. They’ve toured ever since—London and Tokyo—and Played at Madison Square Garden. In 2002, Elliott was Inducted with the Belmonts into the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame at Symphony Hall in Boston.
The Belmonts perform about 20 gigs a year with Elliott As lead singer. “Its great. It’s a cool thing” says Elliott, who also performs with the Syracuse –based group The Monterays since 1962. “I am the young guy in The Belmonts. They all live in New York City, and we make sure to do a gig in Florida every winter.” “There’s a resurgence” he says of the popularity of The Belmonts. “ I can feel it since I’m getting more calls for gigs.” Elliott says.
The Belmonts, after all, are a big part of American rock history. “Dion and The Belmonts were the other band there for ‘the day the music died’” Elliott says.” “They were on that tour with Richie Valens, Big Bopper and Buddy Holly. But they were from New York, and the others were from The South.” So they took the tour bus instead of the ill- fated plane that crashed, killing Holly, Valens and The Big Bopper on Feb. 3, 1959.
(from a Post Standard article by Mark Bialczak)