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Sammy Strain & the Imperials, 1964 -, Part 4 in the series

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bullet [New!]TNT with Vic Donna Group & Charlie Horner
 
bulletAsbury Angels 2014, Bobby Thomas
 
bulletRichard Nader Doo Wop Concert XXV
 
bullet2014 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
 
bullet Billy Vera Big Band at the Cutting Room NYC
 
bullet VGHA Extravaganza III
 
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African American
Museum Philadelphia
Gospel Awards Ceremony

 
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bulletRe-MemberThen
at NJ Doo Wop Singers Club 2013

 
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bulletRichard Nader's Doo Wop Celebration XXVI
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2013 Asbury Angels Plaque Dedications
 
bullet VGHA Acappella Extravaganza II
 
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bullet Time Capsule Show 50th Anniversary
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2013 Portsmouth, VA Gospel Concert
 
bulletRe-MemberThen
at Manchester, NJ

 
bulletRe-MemberThen
at New Providence Library

 
bulletJohn Moore's Middle Room Records Closes
 
bulletLittle Isidore in Fair Lawn, NJ
 
bulletNJ Doo Wop Singers Club Jan 2013
 
bulletCelebrating Asbury Park's West Side Harmony
 
bulletDoo Wop Singers Club 4th Anniversary
 
bulletChuck Berry Honored by the R&R Hall of Fame
 
bulletQuiet Storm at Somerset Run
 
bulletAsbury Angels 2012 Induction Ceremony
 
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bullet2012 Lead East
 
bulletTNT R&B and Doo Wop Party, Aug 2012
 
bulletPam Nardella's Frankie Lymon Tombstone BBQ
 
bullet Classic Urban Harmony Celebrates Vocal Harmony & the Masqueraders 50th Anniversary
Multi-Part
 
bulletFrankie Lymon Tombstone Finds a New Home
 
bulletStormin Norman Seldin & Return of Ray & Darchaes in Monmouth Beach NJ
 
bullet2012 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
 
bulletTNT North Jersey R&B and Doo Wop Party - 2nd Anniversary
 
bulletAcappella Extravaganza at Molloy College 2011
 
bulletDoo Wop Singers Club (NJ) Third Anniversary
 
bulletSoul of Asbury Park Concert
 
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bullet6th Annual Philly Doo Wop Festival
 
bulletSouth Philly String Band Club After Party to 6th Philly Doo Wop Festival
 
bulletTymes' Norman & Peggy Burnett BBQ 2011
 
bullet2011 Lead East
 
bullet Morris Museum Acappella & Doo Wop Concert # Two
 
bullet Morris Museum Acappella Concert # One
 
bulletClassic Urban Harmony Presentation NJ Doo Wop Groups Part 2
 
bulletClassic Urban Harmony Presentation NJ Doo Wop Groups Part 1
 
bulletMorris Museum LaBamba & Quiet Storm Concert
 
bulletMorris Museum Jersey Rocks Exhibit Opening
 
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bulletEvening With Vocal Group Legends Concert
 
bulletRe-memberThen Finds Its Echo
 
bulletSteve Applebaum Tribute Concert
 
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bullet Four J's Jimmy Testa Tribute & Benefit Concert
 
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bullet"Doll Face" Musical Comedy
 
bulletNJ Doo Wop & Street Corner Harmony Association
 
bulletNick @ Nite Open Mic Night
 
bulletLeins Wedding
 
bullet"Fun-Raiser" at South Philly String Band Club
 
bulletRichard Nader’s Summer Doowop Reunion XXI
 
bulletPhilly Doo Wop Diner Mural
 
bulletMaking Crossroads 2
 
bulletCornerstone CD Release Party
 
bulletVirginia Legends of Gospel Concert
 
bulletS. Philly Stringband Club Jan 13, 2010
 
bulletRemembering Ronnie I. Concert Nov 2009
 
bulletPGHA's Heavenly Harmony XII Concert
 
bulletS. Philly Stringband
Club
Testimonial
 
bulletFilming a Documentary
on Acappella
 
bulletAcappella Group Soul'D
Out on
Celebrity
Solstice
Oct 2009
 
bulletBattleship New Jersey Dance & Concert
 
bulletWVLT Cruisin' 92.1 Concert
 
bulletTymes' Norman & Peggy Burnett 2009 BBQ
 
bullet2009 Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival
 
bulletAcappella Group Choice at Franklin Township Public Library
 
bullet American Bandstand Studio Fundraiser
 
bulletAcappella at the South Philly String Band Club Revisited
 
bulletFour Man Trio at At Dover NJ's Attilio's Tavern
 
bulletNicky Addeo at Asbury Park's Wonder Bar
 
bulletASAP's First Acappella Concert
 
bulletAcappella at the South Philly String Band Club
 
bulletVisiting Radio's Past & Present at WDVR-FM
 
bullet Chicago SoulTrip USA
 
bulletR&R Hall
of Fame
Interview with
Orioles' Deborah
Chessler

 
bulletSilhouettes' John Wilson Visits CUH World Headquarters
 
bulletNJ Doowop Group Harmony Club, 2009.
 
bullet New Years Eve 2008 with Nicky Addeo & Nite Owls
 
bullet 2008 European Road Trip: Deep River Quartet & Golden Gate Quartet
 
bullet 2008 Black Swan Burlington Concert
 
bullet 2008 Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival
 
bullet Mills Bros,
Ink Spots
Beach Haven

 
bulletPhilly Doo Wop
Festival 2008

 
bullet Philly Doo Wop
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    PROFILES IN
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bullet [New!]Robert Murphy, Neighbors Complaint
 
bullet Walter McNeil, Gospel Nobleaires
 
bullet Jewel Akens, 4 Dots
 
bulletVirgil Johnson, Velvets
 
bulletCleotha Staples, Staple Singers
 
bulletDarlene McCrae, Cookies, Raeletts
 
bulletGregory Carroll, Four Buddies, Orioles, Dappers, Ink Spots
 
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bulletMickey "Guitar" Baker
 
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bulletMajor Harris, Delfonics, Nat Turner Rebellion, R&B Soloist
 
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bulletWilla Ward, Ward Singers, Gay Charmers
 
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The Academics 

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bullet40 Years of Group Harmony: Ray Block's Photos of Vintage, Ad-Libs, Reunion, Bon-Aires, East River Drive
 
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The 60th Anniversary of the Vinyl 45 RPM Single

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The Academics

 

 

New Haven, Connecticut, is known for its great R&B harmony groups, including the Five Satins, Nutmegs, Four Haven Knights and Starlarks.  In the early fifties, most New Haven R&B groups were black.   In 1956, a white group called the Academics changed all that.

The Academics began singing as teenagers.  Ron Marone (baritone), Marty Ganter (second tenor), Richie “Goose” Greenberg (bass), Billy Greenberg (tenor), and Dave Fisher (tenor) all went to Hillhouse High School in New Haven.  They took their name from their high school nickname. The Academics practiced songs like “I’m Yours” by the Flamingos, “At My Front Door” by the El Dorados and “Darla My Darlin” by the G-Clefs.

New Haven attorney, Joel Alderman, who was also a news reporter at radio station WELI-AM in New Haven liked their sound and agreed to manage them.  Alderman also managed the Starlarks and had recorded that group on his own Elm label.  Alderman brought the Academics to WELI disc jockey Carl Loucks who was impressed with their sound and encouraged them to record.  They were taken in to the studios of WELI to record two songs that Marty Ganter had written – “Too Good to be True” b/w “Heavenly Love” The songs were released on a new label Joel Alderman formed called Anchor Records.  (The label name was later changed to Ancho to avoid trademark infringement with another label). Thanks to Carl Loucks and Jim Gallant, host of a daily TV show called Connecticut Bandstand, “Too Good to be True” became the #1 record in New Haven.

 

 

 

After “Too Good To Be True,” was released, Charlie Luth replaced Goose Greenberg in the group.  The Academics’ second record on Ancho was “Darla My Darlin” [led by Ronnie Marone] b/w “At My Front Door” [led by Dave Fisher].  Instrumentation on the two Ancho releases was provided by the Kingsmen Quintet who also recorded an instrumental on the Hillside label.

 

The Academics’ final release was “Something Cool” [led by Dave Fisher] b/w “Drive in Movie” [led by Marty Ganter], released on the Elmont label in mid August 1958.  Instrumentation on the Elmont release was supplied by the Melotones who later became the Passengers.  All the Academics records did well in the Connecticut area but failed to chart nationally.

 

The Academics

 

Following the release of the Academics third record, Vinnie Giardina replaced Dave Fisher, who left to attend Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.  At Wesleyan, Fisher formed the folk group, the Highwaymen who recorded “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” and “Cotton Fields.”  Dave Fisher passed away on Mat 7, 2010.

Dave Fisher with the Highwaymen

 

In August 1963, in the middle of the group oldies revival period, Eddie Gries and Donn Feleti purchased the masters to the two Academics Ancho records from Joel Alderman and re-released them on the Relic label.  This created a brand new following for the group.

In 1989, two unreleased Academics’ masters from 1960 (“I Often Wonder” b/w “Girl That I Love”) were located and issued. 

 

The Academics continued singing over the years, appearing with many well-known performers including Connie Francis, the Five Satins, the Platters, and Paul Anka.

The Academics today consist of original members Marty Ganter (lead and songwriter) and Ron Marone (baritones and arranger) as well as Vinny Giardina who joined in 1958 and John Roddy a former member of Roger Koob and the Premiers, another great Connecticut group.

 

 

    The Academics still sound great and have been making appearances in Connecticut and the tri-state area ever since their inception fifty years ago.  On October 4, 2008, the Academics performed on the Black Swan Concert and sounded fabulous singing "Something Cool," "Drive-In Movie" and "To Good To Be True."  For more on the Black Swan Concert see our Concert Review.
 

The Academics at the 2008 Black Swan Concert

 

Academics Singles Discography

Ancho 101 - Too Good To Be True / Heavenly Love                    56

Ancho 103 - Darla My Darlin' / At My Front Door                        57

Elmont 1001/2 - Drive-In Movie / Somethin' Cool                        8/58

Relic 509 - Darla My Darlin' / At My Front Door [Reissue of Ancho 103]      63

Relic 510 - Too Good To Be True / Heavenly Love [Reissue of Ancho 101]  63

Ancho 104 - I Often Wonder / Girl That I Love                             89    [recorded 1960]

    

This Academics profile and two of the group photos were contributed by Jim Santa Barbara whose fine radio program, “The Wax Museum Show” can be heard on the 3rd Sunday of each month, 8-11 EST at http://doowopradio4u.com
Additional info credited to Paul Lepri’s “The New Haven Sound,” (United Printing, New Haven, CT: 1977).

 

Copyright © 2008, Classic Urban Harmony LLC.  All Rights Reserved.