One of the best doo wop groups of the 1990's was a quintet called Younger Dayz.
When we met up with Joe Mirrione singing with Terry Johnson's Flamingos at the
Black Swan Concert in October 2008, it occurred to us that visitors to our
site would be interested in reading about Joe's earlier group. We asked
Joe to supply us with some biographical information on Younger Dayz and are
pleased to present the group's profile here. - Charlie & Pam
Younger Dayz was formed on September 23, 1992 when Joe Mirrione was
introduced to Tommy Siconolfi through their mutual friend Les Levine. Tommy
had been singing with two friends, Eadie Fuentes and Gordon Pekusic, and had a
dream of rounding out the group with two more singers their age. Shortly
after the foursome met and began rehearsing in Joe's home in New Hyde Park,
Long Island, they added bass Mike Esperto. The songs they sang in that first
meeting were simple ones but the blend and musical chemistry they experienced
were transcendent of the material with which they were experimenting. They
were taking songs that had been performed literally thousands of times by
hundreds of artists and making them sound as fresh as the day they were
recorded. One of the major factors in their unique sound was their youth -
Joe was only 16 years of age at the time and the average age of the group
members was 24.
Joe had the idea to lift the title of one of the first songs the group learned
together, "In My Younger Days" (originally by The Monarchs and later by The
Admirations, who Mirrione had recently reunited for a WCBS-FM radio show in
NY) and turn it into Younger Dayz, a name that would soon spread
throughout the vintage rock and roll circuit as one of the finest
up-and-coming acappella acts. Other young groups seemed to self-destruct as
quickly as they burst onto the scene, but Younger Dayz went on to gain
the respect and friendship of innumerable artists and producers.
(Left to right: Gordon Pekusic, Tommy Siconolfi,
Joe Mirrione, Eadie Fuentes, Mike Esperto)
Shortly after their formation, Joe took the group to
Starlight Discs, with whom he had recorded as the lead singer of The
Clusters. On Starlight, Younger Dayz recorded "Made for Lovers" and
"Beginning to Love You" which were released on "Starlight Serenade Vol. 7" in
early 1993. “Beginning to Love You” became something of a signature song for
the group but was originally written by Tommy & Lola Foy of The Saints and
released on one of their earlier albums.
On November 27, 1993 they released "Christmas in New York" b/w "Heaven Sent",
an Eddie Brian production on which they were backed by a 21-piece orchestra.
Brian wrote both songs especially for the group and with Eadie leading both
sides, many took notice of the catchy originals - among them, WCBS-FM in the
Big Apple who often played "Christmas in New York" at midnight Christmas Eve
to herald the break of Christmas Day and Al Roker who used it in a Christmas
public interest segment on NBC-TV. Originally released only on green wax and
cassette single, both songs were eventually picked up for over a dozen
different compilations including "Doo Wop Renaissance" on Relic as well as
"Holiday Harmony" and "Rhythm & Blues Christmas Vol. 4", both on
Collectables. One veteran New York DJ with literally hundreds of thousands of
songs to his knowledge and at his disposal chose "Heaven Sent" as his wedding
song and openly encouraged his audiences to do the same. Both Vito Picone's
"Island Hop" and Tommy Petillo's "Jersey Spotlight" featured the group on
their televised holiday shows.
(Younger Dayz on Westbury Music Fair: Left to right: Eadie
Joe Mirrione, Tommy Siconolfi, Gordon Pekusic, Mike Esperto)
In 1994, Younger Dayz was presented with the Gus Gossert Memorial Award
as voted by the membership of the United in Group Harmony Association and
began a 3-year run of performing alongside the top groups in the industry at
countless major concerts in the tri-state area. Joe Mirrione recalls, "We
worked for every major producer and promoter including Richard Nader, Dick Fox
and John Vogele - sometimes within days of each other - at a time when many of
these producers had a 'if you work for them, you can't work for me' policy.
We were loved and we were proud of what we accomplished. It was a heck of a
run." Mirrione also produced several events for the group, including tributes
to some of the unsung heroes in the industry like Prez Tyus, who wrote "I'm So
Young" and "Every Day of the Week."
In 1995, the group released the album "Sounds of Innocence" which featured
Younger Dayz favorites such as The Students' "My Vow To You", The
Schoolboys' "Please Say You Want Me" and Mirrione's original arrangement of
"Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart", a recording that really showcased the
group's harmonic expertise. Self-produced and released on their own label,
Chapter Eleven Records, "Sounds of Innocence" featured liner notes written by
luminaries such as Raoul Cita of The Harptones who called their work "expertly
done", Johnny Maestro who heralded a "good choice of songs and a very clean
blend of voices", Emil Stucchio who called the leads and harmonies “excellent"
and Larry Chance who said, "It's terrific - I love it."
(Last photo of Younger Dayz, Clockwise from top: Tommy
Joe Mirrione, Eadie Fuentes, Mike Esperto, Gordon Peksusic)
By 1997, the group had
split up. Tommy currently runs
a recording studio in Staten Island. Gordon left the music scene but
still resides in the tri-state area. Eadie sings with a show band. Mike Esperto moved to
Florida to start a family. Joe Mirrione went on to sing with New York Nites
for several years and in 2005, joined forces with Terry Johnson of the
original Flamingos and has been recording and touring with Terry Johnson's
Flamingos since then.
will soon have a website. We'll give you a link to it as soon as it's up
(Terry Johnson's Flamingos at the Black Swan
Joe Mirrione on far right)