Monday, January 30, 2012

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC - CHAPTER 25 - "THE SEVEN" (1969-72) ** UPDATE**

One of Syracuse all-time greatest bands "The Seven" has members dating back to Syracuse;s very first rock band Jeff & The Notes (Nick Russo) add an original Sam & The Twister (Chuck Mellone), a few "Capitols" (Al Ruscito, Chuck & Frank Sgroi) along with some of  Jimmy Cavallo's traveling Houserockers (Chuck Sgroi, Tony Licamele, John Latocha) and you end up with a band originally called "The Upsetters" in early 1966.

March 1967, with the departure of guitarist Latocha while adding Bob Canastraro, they changed their name to  the "Magnificent Seven". After about a year Canastraro was replaced by Chuck Wheeler (of Surprise Package) and the band shortened their name to "The Seven". They became one of most popular and listened to bands between 1969 & 1972. The magical, mystical, and musical "The Seven" hit the road teaming with Syracuse Radio Station WOLF now known as "The Big 15".

They traveled with WOLF Radio deejay playing school assemblies throughout Central New York in one of  Syracuse musics greatest promotions. This outstanding group was comprised of musical veterans Nick Russo (vocals, percussion), Chuck Mellone (keyboards, B3), Chuck Wheeler (guitar), Al Ruscito (trombone), Frank Sgroi (sax), Chuck Sgroi (bass) and drummer Tony Licamele.

The Seven played at some of New York Cities famed nightspots such as Ungano's located at 210 West 70th Street and two showcase performances at "The Bitter End", one with famed CNY songwriter Larry Santos (wrote Candy Girl for the 4 Seasons). After choosing to sign with  Thunderbird Records over London's Parrot label  (had both Them & Tom Jones) they entered New York's  A&I Studio to records their first album.

The album "The song is Song, the album is Album" hit stores in 1970 on the Thunderbird Record label owned by Leonard Silver and Steve Brodie of Buffalo's Transcontinental Records Sales. Three songs were released as singles "Song" in January 1970, and later in May the flipside "Heatwave" that charted for seven weeks on WOLF Radio. Their third single, the old Zombies song "Tell Her No" stayed on the WOLF chart for ten weeks starting in July 1970.

In 1971, Tommy Forest (former Monterays vocalist) replaced Nick Russo who went on to form the band "Yugan" with Jimmy Cox. Mickey Nicotra and Bob Papaleoni..

The Seven one of Syracuse's greatest bands could be seen in such popular CNY night spots as The Place, Campus Inn, Captain Mac's and The Shack playing their famed one hour long "Rascals Medley". They also appeared in concert with "The Turtles" and on the popular regional television show "Upbeat" hosted by Don Webster that aired Sunday mornings from studios in Cleveland, Ohio.

Their final recording, the song "Junkyard" while not professionally completed is included on the History of Syracuse album series.

Update- The Seven will be inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame (SAMMY) at the Dinosaur Bar B Que in downtown Syracuse on Thursday evening March 7, 2013. Members attending will be Chuck Sgroi, Al Ruscito, Frank Sgroi, Tommy Forest & Tony Licamele

1 comment:

  1. One of the best horn bands I ever heard. The Campus Inn was actually The College Inn o Saratoga Lake(formerly Newman's Lake House of casino fame.) When The Magnificent Seven played there the place rocked like never before or since. If they were to reform, they would have a following today.

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