Friday, April 26, 2013

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC "OFFICIAL SITE" - CHAPTER 73 "THE MADISONS / BILLY KIDD & THE MADISONS (Chuck Roberts, Johnny Whipple, Carl Irvine, Terry Golden & Jimmy Foran ) 1960-66

This group of Westsiders was originally known as "The Impressions' and consisted of Chuck Roberts (lead singer), Jimmy Foran, Paul Hall and Doug Jones (formerly with The Dialtones). They changed their name and ventured to New York City and recorded the hit "First Time" for Madison Records in March 1961 as  Billy Kidd and The Madisons. Jones & Hall departed and were replaced by Terry Golden (Centurys) & Carl Irving (Jan & the Radiants). Chuck Roberts married and left being replaced by Johnny Velvet (Whipple).

Whipple a Central High alumnus and local early 1960's backup singer switched and sang lead releasing demo recordings with Johnny Velvet & The Revelation ("The D.T.) and Johnny Velvet & The Capitols ("I Really Love You" & Slide By") between 1960-61. The Capitols at this time included Chuck Sgroi, Frank Sgroi, Tony Licameli, John  Latocha and others. Whipple then auditioned with Billy Kidd & The Madisons who just had a national single release "First Time" for the Madison Record label. With departure of singer Chuck Roberts "The Madisons" reformed under guidance from WNDR Radio DJ "Dandy Dan" Leonard. With a new name and a new lineup that included Carl Irvine, Jimmy Foran, Terry Golden (all three Vocational High alumnis) & Johnny Whipple "The Madisons" were ready for more national attention.

And they did. This lineup ventured to New York City to record two songs written by Larry Santos and arranged by Charles Collela of the Four Seasons staff "Looking For A True Love " b/w "Cheryl Ann" that would be released by MGM Records (1965). This recording was selected by Cash Box Magazine as its "Best Bet". It received heavy air-play in Philadelphia, Buffalo, Boston, Rochester, Providence, DesMoines, Iowa Flint, Michigan, Syracuse and throughout the Northeast. The Madisons made over a dozen TV appearances including the Clay Cole Show in New York City, featured on WKBW TV in Buffalo, and Syracuse WNYS TV-9's (now WSYR TV-9) March of Dimes charity broadcast in 1965 about the same time "Looking For A True Love" was topping the charts.

The Madisons also appeared live at the famed 3 Rivers Inn (March 12-17, 1965) and weekly at the Little Brown Jug in downtown Syracuse being backed by Don Barber and The Dukes (Barber, Joe Sawmiller & Fred Winston) or The Dimensions between March- July 1965.

The Madisons had three more regional single releases- "Only A Fool" b/w "The Stagger" (both written by Larry Santos) on Jomada Records produced by WNDR's "Dandy Dan" Leonard and John Periales. They followed by signing a three-year contract with Swan Records out of Philadelphia. With Swan Records came "The Wind and The Rain" b/w "Can You Imagine It" released in June 1964. They appeared on the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars Tour that made a stop at the Syracuse War Memorial on July 9, 1964. Acts included Gene Pitney, The Shirelles, Brian Hyland, The Supremes, The Crystals, Coasters, Major Lance, Round Robin, Rip Chords and others.

Their final 45 rpm single would be "Valarie" issued on Twin Hits label (July 1966). They were backed instrumentally by Don Barber and The Dukes along with keyboard sensation Kal Dee. The Madison's then toured the Northeast and New England with national recording artists Bobby Vee, Ad-Lids (Boy from New York City) and the Exciters (Tell Him). During this time frame they were backed many times by hugely popular Syracuse band (later to be Hall of Famers) "The Monterays", who appeared on the flip side of the Twin Hits single with their first hit "I'll Be Around."

Through the years many songs by The Madisons have appeared on various artist oldies collections such as the 2005-06 Cd Philadelphia Doo Oop Sound- Swan Masters Volumes 1 & 2,  "Heavy of Doo-Oop Volume 5 on Chimp Records (2001), 'Dynamite Group Volume 12 a German release in 1997, as well as "The History of Syracuse Music" Lp & Cd series,  there are many more.

Johnny Whipple departed CNY and relocated in Florida for some 15-years returning to Syracuse in the 1980's. While in the south, John also sang lead on the 45-rpm single "Soul Kind of Love" b/w "Born For You" released on Sumter Records under the name of Johnny Curtis for Sun Records owner Shelby Singleton in the early 1970's. This recording was also released in the United Kingdom. Sadly lead-singer Johnny Whipple passed away on February 28, 2013 at age 80.

Prior to the Madisons, Carl Irving rose to fame as a singer with the popular Syracuse doo-wop group "Jan & The Radiants". He is heard on the "Little Jan" recordings "Now In The Hour", "Heart & Soul", Is It True" and If You Love Me". Employment caused Carl to relocate to Western, NY. Carl Irving passed away on August 7, 2005 in Williamsville, NY near Buffalo at age 64.

The third member Terry Golden was first part of the vocal group "The Centurys" with Ed Murphy, Tip Munger, Jan Perolla, Jeff Miller and Johnny Whipple in 1962 He attended our "History of Syracuse Music Album series reunion in 1972 and passed away a few year later.

That leaves us to our friend... Jimmy Foran who I'm happy to report is still with us...we still meet having breakfast and sharing stories at the Risin & Shine Dinner on Thompson Road.

Monday, April 8, 2013


DIO NEWS-  May 28- Eagle Vision released the Ronnie James Dio -DVD-"Finding the Sacred Heart -Live in Philly 1986" (yes the concert with the dragon). From the original 16 mm film with remastered sound. It will be issued on DVD, Blu Ray, 2 Cds and 12inch Vinyl. Wow... how great is this.... Note- will contain special interview, featurette, music video and Behind the Scenes segment...a must for all Dio collectors around the world. 

Just to remind you, Ronnie did perform "Scared Heart" right here at the Syracuse War Memorial for family, friend and us....

.Look Back-- Remember a special vinyl picture disc of "Magica" was issued in the USA on National Record Store Day April 20. Very limited release just 500 copies made. Better get it fast, this will sell our....

Also all the "Finding The Scared Heart"- Live Philly 1986" new release items above are available from the UK and from Japan    Blue Ray #VQXD 10050, DVD 2 cd #VDBD 10129,  2 Cd Set # VQCD-10330.

(New Product on the way) Lastly "Magicia" the new special 2cd edition will be released in late June 2013.