The Elegants, still based on Staten Island, New York, were formed in 1956 by their lead singer, Vito Picone. “Little Star” was their memorable hit. Members Vito Picone and Arthur Venosa co-wrote the lyrics. The music was adapted from “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
When released as a single in the summer of 1958, it eventually topped the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart for the week of August 28th… AND the song hit the summit of the R&B Best Sellers chart. The record sold over 2-1/2million copies world-wide in 1958 on ABC Paramount’s subsidiary label “APT.” The group was named the #1 R&B and the #1 Pop artists of the year and adorned the cover of Cashbox Magazine receiving their gold record. “Little Star” was the only song that ever charted for The Elegants. Reportedly, the Elegants refused to pay payola to a prominent New York disc jockey, which inhibited air play of their follow up recordings. “Little Star” remains one of the most popular examples of doo wop music. Phil Spector described it as an “awful good record.” The group toured throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico in the late fifties and early sixties along with the early legends of their time until the U.S. Army and The Beatles changed the direction of their lives and careers. Ten years later a nostalgic atmosphere gripped the country and there was a second-coming for Doo-Wop sounds such as The Elegants had contributed in the fifties. Aside from doubling their original record sales since 1958, the group has received the “Million-Aires Award” for “Little Star,” airing 1 million times on the radio. Their song has been immortalized in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, was featured in numerous movies, and also in HBO’s blockbuster series, “The Sopranos” . They have appeared EIGHT times at Radio City Music Hall, were among the initial Doo-Wop artists to be presented at Carnegie Hall , the first Doo-Wop group ever to perform at Lincoln Center, and Vito’s cameo appearance in the Oscar winning movie “Goodfellas” (Vito is in the Billy Batts scene at the end of the bar), top the list of their many outstanding accomplishments.
Vito Picone (lead vocalist), Jimmy Moschello (baritone), Nino Amato (1sttenor), Bruce “Sonny” Copp (2nd tenor and rhythm guitarist) have been acclaimed as one of the most entertaining acts representing the wonderful era of the late 50’s and early 60’s. Vito has done a cable TV show for over 25 years called “LET THE GOODTIMES ROLL,” patterned after American Bandstand with a live audience, and guest stars. This is a public access cable TV show and VITO brings on oldies singers, performing and interviews. Vito also promotes oldies concerts and shows.