Dion is a rock ‘n’ roll original. Born Dion Francis DiMucci and raised in the Bronx, NY he initially achieved fame with the distinctive doo-wop sound of the Belmonts in the late 1950’s. Dion’s career rose to a higher level after going solo in 1960 with hits like “Ruby Baby,” “Runaround Sue,” and “The Wanderer.” Like many American rock singers his star faded a bit in the mid-60’s, but resurged in 1968 with the success of the very timely “Abraham, Martin and John.”
I would have been excited to talk with Dion in almost any location, but to have him and his guitar sitting across from me in WFUV’s Studio A (in January 2006) just a few blocks away from the Little Italy section of the Bronx where he had grown up, was truly magical. We talked about the neighborhood, his early love for Hank Williams, country music, and the influence of the blues and how that all came together in the release of his then latest album Bronx In Blue. What was even more fun for me were his stories of how some other musical threads and sounds had influenced some of my favorite “oldies but goodies.” Take a listen.
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